A Greek myth is brought to life in a nothing shy of dramatic rendition of a classic play featuring the familiar chaos of the royal family of Atossa, her husband Darius and their son Xerxes. “The Persians” starts off with the enthusiastic supporting cast showcasing lost hope, the loss of loved ones, and the loss of a once civilized society. The audience is drawn to focus on the supporting characters and the chorus that come alive on stage giving us the explicit impression that something has gone terribly wrong.
At this point, the cast has righteously grasped the audience’s undivided attention to the point where the audience is at the edge of their seats wondering about what else might be in store. The storyline then takes off as Atossa, the Queen of Persia has been held accountable for all the chaos among the Persians. The Queen is incredibly overwhelmed with the fact that she cannot control what is going on, but knows she must answer to her people. But, what is going on? It’s war! Throughout the play, beautifully casted characters exude an extraordinary performance while showcasing the horrors of the Persians at this time.
At last, returns Xerxes, the son of Atossa and Darius – admitting to his crimes and feeling justified while doing so. Xerxes feels no remorse over the aftermath of his choices. Now how does everyone react to his return? You just have to watch to find out. Atossa played by Fred Carlton was portrayed as a powerful warrior woman who used her reign of power for nurture and care of her people. He played the character with great emotion that guided the audience throughout the play. Beyond that, his vocals in the show were pitched superbly.
Xerxes played by Colin Carter, magnificently stole the show by bringing in the dark and crepuscular aspect of the play onto the stage. Playing a character with such tragic and heroic flaws was a hard enough expectation, but to play this tragic hero in such a stupefying manner was completely unexpected. Let’s not forget about the performance of Josh Hansen who played the king, Darius. A ghost is what he appeared to be and just like a ghost he performed and then vanished. The scene where Atossa feels the presence of Darius is the most expressive scene of the whole play.
This scene showcases Atossa’s battle with herself as she begins to unravel the secrets uncovering the truth about her son and the people she is guarding. The scene is thrilling, slightly romantic, and most definitely tragic in every sense of the word. The supporting characters and the chorus did wonderfully as well, showcasing their talents in singing, dancing, and the dramatic portrayals seen on stage. Lights were striking the theatre as the audience settled on both sides of the runway-like stage.
The lights accompanied the drama on stage and gave the actors a tool to shine under. The props used were extremely creative in which they served their purpose and exemplified the points being presented in each scene. My personal favorite is the black origami figures they used to represent war equipment such as spikes in the opening act. The costumes were consistently put-together and allowed the characters to sing and dance comfortably while making powerful statements during the play. The sound effects were riveting and well-picked.
Every aspect of this play was fascinating. Everything from the lights, the stage position, props, costumes, and even sound effects. This modern take on the Persians is a must-see for anyone who has explored the mythological stories of Atossa, Darius, and Xerxes. Once you are at the show, you will be in for quite a ride through the epic theatrical performances of the cast, the wonderful harmonies of the chorus, and a story told like no other. Do not miss your chance to experience the tragedy of Xerxes and his chaotic journey.