THE BALLAD OF EDDIE & JO
By DAVID SARD
Hudson Guild Theater, 441 W. 26 St., NYC
September 8 24, 2006
Directed by LORCA PERESS
Scenic Design & Construction ALAN M. BOLLE
Lighting Design ALEX MOORE
Costume Design RAUL AKTANOV
Fight Choreography STEPHEN INNOCENZI
Michael Citriniti Old Eddie
Joyce Griffen Chorus, Dr. Ruffin
Stephen Innocenzi Larry, Chorus
Anita Valez-Mitchell Old Jo, Chorus
Jerry Rago Sam, Chorus
Angelo Rosso Eddie
Ana Mercedes Torres - Jo
Consider THE BALLAD OF EDDIE AND JO Oedipus and Jocasta for a modern generation. Much like West Side Story updated Romeo and Juliet in time and place, David Sards timely tragedy reworks a classic, spinning it into current times and twist of tongue.
In a land full of foul-mouthed toughs, violence and betrayal, THE BALLAD OF EDDIE AND JO opens with an old, blinded man clamoring onto the stage to tell his tale to the locals. Flashback to a woman named Jo and the night her wise guy husband was killed in a street fight. The perpetrator, Eddie, soon moves in with Jo, and their whirlwind romance ultimately descends into fear and retribution. Of course the old man is Eddie, and, well, anyone who knows the tale of Oedipus can fill in the major plot points from there.
The look of the play is appropriately dark and gritty. What works best here is the flowing story and quirky Chorus and the moments when Eddie and Jo express raw emotion. There are some repetitive scenes between the title characters, an unlikely subplot about children made sick by environmental pollution and cover-up, and Jos unlikely recognition about the real relationship between herself and Eddie is less than credible, but overall there is chemistry in this BALLAD OF EDDIE & JO.
Decidedly not an interpretation for all tastes, BALLAD, has some strong moments and good performances.
- Kessa De Santis -