Buntport tackles Greek tragedy in oddball style
Inventive Buntport Theater members have again taken a literary classic and skewed it in their own inimitable manner. Perceiving similarities between Sophocles' Greek tragedies and today's soap operas, they chose to produce a “modern” version of “Electra” by Sophocles — a violent tale of murder and more murder.
The "Electra Onion Eater" set includes a kitchen, an outside green area with a grave and a den-like space with easy chair and TV.
Electra weeps a great deal in the original as she mourns her late father, Agamemnon, who was killed by his wife, Electra's mother Clytemnestra, so she could marry Aegisthus.
Buntport's writing team has Electra (Erin Rollman) constantly chopping onions for pie to ensure copius crying, while evil Clytemnesrtra (Hanna Duggan) watches soaps on a TV in the next room.
Electra longs for her brother Orestes (Erik Edborg) who wanders home from his travels, accompanied by a guy named Bruce (Drew Horwitz).
Characters intersperse lines from the original play with new dialogue and pretty much follow Sophocles' melodramatic plot, as they watch/listen to the cast of “Search for Tomorrow” (taped by Karen Slack, Michael Morgan, Jessica Roblee and Brian Colonna) — and plot to eliminate Clytemnestra.
There will be blood!
As audiences have come to expect, the production is clever and silly. Leave preconceived expectations at home and come to enjoy the work of a very original theater company. Members have worked together in Denver for more than 10 years since they graduated from Colorado College together, using classics as source material as they write their material — and at times creating new works, including musicals, from scratch.
(I found it useful to look at a summary or two of Sophocles' original play prior to heading for the theater, just to get the names straight!)