Santa Monica Lookout
|Homer Comes to Santa Monica|
By Lookout Staff
January 16, 2014 -- Called “explosive,” “breathtaking” and “spellbinding” by critics across the country, “An Illiad” comes to Santa Monica this week for what promises to be a highlight of the theater season.
The one-man show at Santa Monica College’s The Eli & Edythe Broad Stage is based on Homer’s epic tale as concieved by Obie Award-winner Lisa Peterson, who directs, and Tony Award-winner Denis O’Hare, who plays the timeless poet.
O’Hare, who stars in “American Horror Story” and “True Blood,” recently received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club.”
The play “captures the grief and glory of the Battle of Troy and its relevance to the modern world,” according to promoters of the production that opened Wednesday.
“An Iliad” consists of a sole actor playing Homer and telescopes the epic ten year Trojan war into a few weeks that illuminates “both the heroism and the horror of warfare,” according to the New York Times.
“Mr. O’Hare and Ms. Peterson,” the Times wrote, “have condensed the long sweep of the ‘Iliad’s’ narrative with intelligence, naturally eliding much of the endlessly detailed to-ing and fro-ing between the armies and the interfering gods above.”
The play creates a “Sisyphean nightmare wherein (Homer) is condemned to recount his story of war… until mankind learns of its own folly,” wrote the Chicago Tribune. The actor recites a painfully long list of the major wars, ending with current conflicts in Syria and Libya.
“You could see ‘An Iliad’ as an anti-war piece, and it is, but there also is strikingly little distance between the way Homer speaks and what great generals invariably have to say,” the Tribune critic wrote. “Those who have seen war firsthand usually understand its costs.”
All performances will take place at the Eli & Edythe Broad Stage, 1310 11th Street in Santa Monica at 8 p.m. on January 15, 17, 21, 22, 24, 25, 28, 29, 31 and February 1, and at 1 p.m. on January 18.
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