The term “certifiable lunatic” probably doesn’t get used often enough in the theatre world, but Matt Walker and his Troubadour Theatre Company are working very hard to change that. Case in point: Their latest musical extravaganza, “Oedipus the King, Mama” at the Falcon Theatre. Sophocles’ ancient plot about a Greek King (Walker) who learns too late that he’s killed his father and bedded his mother (Beth Kennedy) is set to the music of Elvis Presley, and the result is the silliest, fastest, funniest Greek tragedy you will ever encounter.
One can only imagine how much fun Walker’s troupe had during rehearsals, when they first began garnishing Oedipus’ incestuous tale with every bit of ad-libbed comic insanity their fevered brains could produce. Far from a slapdash production, though, this cast is stocked to overflowing with singing and dancing talent, and the production values are impressive. Ameenah Kaplan’s razzle-dazzle choreography is brought to life with a rocking five-piece band blasting out the King’s music, and Sharon McGunigle’s costumes are as clever and versatile as the cast themselves. But the real treat here is in never knowing just how far the Troubies will go to get a laugh. That might mean going to an audience member’s lap in the back of the house or… well, let’s just say the piñata gag alone was worth the price of admission.
Do whatever you have to do to see this show, and if you don’t laugh, call a hearse to haul you home. The Troubadours are a rare treat, and this show is not to be missed.
“Oedipus the King, Mama” runs Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm, and Sundays at 4pm through September 27th at the Falcon Theatre (4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank, CA). Tickets are $32 to $40. For tickets and information, call (818) 955-8101 or go to www.FalconTheatre.com.