Sunday, March 02, 2014

Ode to Joy

Craig Lucas's new play Ode to Joy should maybe come with a warning for those, like me, who are easily nauseated. If the sight of blood, vomit, or people fainting makes you queasy, you should be aware that this play has all those things.
Photo credit: Sandra Coudert
The play is narrated by Adele (Kathryn Erbe), an artist, drug addict, and alcoholic, reflecting on her relationships with Bill (Arliss Howard) and Mala (Roxanna Hope). The actors were all believable, grounding the play with their performances, but the play veered between surreal and naturalistic, and it was hard to get a grip on the tone. The problem could be Lucas directing his own work. After reading this interview with Lucas in The New York Times, I was able to appreciate where he was coming from writing the play, but perhaps he was too close to the material and could have benefited from another perspective.

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