Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Jocasta at Natural Theatricals

By • Nov 4th, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of Natural Theatricals’ production of Jocasta [MP3 5:07 1.5MB].

Laura: And we saw Natural Theatricals‘ production of Jocasta performed at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia.

Mike: Jocasta was written by Phillip Freund. It is the story of a rich woman in the Caribbean islands who has a young lover who turns out to be her son. The son has just murdered his father. Of course nobody knows each other. It’s a soap opera. This is the third show in the Natural Theatrical’s season, all focusing on the story of Oedipus.

Laura: Of the three shows that Natural Theatricals has done this season, this last one, Jocasta, made the most sense. It brought up some interesting topics of discussion on the way home about race and place in society, and when different cultures collide. Some of the good and bad things that can happen because of it.

Mike: This was another deep thinking show. It did raise a lot of issues. But it was not really designed to be an enjoyable show. But it’s not a show to make you really be disturbed either. It didn’t quite know what to become. The show was three hours long which was a touch longer than it probably needed to be. There were two intermissions which were opportunities for breaks in there. The acting was uneven. Some of the people were really good and some were just adequate. There were also several characters at the beginning of the show that were on and off and that was it. They were only on stage for ten to fifteen minutes for the whole three hours.

Laura: The main character, Catherine, was played by Paula Alprin. She had a lot of powerful emotion that she conveyed to the audience when she discovered that her lover was also her son. She has given consistently strong performances throughout this season.

Mike: I thought her accent was a little hard to follow. There were several spots where I didn’t know what she was saying, as well as some of the other characters at times.

Laura: I kind of figured out what was going on by the context. There were some words, too, that I lost.

Mike: Catherine’s son, Yebe, was played by Cezar Remon. Unfortunately, I was not real impressed with that performance. For example, there was a big point made in the show that he had a limp because he had a childhood injury. Well, he lost that limp a lot or it just wasn’t pronounced enough to see it. It just kind of struck me as too simple a child. Partially because the character was only 19 years old. I felt like he could have had a little more emotion or a lot more emotion to the different things that were happening in the closing act.

Laura: And then the housekeeper, Cyrilla, played by Lolita-Marie did a really good job. She had a lot of emotion. She was very protective of Catherine and the other members of the household. She had a lot of emotion. She had a good scene when she was trying to reveal the story of the child that was supposedly born dead and then keep the secret that Catherine’s father wanted her to keep throughout all those years. I really liked her performance.

Mike: And then Catherine’s friend was Paul Pitou played by John Brennen. I like the character to a point, but he also really annoyed me. He was very much part of the status quo in the community. He could have affairs with black women, but a white woman could not have an affair with a black man. That just isn’t done. He wanted a reationship with Catherine and when she asked him for a favor he refused because it would look bad. He was very much into the gossip of the area of the neighborhood. The Paul character was a little stuffy. He did get a little more expressive near the end of the show, but upon finding the body of Catherine, he just kind of took it in stride. “Oh my gosh, she’s dead!”

Laura: The set of Jocosta was a simple set. It had enough objects so that you knew where it took place. I thought the lighting was also good.

Mike: In the first act there were four scenes. The first three scenes were different places. Those changes were a little rough. They had rotating platforms and some basic furniture that got moved around. It was a little distracting. It kind of hurt the flow a little bit. I wish they could have had different sections on the large stage area already set for those three scenes and then they could have simply removed the unneeded two scenes at the first intermission.

Laura: Jocasta is playing through November the 18th Wednesdays through Sundays at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria Virginia.

Mike: Once you’ve seen the show, please feel free to leave a comment about it here at

Laura: And now, on with the show.

Photo Gallery

Vauclain and Yebe Yebe and Gabou
Vauclain and Yebe
Yebe and Gabou
Catherine and Cyrillia Catherine and Pitou
Catherine and Cyrillia
Catherine and Pitou
Pitou and Catherine Yebe and Cyrillia
Pitou and Catherine
Yebe and Cyrillia

Photos provided by Natural Theatricals.

Tagged as:

This article can be linked to as:

started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

Comments are closed.