Brooklyn Academy of Music
January 18, 2019
|Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Acadmey of Music|
Medea, written and directed by Simon Stone, is a chilling retelling of the Euripides tragedy. It is produced by BAM, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam, and David Lan, and playing at the Harvey Theater. The cast, lead by Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale, is brilliant. The action is magnified by camera work and large projections. Mr. Stone chooses to tell the most dramatic parts of the story through narrative. The psychic distance in the narrative combined with the close-up camera work create stunning effects and intense emotional engagement.
|Bobby Cannavale, Rose Byrne, Simon Stone, & Dylan Baker|
Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Academy of Music
Anna (played by Rose Byrne) is released from a short stay at a mental facility. Her husband, Lucas (played by Bobby Cannavale), is there to pick her up, along with their two sons (played by Gabriel Amoroso and Emeka Guindo). The boys are happy to see their mother. It is clear that Lucas and Anna are separated and that Lucas is seeing someone else, but the details are purposefully avoided. Anna manipulates Lucas into spending the night with her and the boys. She later reveals the reason for her hospital stay. She started poisoning Lucas when she found out about his affair with Clara (played by Madeline Weinstein). She acts as if his on-going relationship with Clara is not an issue, until Lucas tells her that Clara is pregnant. When Lucas is relocated with his job and decides to take the boys with him, Anna crosses deeper into the darkness of her illness.
Rose Byrne and Bobby Cannavale are powerful together. They are strongly connected and enact a web of manipulation, guilt, compassion, and denial that push Anna to the point of no return. Ms. Byrne calmly plays Anna as a woman on the edge. She is in total control and portrays Anna’s break from reality with complete conviction. You feel for her, until her actions take an extreme turn. Mr. Cannavale portrays levels of loyalty, devotion, and indecision in the character of Lucas. His performance is truthful and genuine. He character is unaware of how he enables Anna in her plan.
Medea is playing downtown Brooklyn at BAM Harvey Theater through February 23. It is a haunting and unique retelling of the Medea story. Don’t miss it!