The war is finally over. Helen (Robin Christ) yearns to be reunited with her husband, Menelaus (Douglas Lay) upon his return from Troy. No, she never went to Troy, but stayed at the tomb of Proteus, the late king of Egypt who had protected her.
Translator, historian, Greek scholar and Euripides expert Marianne McDonald, Ph.D., teamed with J. Michael Walton, Ph.D., creating this highly accessible and entertaining translation of Helen by Euripides. Christ brings Helen engrossingly to life. Yes, Helen is the most beautiful woman in the world. No, she did not commit adultery with Paris. That was all a phantom created by that nasty Hera.
Director Douglas Lay, who also plays Helen’s husband, Menelaus, King of Sparta, combines Scenic Designer Vince Sneddon’s classic tomb with his own contemporary costume design. Brian Abraham plays returning soldier Teucer as well as a persistent, highly emotional Theoclymenus, King of Egypt. The chorus includes Bianca Chapman, Vanessa Milton, and Melissa Hamilton. They assist in telling Helen’s story in word, song, and dance.
Helen, The Theatre, Inc.’s third play in their inaugural season, will be followed by The Country Wife. The company is devoted to presenting only classics. The quality of their productions is always excellent.
Christ’s energy and strength dominate the stage. Even when being man-handled by Abraham’s Theoclymenus, she seems to control the action. Helen is an intense role demanding the best from an actress, and this actress is the best.
Whether you are a lover of the classics or just have a passing interest in them, please take the opportunity to see this production. At just moments over one hour, this production offers an insightful look at the Greeks. Helen runs Thursday thru Sunday to August 3, 2008 at Swedenborg Hall, 1531 Tyler Avenue, University Heights. For reservations and information call 619 216-3016 or go to www.thetheatreinc.com. Don’t miss it!
Cast: Robin Christ, Walter Murray, Brian Abraham, Bianca Chapman, Melissa Hamilton, Vanessa Milton
Technical Staff Producer & Property Design Melissa Hamilton, SM Roslie Celestial, Scenic Design Vince Sneddon, Lighting Design Mitchell Simkovsky, Sound Design Eusevio Cordova, Costume Design Douglas Lay
Total Rating: Four Stars
Author: Translated by Marianne McDonald & J. Michael Walton
Director: Douglas Lay
Date Reviewed: March 28, 2008
Dates: Thursday thru Sunday to August 3, 2008
Running Time: 67 minutes with no intermission
1531 Tyler Avenue