February 27, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Theater Review: Sophocles’ Elektra:

The tale of the cursed family of the House of Atreus is one of the most popular themes in Greek myth. Of the many dramatizations by Greek and other playwrights, Sophocles’ version of the myth, “Elektra,” is considered a masterpiece. This play, directed by Carey Perloff, and translated by Timberlake Wertenbaker, is being presented at the Getty Villa in the manner of the ancient Greeks-in an outdoor amphitheatre, with the main Getty Museum building representing the palace of the family of Atreus.

The story treats of revenge and the inability to forget the past. It is several years after the death of King Agamemnon at the hands of his wife Clytemnestra. Elektra, their daughter, lives in a state of perpetual mourning for her father and constantly gripes about her need for revenge. She hates Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus and cannot abide the thought that they are enjoying themselves in her father’s bed. (If this makes Elektra sound a bit like a female Hamlet, it’s probably not a coincidence. Shakespeare was doubtless familiar with the story). But Elektra, a woman, is not supposed to carry out a plan of revenge. She wavers between vows to take action, and admonishments by her conciliatory sister Chrysothemis. Her hope is that her brother Orestes, whom she had sent away with a tutor/guardian for his own protection, will return to help her put things right.

Central to every Greek drama is a chorus which represents the community. The chorus in this production is embodied as one woman, stage and screen veteran Olympia Dukakis, whose arresting voice and maturity establish her as both social conscience and as a friendly concerned matron who tries to soothe and counsel the troubled Elektra. Accompanying Dukakis are Sharon Omi as a vocalist who proclaims in Greek, and Theresa Wong, a cellist, who provides musical “commentary.” This innovation works much better for modern audiences than the speeches given (or originally chanted) by a group chorus.

Annie Purcell has a challenge in the role of Elektra. The character can easily come across as simply whiny. Purcell finds Elektra’s reserve of strength as well as her perhaps unintended humorous moments. One can see the parallels between Elektra and another of Sophocles’ nobly doomed heroines, Antigone. While Elektra’s actions are not as overtly political as Antigone’s, Purcell hints at the assertive nature that might have given Elektra a different kind of life in a different situation.

Pamela Reed, as Clytemnestra, wraps her obvious evil in a deviously charming exterior. Manoel Feliciano, as Orestes, gets into the action rather late in the play but gradually gives shading to his somewhat mysterious character. Jack Willis, as the tutor, creates a wonderful character whom one wishes could be a “sidekick” in another kind of play. His description of a tragic accident at a chariot race is vivid enough to give every audience member their own mind’s-view of the incident.

But Dukakis is the performer that most people will remember if they see this production. She is the asker of the questions that we might all have if we knew this family and if we were worried about Elektra. Above all, she exudes a maternal understanding that suggests that she is Elektra’s mother-surrogate.

Elektra runs through October 2 at the Getty Villa at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

in News
Related Posts

Iconic Venice Beach Sculpture and Landmark to be Removed, Returned to Artist’s Property

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Since the Money, Effort or Desire to Purchase the Piece Appears to Not Be There, the Artist Wants It Back...

(Video) Heartfelt candlelight vigils in Westchester and West Hollywood for Nex Benedict

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

The non-binary 16 year old student with Choctaw ancestry died in Owasso, Oklahoma after being beaten by three older high...

Sweet Lady Jane Sparks Hope of Return – Popular Bakery Hints at Reopening Across LA

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

After Abrupt Closures, Beloved Bakery Hints at a Comeback, Leaving Fans Intrigued  Sweet Lady Jane, a Los Angeles cake bakery...

Waymo’s LA Expansion Hits Roadblock: CPUC Temporarily Halts Self-Driving Company’s Plans

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

California Public Utilities Commission suspends Waymo’s service expansion for 120 days. California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has put a temporary...

Real Estate Giant Funds LAPD Union Fund to Sway L.A. City Council Election in March

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Santa Monica Company Responsible for LA’s Largest Mass Eviction Gives $400,000 Santa Monica-based Real estate investment trust company Douglas Emmett...

Santa Monica College Unveils 2024 Spring Jazz Series Lineup

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Tickets for each concert are priced at $10 and can be purchased in advance The Santa Monica College Music Department...

Downtown Wellness Center Bridges Gap Between Psychedelics and Meditation

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

The Center Has Partnered With Local Agencies and Gave Free Sessions to Around 500 Veterans in Two Years By Zach...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Calls Special Board of Education Meeting

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

SMMUSD Gathers to Address Time-Sensitive Resolutions In a press release sent on Saturday, February 24, The Santa Monica-Malibu School District...

 39th Independent Spirit Awards Celebrates Independent Cinema in Santa Monica

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Hosts Annual Awards Ceremony Amid Pro-Palestinian Protest The 39th Independent Spirit Awards ceremony, another precursor to the...

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Landlords’ Challenge to Rent-Control Laws

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

New York Landlords’ Bid to Challenge Rent-Control Laws Fails The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a significant property rights...

Ocean Park Triplex Hits Market Again After 36 Years at $1.6M

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

The property presents an enticing opportunity for owner-users or developers For the first time in over 36 years, this triplex,...

Cher Drops Price of Her Seven-Bedroom Malibu Mansion by $10M

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

The legendary singer bought the parcel for $2.95 million over 30 years ago By Zach Armstrong Music icon Cher has...

(Video) Baltaire’s DJ Brunch is Ready to Make Your Weekend Fabulous

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Baltaire is America’s Favorite Neighborhood Steakhouse. A Contemporary Restaurant in Brentwood With Classic Genes, Baltaire Is Where to Enjoy Brunch...

During Lean Times for the City, Certain Staff Members Slated to Get Hefty Raises

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Proposed Equity Adjustments Raise Questions Amid Budgetary Concerns The next Santa Monica City Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday,...

Blue Bus Seeks Input on How to Improve Service

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Through Brighter Blue, Big Blue Bus Aims to Develop a Strategic Plan for Implementing System Enhancements Over Five Years Santa...