Theater review by Helen Shaw. Interart Theatre Annex (see the Off-Off List). By Teddy Jefferson and Matt Opatrny. Directed and choreographed by Jessica Burr. With ensemble cast. 1hr 30mins. No intermission.
Theater is meant to take its audience on a journey, but Blessed Unrest’s sweet, slightly confused Eurydice’s Dream goes this task one better. Despite a swirl of classical mythology references, Dream evokes nothing so much as a summer spent backpacking through Europe. An archetypal young traveler, Amerika (Jessika D. Williams), falls for a local; gorgeous people burble in foreign tongues (Tatyana Kot counts backward in Russian); couples pair off in a series of lustful but strangely unspecific romances. Also, there’s several gratuitous tangos.
Director-devisor Jessica Burr and her company introduce couples such as Echo and Narcissus, Eurydice and Orpheus and then tangle their stories with strange visitations from the modern-day. Since the work operates through dream logic (imagine a Martha Clarke piece with house music), the texts by Teddy Jefferson and Matt Opatrny don’t have to link to each other—though it’s unfortunate that even in aggregate, they don’t amount to much, either. The talent is there: We get occasional fantastic sequences (standouts Andrew Dahl and Darrell Stokes gossiping about torture), but they tend to give way to the fuzzier atmospherics of the arcadian romp. These problems, though, collapse in the face of a cast dancing its pants (literally) off. You may try to resist them, to protest that the “remastering Ovid” movement is tired, but joy and rhythm have their own rules. In Dream, we’re seduced by how completely awake everyone is: Performers race around the tiny Interart theater, ricocheting off walls and ceiling. There’s no gravity here, yet in its absence we have magnetism and electricity.—Helen Shaw