Sometimes erroneously referred to as the first “monk”; which he was not.
Sometimes erroneously referred to as the first “hermit”; which he was not.
What Anthony did do was to take the life of the ascetic to new extremes.
He was the first of the Christian mystics to truly go into the “wilderness,” inhabiting a cave—some say a tomb—for thirteen years from around 270 CE on.
His imperviousness to hunger and thirst, and his facing down of the cavalcade of demons sent to torment him are standard parts of the early Christian mythos.
Sharrow has produced his own play and this may have worked against him, as he seems to have relied on the work being enough to carry the full weight of the theatrical experience.
Adrian Burks as Anthony and Charles Gonzales as assorted others offer little in the way of dimension in their performances.
Worse, director Kevin F. Story seems not to have imagined any style to the production or even taken the simplest steps to establish the reality of its dramatic arena.
Now, my grandmother was a deranged spelunking octogenarian who dragged me down into caverns, potholes and subterranean systems the way other kids were taken to Disneyland by their Grannies.
I know caves.
Caves are magical.
We didn’t need to see the back walls of the theater or the chalk drawings on the walls (Story’s sole effort at creating a reality.) The entire play could have used dim and isolated lighting to convey a cave’s interior. This would have allowed for a variety of wonderful theatrics to effect the demons come to torment Anthony.
There wasn’t even an attempt to show the interior light of the cave dimming when the huge stone used to block its entrance was rolled into place. (Part of Austin Schumacher’s sound design.)
Just having Burks use make up over his so-very-modern tattoos would have been nice, but again no.
The director and playwright, it seems, just didn’t take this production very seriously.
So why should an audience.
A weak BRONZE MEDAL.
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Playing During the Fringe at
6468 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038
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