AISLE SAY San Francisco


by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Jeffrey Lo
Presented by Palo Alto Players
Lucie Stern Theater
1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA /(650) 329-0891

Reviewed by Judy Richter

Playwright Sarah Ruhl gives the classic story of Orpheus and Eurydice a new interpretation in "Eurydice," presented by Palo Alto Players.

Rather than focus on musician Orpheus's efforts to retrieve his deceased wife, Eurydice, from the underworld, Ruhl makes Eurydice the center of attention. In Ruhl's version, Eurydice (Sarah Moser) reunites with her father (Scott Solomon), who has been trying to contact her. Father is a character invented by Ruhl.

Orpheus (Wes Gabrillo) goes to the underworld to bring his wife back. However, the Nasty Interesting Man/Child (Evan Michael Schumacher), who rules there, tells him she will follow him back to the upper world, but if he looks back, she'll die again.

Director Jeffrey Lo has assembled a solid cast, which also includes Maureen O'Neill, Monica Ho and Monica Cappuccini as the Chorus of Stones in the underworld. He also has a good design team with the set by Janny Coté, lighting by Nick Kumamoto, costumes by Tanya Finkelstein and sound by Jeff Grafton.

However, neither strong acting nor first-rate designs can overcome the production's slow pace and the plot's lack of compelling interest, thus making the 90 minutes without intermission seem much longer.

It's a disappointment after Ruhl's more successful plays, such as "Dear Elizabeth," "Dead Man's Cell Phone" and "The Clean House."

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