Poor Orestes! Ever since he and his sister Electra killed their mom on the orders of a god, he can’t get no relief. Matricide-avenging Furies subject him to violent fits of madness, like a heroin addict trying to cold-turkey, and only a likely sentence of death by stoning waits to end his torment.
But lo, his buddy Pylades has a plan.
Forget the fact that Euripides’s Orestes was first performed more than 2,400 years ago. Anne Washburn’s new “transadaptation,” cheekily subtitled A Tragic Romp and brought to incongruous life in director Aaron Posner’s kinetic new staging at the Folger Theatre, is one of the spriest entertainments in town. Powered by Jay Sullivan’s ashen, bloodshot turn in the title role, and spiked by frequent, floorboard-threatening musical numbers via a five-woman dance-team-as-Greek-chorus, it’s as tonally erratic as it is totally awesome. Continue reading