By Lee Hartgrave
ELEKTRA BOMBS AT A.C.T
Electra is an excellent play, but this A.C.T. version is completely destroyed by poor casting. Actually, it is an embarrassment. Olympia Dukakis is over the top. She can’t quite get the ebb and flow of it. She never builds to true emotion – she just kind of stands around.
The audience was mesmerized by boredom. Yep, this Greek Tragedy was the audience. I felt sorry for the famed Rene Augesen as she crawls around on the stage. I won’t bore you about The Greek King, who sacrifices his youngest daughter to the gods.
Yes, a little bunch of people stood up to applaud the actors. Probably relatives. Dukakis doesn’t do a hell of a lot, except to enter from the aisle. Her Arm flaying, is way too much. It’s kind of laughable.
Augesen groveled around on the floor too much. She’s a really great actor, but it did not come across this time. The set was a messy city slum lot that is surrounded by a metal chain-link fence. But wait – that’s not enough – on top of the fence is barbed wire. And there is junk all over the stage floor.
Best in my opinion, is Caroline Lagerfelt as (Clytemnestra) – as the best actor in the play. She conveys bone-chilling treachery. But, of course, that is what will be her undoing.
In the audience, some actors found the play to be a bad choice.
(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED
RATING: TWO GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!! -trademarked-