|ODYSSEY, a new stage version of
Homer's epic by Dale
John Angelos brought this essential classic
tale to the modern stage in a startlingly creative manner. Not of
one Age, but for all Ages, this Grand Theatrical exercise explored
through vivid imagery, searing drama, stunning spectacle, song and dance,
and creative comedy, the Timeless and Timely story of a warrior's return
to his wife and son after twenty years of battles and wanderings. Off
The Wall Theatre's unique take on this world famous epic centered
"What makes a hero, and does becoming a hero, destroy the man?"
Director Dale Gutzman worked with Classics Scholar John Angelos to bring
to the stage a modern, fast moving adventure that is at the same time both
sprawling and intimate. While Odysseus' many aquatic adventures both fantastic
and erotic were treated with dramatic flair, the play centered on his longing
to return to his wife and son...neither of whom know the man who has been
gone for twenty years.
a marriage like this be saved? What is the price of fame and fortune? Are
Heroes intentionally or accidentally created? Wizard Technical Director
Roper created a fantastic and multi-purpose milieu for the show
in Off The Wall's intimate space. Elements as varied as Middle
Eastern and Asian Theater and Modern musical comedy and Pop were used to
guide us on this theatrical journey. Handmade masks, hundreds of feet of
colorful material, puppets, a stage filled with threads of yarn, and a
giant weather balloon all played a part in the proceedings. The musical
score for the production created by Gutzman, Roper, and Patrick McCann
included ancient songs and modern pop tunes.
familiar with the Witch Circle saw men turned into Pigs, Cyclops, the one-eyed
giant, and the drug addicting Lotus Eaters, but they also thrilled to Odysseus
doing battle with one hundred and twenty men, a trip through Hades with
zombie like creatures, tempestuous sea storms, and the maddening Song of
Playing the monumental role of Odysseus
was Claudio Parrone Jr., who won accolades in 2014 as Cliff in Off
The Wall's production of CABARET.
As his long suffering wife, Penelope and
the Witch Circe, and the Enchantress Calypso, Jacqueline Roush returned
to the Off The Wall stage. She was a favorite as Cinderella in our
production of Into The Woods a few years ago.
McCann, a new young actor with the company, who last appeared as Jennifer
in Valley Of The Dolls, here played Telemachus, Odysseus' son.
Tairre Christopherson, who last
appeared in Romeo and Juliet, played the role of Zeus and also appears
in other guises.
Marann Curtis, was Athena, and
Gonzales was the Princess Nausicaa.
Jeremy C. Welter, Off The Wall
Director, played the villainous suitor for Penelope's hand, Antinous, and
Williamson, who scored big in both Rope and Valley Of The
Dolls, played Eurymachus, his henchman. Rob Preston played Elpanor,
the young innocent sailor who pays a terrible price for his adoration of
Derek Lobacz played the Cyclops,
and the many other characters in this imaginative adaptation were played
by: Paul Pfannenstiel, James Feeley, Babara Zaferos, Barbara Weber,
Mark Ninneman and Sandy Lewis.