Y production of ‘The Odyssey’ shows a man’s journey home

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    By MARY FLEMING

    The audience’s imagination is an integral part of director Eric Samuelson’s production of “The Odyssey” at BYU.

    Performed by nine women and one man, the play depicts the man Odysseus (played by Cristian Bell, a senior from Dallas majoring in theater) and his journey home. Though being home with his wife is his one desire, most of the play shows Odysseus’ adventures in getting there.

    Unfortunately, many of the great lines are muffled underneath the mumbling of the cast members. Oftentimes the voices of the cast did not project loudly enough to hear what was being said. The play has a musical underscore almost the entire time, so the actors must project even more.

    But the underscore was not the problem. Composed by David Madden, a senior from Ogden majoring in music, the score seasons the performance with a variety of emotions. Adding energy and tension, Madden’s diverse musical underscore is not only an original take on the story but is appropriately alluring.

    The play is visually captivating. The entire set is composed of only a large metallic structure used to house everything from the gods to Odysseus himself. But because the stage is purposefully sparce, the characters become much of the set. Twirling around one another, the actors dance wildly as the waves tossing Odysseus in his travels. And it works.

    The cast pulled off what could have been awkward or unimpressive as the actors glided with grace and boasted fabulous costumes.

    Very unique costuming was done by Candida Nichols, a senior from Nampa, Idaho, majoring in theater and media arts. She had the challenge to create a mood of the ancient and modern worlds coexisting in the same time. Nichols combined ancient styles with flashy material. And most costumes fitted over the actors’ leotards for quick changes.

    “The Odyssey” shows Tuesdays through Thursdays through April 2 in the Margetts Arena Theater in the HFAC. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. with a matinee March 27 at 2 p.m.. Tickets cost $7 for BYU students and faculty and $9 general admission. For more information and ticket reservation, call the Harris Fine Arts Center Ticket Office at 378-4322.

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