“Oedipus Complex” is a show likely to give a theatergoer an insecurity complex of their own, the kind you feel after you’ve left a play wondering if and how you could have been given everything—great venue (The Goodman), great director (Frank Galati), great subject matter (Greek mythology through a Freudian filter)—but a great show. The fundamental problem with “Oedipus Complex” is that the back story to Sigmund Freud, as well as the drama of his struggle to break through and formulate the ideas that would become the basis of his psychoanalytic theories, pales in comparison to the back story of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and the drama of watching a vainglorious and misguided man come to the realization that he has murdered his father and is sleeping with his mother. To be fair, Galati’s lyrical yet accessible adaptation of Sophocles and exposition on Freud—most of which is crisply articulated by a fourteen-member male Greek chorus—ensures that even the playgoer with little familiarity on both subjects will be quickly brought up to speed. Unfortunately, after ninety minutes there’s nothing particularly fresh or insightful to glean from the Freudian ideas on parade and any enjoyment and engrossment during the modern-dress Oedipus portion is stifled every time the drama of theater must concede to the drama of discourse, of which there is little as evidenced by some of the dozing opening night patrons seated around me. (Fabrizio O. Almeida)
This production is now closed.