An interesting concept, The Minotaur at Synchronicity Theatre provides theatergoers with a unique and thought-provoking production. At the heart of the play is the eternal question that humans have been grappling with since the dawn of literature: What role does fate and love play in our lives?
Based on the Greek myth of the Minotaur, Anna Ziegler has crafted a comedy that marries the ancient story with modern pop culture to create a play that is humorous at times and philosophical in others. The show is narrated by a Rabbi, a lawyer and a priest that act similarly to a Greek chorus. The story of the half-man and half-bull exists, in this version, but the playwright updates it. But, what makes this postmodern take on the story different is that the characters are aware of being characters in a story that is being retold over and over, and they begin to question their own fate much to the chagrin of the lawyer, the rabbi and the priest.
Directed by Rachel May, the production is quick-paced and seamless, incorporating the multifaceted set, designed by Ryan Bradburn. His eye-catching design includes a proscenium arch filled with various objects related to the story, and it includes a curtain that can be pulled shut to showcase shadow puppets at certain times throughout the show.
The chorus includes Suehyla El-Attar as the Rabbi, Anthony Goolsby as the Lawyer, and Nicholas Tecosky as the priest. Each one has a chance to earn the spotlight and are good in their roles; however, on opening night there were several noticeably flubbed lines.
Tony Larkin shines as the Minotaur, and he tends to overshadow the others onstage with the strongest performance of the production. His take on the part is compelling and he highlights the human characteristics of the character. Both Rachel Frawley as Ariadne and Brandon Partrick are entertaining as they grapple with the idea that love can overcome fate.
The production, while witty, is also extremely philosophical. The ideas of the play are provocative, but it may prove too deep for the casual theater patron. However, Ziegler has crafted amusing, whimsical dialogue that keeps one’s attention.
A Joint World Premiere with Rorshach Theatre in Washington DC, The Minotaur plays through November 11, 2012 with performances held at Horizon Theatre. For tickets and more information, please visit Synchronicity Theatre’s website. The play runs about 90 minutes with no intermission.
– Kenny Norton