Morganna Bridgers is equally appealing in “Medea Redux.” This title is more suggestive of a disturbing plot, in fact, based on the Greek myth that has become a contemporary psychological term, the Medea complex. The plot is not unusual; a teenage girl has an affair with her teacher and gets pregnant. The most disturbing aspect of the story is that the character has presumably planned her revenge for years. Bridgers’ dispassionate account of her actions is chillingly revolting and brilliantly acted.
Just like it’s impossible to ignore a car accident, this trilogy captivates. It would be sensible to walk away from the evil, but some inner perversity immobilizes the audience. It couldn’t possibly get worse, but it does. Anthony Lawson plays the protagonist, “just a regular guy,” in “Iphigenia in Orem.” Like “Medea Redux,” the title is revealing. Orem, Utah, is the character’s hometown, but it is also the birthplace of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. Iphigenia, which ironically means “strong born,” is the daughter of Agamemnon in Greek mythology.
The most shocking element in this story is the absolute denial of culpability; although, it is apparent in different degrees in each story. Lawson’s “aw shucks” performance captures a character who shows no remorse and, in fact, seems to attribute blame to others and to fate. Apparently, life just goes on after committing an unspeakable act: eat pizza, have sex, go to church.
This is a powerful play that should be seen; it is shockingly brutal, but it is real. Ted Bundy was a likable guy. Susan Smith drowned her children because her boyfriend didn’t want kids. The juxtaposition of normal people and insane behavior is not fiction. Don’t go alone.
Is LaBute a modern-day Euripides? He has the reputation for misogyny and putting despicable characters on stage down pat...There is more information on these plays in a review of an earlier performance.