|The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less
by Tri-School Theatre
Tri-School Theatre recently wrapped their 2017 fall production this past Sunday with the riotous Monte Python-like play, “The Illiad, The Odyssey and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less.” Directed by
Frankie Marrone, the show ran from November 9th through 12th and was featured in the Anaheim Center for the Performing Arts at Servite, but was presented as a blackbox production with audience seating onstage behind the main curtain.
Written by Jay Hopkins and John Hunter, founders of the Jester Theater, “The Iliad, The Odyssey and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less” is only one of several award winning Fringe shows they have co-authored. Others include: “6 Guitars,” “Superman Drinks,” and “Nashville Hurricane.” Hopkins and Hunter use pop culture as a rule to spoof some of the more overly dramatic moments in all their works, together with this one. If you’ve never seen this show before, think of
Saturday Night Live meets Jason and the Argonauts.
Sets were minimal, but effective, and the basic “stage” was a sandy-floored blocked off area in the round which simulated…literally everything. And as the hourglass clock was turned over, ticking in front of everyone's eyes, the cast speeds through all of Greek Mythology in a precise manner.
It’s funny, updated and made easy to understand. The Gods walk the Red
Carpet. The Creation of Mankind is a botched sub-contractors job. Man and Pandora try settling down despite an ominous wedding gift – a box that Zeus commands her to never open. But we all know how that went, right?
Love connections are on The Dating Game and the Greek Tragedies are sports highlights! And don't forget the two greatest stories ever told,
The Iliad and The Odyssey. The jokes are fast and furious, one after another. And so are the props. Many, many props. If you try to kidnap Helen of Troy, you've got a 10-year slap-fight of epic proportions with
pouty Achilles, war-hungry Agamemnon, and clever Odysseus, destined to wander the seas for 10 more years fighting giants, seductresses and the Gods themselves. All the silly decisions, the absurd destinies, and the goofy characters are presented lightning-bolt fast with hysterical results as the clock is finally stopped with only seconds to spare.
The actors in this production typically play multiple roles, switching back and forth as necessary, and the script is actually written for a minimum of 5 actors each playing between 18-32 characters, but can be cast in any combination, and roles may be divided according to the director’s discretion. For Tri-School, there were 22 actors – you do the math!
Some of the more standout key roles (only mentioning characters because of the vast cast) were Zeus and Achilles, Old Nestor, Perseus and Old Dog. The more impulsive and eager of the men, displaying raw emotions and passion were Odysseus, Hector and Hera. Definitely the goofiest and more cartoon-like characters were Hermes, Man, Paris, Agamemnon, Diomedes and Hercules. On a more dignified, mature note were Athena, Demeter, Patroklos and Oracle, while those playing young wayward fledglings were Aphrodite, Pandora, and Helen of Troy.
This is a show with a vast amount of energy, anachronistic references of course and more laughs than Bacchus had wine bottles. I have actually reviewed it many times in the past, but never laughed so hard as I did with Tri-School’s very talented cast. I suppose Red Skelton was right when he said, “it’s not the joke so much…it’s the delivery.” And, by Jupiter, that’s just what they did!.
Performed November 9 - 12, 2017
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~ Cast ~
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Alex Narrator, Man (Before), Aesculapius, Odysseus' Man: David Anderson
Hephaestus, Student, Hector, Odysseus' Man, Suitor, Midas, Trojan Soldier: Adrian Delgado
Narrator, Epimetheus, Eris, Nestor, Trojan Officer, Medea, Odysseus' Mother: Claire Early
Narrator, Man (After), Odysseus, Orpheus, Jason, Apollo, Maenad: Erik Mercado
Prometheus, Thespis, Antenor, Perseus, Trojan Soldier 2, Suitor: Luke Mendoza
Hermes, Principal Thomas, Menelaos, Ares, Pyramus, Hercules, Maenad: Antonio Murillo
Narrator, Hera, Oracle, Andromache, Thisbe, Soldier, Queen, Maenad: Molly Renze
Program Vendor, Thor, Father, Peleus, Phaethon, Oedipus, Hades, Old Dog: Chance Sanford
Tom, Drunken Man, Agamaemnon, Exploitatis, Telemachus, Patroklos: Andy Van Driesen
Poseidon, Drunken Man, Paris, Trojan Lackey, Odysseus' Man, Suitor, Diomedes: Daniel Velazquez
Demeter, Helen, Glaukos, Agenor, Announcer, Maenad: Sierra Warner
Zeus, Achilles, Pygmalion, Cyclops, King: Steven Wehner
Narrator, Persephone, Ms. Henderson, Iphigenia, Ajax, Galatea, Thesus, Tantalus, Aelus, Calypso, Maenad: Hayley Johnson
Jane, Student, Pandaros, Trojan Soldier 1, Trojan Guard, Maenad: Elleene Kim
Athena, Pandora, Thetis: Juliana Maldonado
Wind, Drunken Woman, Narrator, Chariot, Circe: Ana Marie Masino
Carol, Narrator, Roady: Maeve McNaughton
Artemis, Student, Trojan Commander, Ariande, Tiresias, Maenad: Gabriela Mercado
Narrator, Aphrodite, Priam, Eurydice, Penelope: Allison Perea
Dying Man, Iris, Sleeping Trojan 1, Greek Soldier 1, Announcer, Odysseus' Man, Maenad:
Hestia, Narrator, Sisyphus, Chariot, Medusa: Chelsey Ruiz
Sky, Drunken Woman, Chariot, Nobel Steed, Arachne, Minotaur: Vanessa Ruiz
Director: Frankie Marrone
Costume Designer: Mary Ann Villalobos
Set Designer: Scott Kahler
Lighting Designer: Isaac Gleason
Sound Designer: Vincent Mann & Kyle Wilson
Hair/Makeup Designer: Nicole Rickard