Editors' pick

Pandora: A Tragicomic Greek Romp

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Pandora: A Tragicomic Greek Romp photo
Courtesy Capital Fringe Festival

Editorial Review

Fringe Festival: Impressionable Players’ ‘Pandora’ is a romp

By Fiona Zublin
Sunday, July 10, 2011

The story of Pandora and her magical box is, in the Greek myth, pretty distasteful. Women, it reminds us, are nosy and don’t know what’s best and, when left to their own devices, will ruin everything. So it’s probably good that “Pandora: A Tragicomic Greek Romp” has tossed out just about everything from the myth in favor of a new story. Ancient Greek daddy-in-the-sky Zeus has still created a woman, Pandora (Madeline Whiting), to punish mankind for accepting fire, which was stolen from him. She still has a mysterious box. But the similarities end there.

This story is more about the conflict between science and mystery, about whether mankind’s thirst for knowledge is a virtue. Pandora is discovered, unconscious, by young inventor Nikodemos (Jayme Bell, in fine rubber-faced form), and thus begins a love story (as always) but also a treatise on the power of the unknown — is this thirst what makes us, as a species, matter? Or is it born solely of our fear of death and the uncontrollable aspects of life? Oh, and there are lots of jokes about killer bats.

The Impressionable Players, who last year made a mark with “Romeo & Juliet: Choose Your Own Ending,” are in similar form here, with the same winning humor and homemade quality. This group always manages to come off as if it has just found a barn where the players can put on a show, and while “Pandora” isn’t as endearingly madcap as “Romeo & Juliet,” you won’t regret the close to two hours you’ll spend on it.