If every unhappy family really is unhappy in its own way, few take a more operatic and blood-soaked path than the ill-fated House of Atreus. Rogue Theatre Company presents its “Oresteia” in three parts, spanning two millennia of theatrical treatments. The strongest piece here is the last, Charles Mee’s “Orestes 2.0,” in which a media-savvy Orestes confronts three Eumenides perched over a game of Sorry and a chorus shambling through a mental institution. Nate White’s direction ably juggles the various planes of Mee’s action, evoking the real terror at the center of Orestes’ story. The choice of Euripides’s “Iphigenia at Aulis” as the representative of classical tragedy is unusual—the play depicts the back story to the Orestes trilogy, with Orestes appearing only as a baby. It’s a treat to see this strange, rarely performed play, with its inappropriate comic echoes, and John Arthur Lewis turns in a strong performance as Agamemnon. But generally lackluster direction and performances hamper this section, particularly toward the end. Finally, Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s “Elektra” again gives us a rare glimpse at a gem of German expressionism. While Lisa Stran White, a central player in all three sections, displays her range with this monstrous, desiccated Clytemnestra, Nancy Moricotte’s frenzied Elektra too often plunges shamelessly over the top. (John Beer)
This production is now closed.