POST: 'Oedipus El Rey' - combining God and Atheism
What it's about.
It was a modern remake of Oedipus, the well known play. Except instead of ruling an actual kingdom, Oedipus's father is the King of the Drug world in L.A. This remake is complete with the dramatics, the killing of his father and the very awkward mother/son relationship.
This was a super intimate theater, and as I walked in there was Spanish music playing and the entire wall behind the stage was a beautiful mural of Saint Mary and other beautiful pictures. I was instantly getting Romeo and Juliet with Leo Decaprio vibes. The theater was so small the actors weren't even miked, and I'm truly a sucker for small theaters so I was very excited.
The show starts with guys in a jail cell, and they're listening to jazz music. They talk about the what happened before Oedipus was born. That's when I found out Oedipus's father is a drug lord in L.A. The play follows really closely to the original story, which pleased the traditionalist in me. When he gets to L.A., Oedipus has a run-in with his father while driving. This leads to Oedipus killing his biological father. I thought that killing someone simply because they cut you off while driving was super exaggerated... until I remembered in the original play Oedipus does something similar - except unprovoked. So, it was all good.
Everything was going well until Oedipus meets Jocasta (his biological mother, whom he doesn't know is his mother). They start bickering about God and destiny, and there's some obvious sexual tension which is cute until you remember that she's his mother. Then they undress into their birthday suits... and they stay like that for an extended period of time. Which made me super uncomfortable. I have no shame in saying that I covered my eyes in a frugal attempt to protect my innocence. Which was pointless because after the whole passionate moment, they had a deep meaningful conversation about their past and feelings... Which I would've paid better attention to had they been clothed.
Reading the playbill, the director talked about combining God and Atheism in this show. Which I saw from the very beginning, it's as if Oedipus and his dad don't completely discredit God, but instead they choose to disregard him. Which was an interesting concept to talk about in a show that one would think is so Godly because the play revolves around the manifestation of a Godly Prophecy. The whole show is about parents who seek out the advice of a seer (someone who speaks God's prophecies) to see what will happen to their son. When Oedipus' father is told that Oedipus will grow up to kill him, he sends Oedipus to be killed. Which is interesting because even though his father claims to not believe in God, he still gets rid of Oedipus, to ensure that he'll remain king... you know... just in case.
Oedipus' father (may he rest in pieces) both disregards God, and fears him. You see this when he gives up Oedipus. We see the same beliefs in Oedipus. In jail, he had read all about every God and was raised by a very Godly man, but chose to disregard them because he felt he made his own destiny. Never does he say that there is no God. They simply believe that they have more power over their own lives than God does. They think they can beat destiny, OR they think that they control their own destiny. In my opinion, that's why Oedipus and his father both end up dead and back in prison. They dance along the line of Christianity and Atheism in such a beautiful way.
By the end of the show I was fan-girling like crazyyyy, and I totally wanted a picture with the actor who played Oedipus. But I sooo didn't run out the theater in an attempt to find the actors... (except I totally did).
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