Great show … no BS

Modern Tale

By Angela Theresa Egic

The Minotaur is a fun little tale. Not complex. Entertaining and fun.

A child is conceived by a horny Bull, and a royal human woman, in some land in an unknown ancient time. The boy, born of this unholy union, is locked away as a beast; he is a monster who enjoys eating the brains of people. This ancient time includes modern conveniences such as email, Facebook, and social media.

Later, the royal family had a human daughter, conceived from their humaness. She, too, is in a prison of the royal household, like her brother, by her description. An angsty teenage girl or young adult having her first foray into love. Kat Reeve (Ariadne) visits her brother Dante Jayce (The Minotaur) most every day. And they are caught up in this tale of adventure, hero journey’s and more with the dashing, also angsty young man, Devin Romero (Theseus) as the hero and love interest of Kat’s focus.

In this tale by Anna Ziegler, our playwright of much honor, introduces us to three storytellers. Emerson Alstead Buchholz (The Lawyer) is superb as all the things we want in a modern lawyer. He is a comic professional with his delivery of each line.

Liz Dutton (The Rabbi) with all the humor and delivery of a true New York Jewish mother, in this case, who has never forgotten the Bull (as a lover), and still a vital woman with words of wisdom. Words which can floor everyone in the room.

Robert Maisonett (The Priest) quite a versatile actor. As a storyteller he is as fair as one can be, humorous and bold: Then, in a bit of role-playing, Robert transitions into a loving and sweet young girl. You really fell in love with “her”. Without a costume change or any need for it, Robert made both characters come alive for us, believable in both roles, very different people.

I have presented this a bit backwards, though. Even before the show technically began– was this Gabe Girson’s (Director) extraordinary creative vision? – Dante comes out with a wooden game (Connect 4) and really took the stage.

He is intimidating, before we knew he was truly a Bull/Human man who eats brains and said nothing. He would occasionally glare like a wild animal breaking that 4th wall. I was thoroughly entertained by it. Oddly, it seemed the audience around me were not really watching him. Dante’s entrance was so strong, though and I could not figure out why the audience wouldn’t shut up and pay attention.

Dante was definitely him – The Minotaur – seeking his prey the second he hit that stage. He’d stare down an unaware audience member, growl, and once he got the eye contact, he’d demand; only with his hands and stance, to join him on the edge of stage right for a game. A game of Connect 4.

He played with two audience members, separately, almost scaring them to play with him! Hilarious. And he growled, like the animal he was, when he lost to the older gentleman. He celebrated with a type of growl, a happy one, and preened, when he won over the female audience member.

Really delightful! I love how Dante owned that stage before the play started, and how it engaged the audience as part of the show, a pre-show, really.

Kat was wonderfully angst-ridden, sarcastic, and reminded us all what it’s like to be young, trying to find love and wanting to have love and a much more adventurous life than we have. Make sense? Her frustration at the adults/storytellers was funny and quite realistic to us who are no longer so youthful.

Her character is wise beyond her years and figuring out how to make the best of what life she may have.

Devin, in turn, a confused young man, a reluctant handsome hero. Yes, he wanted to impress the girl, and still, not to the point where he may die! These two actors conveyed the preposterous story’s adults tell us, and asking, in entertaining ways. Why?!

In the end, it all turns out the way one would want. In short, the story is written, but doesn’t mean we cannot change it. We have a mind and a choice!

A sobering message, done well. And with great humor, basically a bare stage. The actors had us right there in this old/new and no era, funny play. Kudos to a fun cast!

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