Home Entertainment Outré Theatre’s ‘The Violet Hour’ Is A Daring, Flawed Modern Medea

Outré Theatre’s ‘The Violet Hour’ Is A Daring, Flawed Modern Medea

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Outré Theatre
Sabrina Lynn Gore contemplates the horror she has wreaked as Medea in Outre Theatre Company’s The Violet Hour, A Modern Medea

Start by acknowledging that from its inception in 2011 few professional troupes in South Florida have taken or still take artistic risks with the courage, regularity, integrity and imagination that the well-named Outré Theatre Company invests in every production.

Sometimes the efforts work beautifully such as Back of the Throat, An Illiad and Thrill Me, sometimes not so well such as Bed and Sofa, and Othello.

Often, it’s both. The current world premiere of The Violet Hour, A Modern Medea falls in that category.

Oddly, the most un-credible aspect of the classic Medea myth – the immediate lead-up and subsequent murder of her son as revenge on her faithless husband – is the most believable facet of Outré’s reworking of the legend.

As Sabrina Lynn Gore’s betrayed wife moves closer and closer to stabbing her child, her outward steeliness and internal agony are perfectly plausible, as evidenced by the audience’s breathing becoming ever more shallow.

It’s the long build-up to the heavily foreshadowed inevitable that doesn’t land solidly in this ill-fitting mash-up of an elemental tale of feral vengeance transported to civilized modern times in which it seems too outsized to be credible.

Yes, we’ve all read horrifying headlines about parents who have killed their children and we’ve pondered what could press any sane person to such a point, even in the most extreme emotional distress. So the concept of local playwrights Shannon Ouelette and Skye Whitcomb was a stroke of brilliance.

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By Bill Hirschman, FloridaTheaterOnStage.com, for  SouthFloridaReporter.com, Mar. 17, 2016 

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Bill Hirschman maintains a daily, comprehensive, website about theater in south Florida. It includes a calendar listing, reviews of current productions, Q&A with some of the actors, directors and producers of shows. Bill was formerly the Sun-Sentinels Theater Reviewer. His arts coverage has appeared in Variety, American Theatre magazine, Playbill.com, A&E magazine, the Miami Herald among many other outlets.