House Theatre’s “The Revel” Review- Euripides Remix

Loosely based on Euripides tragedy “The Bacchae”, “The Revel” is playwright Damon Kiely’s lamentation for those, like him, struggling with faith, according to the program notes. 

 

Lovers of all things Greek tragedy, a group that The Hypocrites probably added to with their “All Our Tragic” production this year and last, may revel in “The Revel”. 

 

 

So too may avid devotees of Appalachian style music and clog dancing, which fills the air throughout the production. 

 

 

The beautiful program book for the production, truly a standout, includes the score for one of the original songs, “I Am Renewed”, composed by Jess McIntosh with lyrics by McIntosh and Kiely.

 

 

The set-up of this parable is that the women of a town whose fate somehow depends on their continuing work as factory seamstresses decide instead to follow a preacher up the mountain to get away from their spiritual darkness, helped a bit by fire water moonshine. 

 

 

It’s the type of story that demands that you suspend disbelief and judgment from the start.  In this suspended reality head, you too will likely be startled by the macabre turn of events as the story unfolds. 

 

 

Lucky Plush fans will most sense a familiar touch by Director Leslie Buxbaum Danzig when they watch House company member Chris Matthews, playing Peter, the son of the family in the center of most action, as he dangles and swings on the set as if he is a happy gibbon. 

 

 

Grant Sabin’s set of moving stairs to evoke mountain sides, sheriff desks, and more is simple and memorable.

 

 

Now through October 25 at the Chopin Theatre Upstairs Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. For information or tickets visit The House Theatre website or call 773.769.3832.

 

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Photos:  Michael Brosilow

 

 

 

 

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