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THEATER BEAT

A Timid 'Report' on Oedipal Conflict

May 16, 1997|JANA J. MONJI

The tale of Oedipus Rex has it all--lurid sex, murder, mystery and Freud. Yet "The Report," Gil Kofman's over-intellectualization of this Greek tragedy, is sterile rather than stimulating. This Evidence Room production fails to wholeheartedly embrace its abstraction and psychological possibilities, faltering because of timidity.

In this womanless version, three brainstorming writers (Michael William McCarty, Steven Opyrchal and Mark Daneri) boisterously outshout one another as they lay down the plot of incest and murder. Kofman then plunges into altered realities in which each actor in turn becomes the anguished Oedipus. The other two men become his tormentors and interrogators. Yet aside from the cyclic rhythms this creates, no new psychological truths and suggestions emerge to make this mental myth pay off.

Director Ryan Cutrona needs to tighten up that action and push Kofman's concept a little further.

* "The Report," Evidence Room, 3542 Hayden Ave., Culver City. Mondays-Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Ends June 4. $10. (310) 841-2799. Running time: 1 hour.

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