Modern Ground Productions

presents

SACRIFICE TO EROS

A Modern Parable

By FREDERICK TIMM

 

Pantheon Theater

303 W. 42 St., 2nd Floor, NYC

(212) 868-4444 or www.smarttix.com

 

October 10 – December 14, 2003

 

Directed by MARC PAREES

Sets SEAN RICHARDS

Lighting KEVIN HIGINBOTHAM

Stage Manager AUDREY KORAN

Press KAREN GRECO

 

Cast

Edna – Pamela Dunlap

Papa Westfield – Jaime Sanchez

Rita – Maria Helan Checa

Cliff – Don Clark Williams

Tom – Eric Jordan Young

Jesse – Caesar Samayoa

After a couple of bumps in the road, Common Ground Productions has finally brought their off-Broadway production of Frederick Timm’s SACRIFICE TO EROS to fruition. Though set on a Wisconsin farm during the Depression (1930’s), this play has most modern sensibilities. It has been cast using not colorblind casting, as the production advertises (for the program notes more than indicate that the creators are hyperaware of race/ethnicity), but more like talent-based casting.

In most cases, I would have to fault a play like SACRIFICE TO EROS for looking through relatively rose-colored glasses about a time and place in history where the events as they are presented just could not have gone so smoothly. In this case, the hue is consistent, and all of the characters just oddly enough drawn that the implausible becomes possible, and one hopes that there would be more folks like the tiny group we meet in this unique love story.

As SACRIFICE TO EROS unfolds, we learn the secrets just below the surface rather speedily. The loose woman (Maria Helan Checa) has wed the hard-working farmer (Don Clark Williams). The prodigal son (Caesar Samayoa), here a young gay man who has run off to the city, returns home just in time to see his daddy (Jaime Sanchez) die, turn things upside down, and find that there just may be hope to be had in the future after all. Joining this group are a kooky, but prescient aunt (Pamela Dunlap) who grows flowers in the most barren of soil, and another local man (Eric Jordan Young), now married with a child, who has a locked closet of his own. Sound like the usual Depression-era tale? Of course not! That is part of the charm.

Good storytelling, a talented cast, steady direction and production values that are just right make this SACRIFICE TO EROS more than the sum of, or even the average of the parts. Enjoyed. Recommended.

- Kessa De Santis -

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