‘Idomeneus’ invades Sideshow stage
Joey deBettencourt and Ann James in rehearsal for Sideshow Theatre's production of "Idomeneus." | Photo by Jonathan L. Green
Sideshow Theatre Company presents “Idomeneus”
7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, and 3 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 23
DCA Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph St., Chicago
$25, $15 students and seniors (800) 838-3006; www.sideshowtheatre.org
Updated: August 31, 2012 6:01PM
Sometimes there are as many versions of a story as there are people telling it.
The divergent myths about what happened when the King of Crete returned from a prolonged war are explored in Sideshow Theatre Company’s production of “Idomeneus,” by Roland Schimmelpfennig, translated by David Tushingham.
Skokie native Joey deBettencourt and Northbrook native Ann James each play multiple roles in the show.
deBettencourt’s main role is as Idamantes, the son of Idomeneus, king of Crete. “He’s a kid who’s been waiting for his dad for 10 years,” he said. “He’s had a life of privilege yet, at the same time, the whole city of Crete has been gone in the Trojan War the entire time he’s been alive.”
Although he read the myth when he attended Niles North High School, deBettencourt said he was only “vaguely familiar” with the tale before taking the role. He knew it was about “a guy returning home who promises to sacrifice the first thing he sees if he arrives and it turns out to be his son.”
Whether Idomeneus takes that drastic step or lets his son live — thus angering the gods — is explored through storytelling, monsters and humor by a cast of 15.
Only four cast members play specific characters for the majority of the show, so deBettencourt plays a variety of other roles. The Northwestern University theater graduate has sharpened his acting skills through performances at Steppenwolf Theatre, Lifeline Theatre and Griffin Theatre, where he is a company member. He earned a Best Actor Jeff Award for Griffin’s production of “Punk Rock” earlier this year.
James also takes on a variety of parts in the show. She said she was unfamiliar with the playwright before accepting the role because he writes in German — and this is the first time “Idomeneus” has been staged in the United States.
James is convinced that “Idomeneus”
will fascinate audiences. “There’s stylized movement and interaction with the audience,” she said. “It’s very theatrical.” ~~>. ~~~~>