THE DANCE OF DEATH

Odyssey Theatre
Los Angeles

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Critics LemonMeter

95%

A deliciously dark, relentlessly brutal and fiercely funny look at love everlasting. Military captain Edgar and his wife Alice, a former actress, live a bitter life on an isolated island, their marriage soured by hatred. As their 25th anniversary approaches, the two face off in a fierce battle of wills. When Alice’s cousin, Kurt arrives, he is quickly ensnared in the couple’s wicked game. A new version of August Strindberg’s biting black comedy by celebrated Irish playwright Conor McPherson. Sept 23 thru Nov. 19; Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. with three additional weeknight performances on Wednesday, Oct. 18; Thursday, Oct. 26; and Wednesday, Nov. 1, all at 8 p.m. The third Friday of every month (Oct. 20 & Nov. 17) is wine night at the Odyssey: enjoy complimentary wine and snacks and mingle with the cast after the show. For reservations and information, call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com.

Reviews

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"The dialogue is sharp, humorous, and downright ugly at times, and the performances are quite good. Larson blends a pitiful vulnerability with bully swagger, while Kimball is very much the cunning lynx. The piece is nicely complemented by Chu-Hsuan Chang’s lighting. - RECOMMENDED"

"Once more, the Odyssey should be recognized for their far-sightedness in reviving this work."

"Adapted by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, and directed with brilliant pacing and energy by Sossi, the three superb actors, Darrell Larson, Lizzy Kimball, Jeff LeBeau, are a well-matched trio. Apt dungeon set by Christopher Scott Murillo, lighting by Chu-Hsuan Chang, sound by Christopher Moscatiello, costumes by Halei Parker and props Misty Carlisle. Do not miss this Broadway-level production."

"Promoted as a precursor to Edward Albee's WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, comparisons to Albee's masterpiece does August Strindberg's THE DANCE OF DEATH, here adapted by Conor McPherson, a disservice."

"There is a deeper war to fight against anything that confines a human spirit no matter how comforting it might seem on the surface. As The Captain puts it “You forget, and you keep going.” That is how we have survived so many things, and yet that is exactly what torments us deep down. Hats off to The Odyssey for reminding us. "

"Overall, though, his text is tight and intelligent. And as LeBeau so ably demonstrates, the subtlety and depth is there for the playing."

"Artistic Director Ron Sossi wrings every drop of black humor from McPherson’s sharp-edged verbal assaults. Larson and Kimball frequently draw laughs with their perfectly-inflected insults. The disintegrating civility of LeBeau’s Kurt in the face of Edgar’s needling and Alice’s seduction is particularly well-focused."

"The cast, under the flawless direction of Ron Sossi, is superb, embodying the complex characters in all the Strindbergian twists and turns of plot and emotion... Odyssey Theatre Ensemble has mounted a classic play ideal in all ways. It is darkly, bitterly comedic, with characters who reveal themselves to possess no nobility whatsoever. It is a rare gem not to be missed."

"Thanks to McPherson and, above all to director Ron Sossi, who has worked miracles with this production, Strindberg’s importance and power can be felt viscerally once again."

"DANCE OF DEATH is an intense, powerful tale of two strong and complex people trapped together in a psychological spiral with no beginning and no end. Director Ron Sossi has a clear grasp of Strindberg’s message and brilliantly brings that message home with the aid of a very talented triad of actors. Scenic designer Christopher Scott Murillo’s set makes visual the psychological vice in which the couple find themselves – an internal prison within an external prison. Chu-Hsuan Chang’s shadowy lighting and Christopher Moscatiello’s muffled sound add to the stifling atmosphere of this particular jail."

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