by R. Hurwitt and Anna Mantaris
for SF Gate
Beth Donohue is a monumental Medea,
her versatile voice reaching depths
of grief and heights of rage as
Euripides' eternal figure of wronged
and monstrously vengeful womanhood.
Her performance is undercut by director
Russell Blackwood's semi-camp revenge-melodrama
approach and the uneven supporting
cast in a 100-minute Shotgun Players
production that veers raggedly from
tragedy to farce.
A romantic breakup might drive
some to a pint of Häagen-Dazs
and a marathon viewing of the "Sex
and the City" box sets, but
if you're Medea and your husband
leaves you for a young blonde, Rocky
Road and a little TV isn't your
idea of comfort. With "Medea,"
the Shotgun Players, directed by
Russell Blackwood, have brought
Euripides' classic tragedy to the
UC Theatre. Amid the organ music
and in the grandiose former movie
house, Beth Donohue gives a phenomenal
performance as the title character
-- the notorious figure with "otherworldly"
powers who seeks revenge after being
dumped by her husband, Jason, and
booted out of Corinth by King Creon.
She plots, she plans, she goes to
any length to share the grief. Sans
love and with a sentence of exile,
Medea is a force to be reckoned
-- Anna Mantzaris
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