Examining love, marriage, and Prop 8, The Lily's Revenge is more party than play - and when theater people throw a party, they throw it BIG.
Abandoning its usual fare of thoughtful but considerably more sedate programming, Magic Theatre is hosting an enormous, five-hour bash featuring dozens of local artists surrounding the beglittered ringleader - playwright and burlesque performer Taylor Mac. Pulling in vaudeville, feminist theory, circus, dream ballets, and the occasional haiku, The Lily's Revenge is a massive social experiment unlike anything you’ve seen at the theater.
Local favorite Liz Duffy Adam’s latest play is a departure from her usual post-apocalyptic sci-fi fare. Instead, her deft and witty pen sketches the cross-dressing, spying, bodice-ripping life story of Aphra Behn, the first professional female playwright. Dodging King Charles II, his mistress Nell Gwynne, and murderous double agents, Aphra works feverishly to finish her script and launch herself as an historical figure.
Octavio Solis could be called the Midas of local theater - anything he touches turns to gold. It could in turn be argued that Tarell Alvin McCraney, the gifted playwright behind Brothers Size, doesn’t need any help. But judging from audience and critical response (across the board raves) - it certainly doesn’t hurt.
Plowing through your day is so much easier when you don't stop to consider the possibility that you might be accidentally mowed down in a grocery store parking lot and wake up to find yourself immobile in a hospital bed. Lydia Stryck's deftly written script contemplates just such a scenario - and what happens when the man behind the wheel becomes a friend to the woman who can no longer move her arms.
Put the Greek chorus in prison orange, make Oedipus a charismatic Chicano ex-con, throw the whole thing in the blender of MacArthur genius grant-winner Luis Alfaro's cunning brain and you get Oedipus El Rey, a gripping re-imagination of the classic myth. (Oedipus was the dude who killed his father and married his mother after a Seer warned his father that his new son would be his doom. So his father banished Oedipus, accidentally setting all events in motion. Whoops.)
Why are you the person you are? Were you deeply and/or direly affected by your childhood? Inevitably wrecked or redeemed by past lovers? Somehow disseminated by that tuna melt at the roadside Idaho diner in 2002? We all have a different story about how and why we’re the person we’ve become. Goldfish, now in its last weekend at Magic Theatre, explores that question for two college students – a young man who raises his own father and then flees home and the woman he meets mid-flight. His new love turns our hapless hero inside out, possibly the result of a lingering malaise from her own childhood under the thumb of a veritable tornado of a mother.