A tale as old as time - No, older than that. The story of Psyche and Cupid is the classic Greek predecessor to modern favorites including Beauty and the Beast. It tells of the transformation love can bring in the face of adversity through the journey Psyche takes to her Eros. Milwaukee Entertainment Group stages the young script at the Brumder Mansion this February.
All photos courtesy of Tom Carr. Shannon Nettesheim, Jake Konrath, and Brittany Curran.
Jj Gatesman serves as both playwright and director for the adaptation, and it is no small feat. The production features impressive shadow acting, especially from Eros (Jake Konrath) and Rose - more commonly known as the goddess of love, Aphrodite (Shannon Nettesheim). Konrath and Nettesheim both perform in shadow with grandeur and presence, despite the challenge of having only one's body to tell story.
Brittany Curran leads the cast as the title character, and brings power to the Greek damsel. While revered and threatened for her divine beauty, Curran's performance illuminates the beauty of Psyche's soul - to love oneself first, and through that love of self, have an even greater love for others. To know sacrifice, because one sees beyond what is immediately apparent. Gatesman's script adds a stubborn sass to the character, and Curran breathes life into her.
Kellie Wambold, Paige Bourne, and Brittany Curran.
The show is underscored by the foley work of Kellie Wambold and Paige Bourne as the chorus. The duo sprinkle spritely energy throughout the tale onstage, but all the while, they bounce between instruments and objects to give a full soundscape to the performance. The effect is mesmerizing. The intimate Brumder stage feels like a portal into an ancient realm where the gods do still walk this earth.
Gatesman's new script has made a few appearances in the area over the past few years, in readings and earlier stagings. Milwaukee's ever-growing theatre community should be proud to nest this piece early on, as with the tight dialogue, elevated theatricality, and classic romance of Gatesman's writing, this is certainly not the end for The Beauty of Psyche.
Brittany Curran and Jake Konrath.
As the season of love comes to a close, so The Beauty of Psyche follows, running through February 22nd. The performance is an entrancing experience which brings the old and the new together for an evening of magic and charm. Milwaukee Entertainment Group brings class to this classic.