REVIEWS: War: A Love Story

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War: A Love Story is a gripping, enthralling, beautiful and fierce re-telling of part of (or all?) of the Aphrodite myth (although honestly, my knowledge of greek mythology is limited, but it doesn’t matter because this is literally a re-telling a “what if” opportunity to give Aphrodite the voice that she deserves). The use of language, physical movement & face paint added to this re-telling and even though the ensemble of three actors (all so fully committed to this re-telling) had a very limited stage space they were still able to create an epic landscape from the clouds and thunderbolts of Zeus deep down into Hade’s underworld. I can’t wait for this play to be re-staged again in a bigger venue so that more of Portland can see it.5 stars!

— TESS VAN HORN, PortFringe 2019 Review Team

A vibrant retelling of the Aphrodite myth smartly told with exceptional acting, humor, clever staging and even some fourth wall breaking. Using contemporary language and poetic license, Stage Rage successfully revamps the story for more progressive times. The three actors (Megan Tripaldi, Julia Fitzgerald and MaryKate Ganza) seamlessly play multiple roles including taking turns as Aphrodite and take command of every scene they are in. An excellent example of breathing new life into a classic.

–MARK MAGEE, PortFringe 2019 Review Team

Megan E. Tripaldi’s poetic updating of the myth of Aphrodite gets a well-conceived investigation under Hollie Pryor’s direction. A cast of three, black-clad performers weave in and out of narration and dialogue taking us back to the original story about how the goddess of love and lust underwent the travails set upon her by her powerful and corrupt father Zeus. At key moments they stop the narrative and intentionally redraw the tale to make Aph the heroine of her own story. The actors use admirable physicality in the small space to help define their various characters from the Greek pantheon. And unlike the original Greeks where all violence takes place off stage, we get to see plenty of blood in the form of smeared red paint by the end. Transformed into a sort of revenge adventure, the treatment of the classic tale asks us to ask questions about the long-standing ways young women and relationships are represented on stage. In fact, the actors solicit audience ideas of the the tropes they’d be happy never to see again, to which one person responded I’m tired of “something trying to be edgy for edgy-sake,” which prompted another to ask “what’s edgy really mean anyway?” You’ve got four more days of PortFringe to try to answer that for yourself.

— BESS WELDEN, PortFringe 2019 Review Team