A REVIEW: MET’s “Antigone”
Sunday the Maryland Ensemble Theatre almost busted apart from energy and creativity. The MET opened a version of Sophocles’ “Antigone” written by Reiner Prochaska and shaped by director Julie Herber.
In the starring lead Vanessa Strickland headed a troupe of consummate professionals. Ms. Strickland plays a doomed woman, daughter of a king, who seeks to bury her brother who fell in rebellion against her father’s successor. Obviously not a laugh festival, still very entertaining.
Ken Poison receives main credit for the set that features numerous television screens, frequently filled with actors’ features, videotaped by adapter Prochaska. Experienced choreographer Herber created movements that keep the evening humming right along. Her version of the Greek chorus sparkles and shimmers; not a single moment goes for stiff-arms-by-the-sides declamations, especially in the intimate space below the old Francis Scott Key Hotel.
Whatever I expected, the MET’s company exploded out in the middle of West Patrick Street and that was after only four public performances. I know from reviewing experiences, especially at Washington’s Arena Stage, particularly on an original work: Things settle down when the artistic team remains in place and improve. What I saw Sunday evening was a piece in transition, headed for a happier fate.
The real question in mind: Will MET’s “Antigone” get there with so few performances. The production will hang around only until April 15. If you have spark of love for the theatre, you must trot a hot path to the former FSK Hotel. You will enjoy the goings-on and the clashes that creativity and energy spark.