“Oedipus Rex” opened with a dramatic flair at the Gilbert Theater on March 26 and will continue until April 11.
Based on the infamous Greek myth written by Sophocles in 429 B.C. about the cursed king Oedipus and his tragic misfortune.
The story entices the audience with compelling drama, songs and acting. Director and adapter Montgomery Sutton successfully simplifies the language for everyone to understand without taking away its charm.
The drama takes viewers on a journey through the plague-stricken city of Thebes, where the citizens beg their king Oedipus to find a solution.
After promising to end their misfortunes, Oedipus receives a prophecy that changes his life. Told to solve the murder of the last king of Thebes which went unsolved, Oedipus sets himself on a path to seek the truth for his people that leads to his own doom.
Returning actress Deannah Robinson plays Oedipus and perfectly captures his character - slightly arrogant, paranoid, honest, righteous, a loving husband, father and king. Seen before at the Gilbert in productions like “Laramie Project” and “Barefoot in the Park,” she brings to stage a new character.
Playing Oedipus brought new enlightenment in the rehearsals, and there was more sympathy for him, Robinson said.
The production showcases an almost trial in search of the truth, and Oedipus becoming more and more paranoid. Tiresias, the blind prophet, played by Ella Mock, tells Oedipus that he himself is the murderer of the last king. Oedipus then blames Tiresias for treason, then his brother-in-law Creon.
The drama unfolds to when an ambassador of Corinth comes forth and a shepherd to confirm that Oedipus was the abandoned prince of
Thebes, adopted by the royalty of Corinth and did in fact kill his birth father, Laius, and marry his own mother, Jocasta.
Mock, who plays multiple characters in the show including Tiresias and Antigone, said they were excited about how the show flows.
The show sees many of the actors playing various roles with much ease and talent. Mock’s performance of the blind prophet Tirisius was outstanding and leaves the audience at the edge of their seat. Tim Zimmerman did well in his various roles, but stood out as Creon.
The music is made better with the live instruments being played and the stunning voices of Zimmerman, Mock and Helen Steffan.
Those familiar with the original Greek myth know that the story ends with heartbreak for Oedipus and his kin, as he gouges out his own eyes, symbolizing his blindness of the obvious truth and his gruesome fate.
Audiences can expect a night of much drama, and perhaps some sympathy for Oedipus
For tickets and more information about the Gilbert visit, https://www.gilberttheater.com/index.php