In 2011, the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble embarked upon a celebration of ancient Greek drama by commencing the staging of a House of Atreus trilogy of plays over a three year period. For its first work, it revived Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis. For its next work in 2012, it opted not to revive Aeschylus' Agamemnon, but rather to launch the world premiere production of Agamemnon Home, a play by Glyn Maxwell that was based on the original tragedy by Aeschylus but took considerable liberties with it. Now, for its third and final production in the trilogy, Phoenix has again staged a revival of an original Greek tragedy â this time Sophocles' Electra. Unfortunately (since this is the only one of the three plays still running), I found Electra to be the least satisfying of the three. Running time for the show is listed at 90 minutes but the performance I attended ran closer to 110 minutes and much of the excess I thought derived from unnecessary repetitive verbosity in the initial scenes. Amy Wagner directed all three plays and Kelli Holsopple is a truly fine actress but I think they went off the rails a bit on this one. I found Ms Holsopple's performance to be excessively histrionic; indeed, she almost literally bounces off the walls. But all things are relative and. as a whole, the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble is so professional a troupe that even this lesser production is still worth seeing. Ms. Clements, in particular, does a fine job in her portrayal of Clytemnestra and Joseph J. Menino is delightful as Pedagogus, Orestes' servant, former tutor, and traveling companion. I have posted an expanded review of this play and dozens of other Broadway, off Broadway, and off off Broadway plays on my blog www.aseatontheaisle.blogspot.com.
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