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SLCene Suggests: Oedipus the King at Red Butte Garden

by on September 28, 2013


OEDIPUS THE KING, RED BUTTE GARDEN, Sunday, Sept. 29, 9 a.m., $15 for public/$10 for garden members

While the annual Classical Greek Theatre Festival has been bouncing around the state through the month of September, I was only able to catch this year’s performance of Oedipus The King during its last weekend. After watching the excellent performance Saturday morning at Red Butte Garden, consider this a hearty recommendation that you check out the Sunday finale. Yes, it was cold, so pack some coffee and maybe some breakfast for the 90-minute production. But as the sun moved higher in the sky, and the action on stage picked up momentum as Oedipus discovers the gods have cursed him essentially since birth, the venue warmed up and it was easy to enjoy one of the more unique live theater experiences available to Utahns. The last time I attended the Classical Greek Theatre Festival, the production was a decidedly modern affair, with electronic music and online cues incorpated into the show. This year’s show is much more traditional, and all the better for it. The direction, the haunting music score delivered by oboe soloist Hilary Coon, and the acting led by Ryon Sharette in the title role all combine to bring Sophocles’ classic to exuberant life. And what a story it is–Oedipus discovers a happenstance street fight in his youth in which he killed a man led to his later marrying and having children with his own mother. Obviously, that’s not news that anyone wants to hear. Watching Oedipus, his brother-in-law Creon and his mother/wife Jocasta, as well as the commoners of the kingdom, deal with the repercussions makes for a fine bit of breakfast-time entertainment. And just look at that picture–not a bad spot for starting your Sunday.

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