Modern Fraud and Ancient Gods

I had the pleasure of seeing Bennett Fisher’s new play, Hermes, at the Exit Theatre last night.

Originally featured in No Nude Men’s first Olympian’s Festival, it was revived for a full production by No Nude Men, and directed by Sleepwalker’s Tore Ingersoll-Thorp.

Fisher’s thoughtful take on a financial meltdown is at times infuriating (watching people play with money like it is only just paper gets my blood boiling) and at other times comic (with only a hint of being a little too intellectual for its own good). His writing style lends perfectly to this story- clever, heightened, and dark, his characters are, for the most part, the worst in people with some glimpses of heart.

Ingersoll-Thorp’s creativity and style shine in the choreography of the play. The ‘Suits’ share the practiced, identical gestures and move in one menacing pack. They are rigid and focused. The gods, on the other hand, are calm and wander the stage freely, fluidly. And his casting was impeccable.

The ‘Suits,’ played by Juliana Egley, Carl Lucania, Brian Markley, and Geoffrey Nolan, play slimy and conniving uncomfortably well (a testament to their talent, as they are all lovely people). Lauren Spencer plays Hestia, the narrator and voice of reason, with the warmth of a mother-goddess, and the eerie-calm of someone who has the knowledge of the end. Her monologues are captivating. Brian Trybom, as Hermes, is hilarious and terrifying. While dressed in full messenger-gear, (torn jean shorts, ironic t-shirt, and American Apparel hoodie) he incites fear in his fellow actors and the audience, all with a charm that is equally chilling.

You do not have to be a mythology-buff to appreciate this artfully crafted play, and I highly recommend seeing it before it closes.

Hermes runs this weekend and next at the Exit Theater on Eddy St. Tickets can be purchased at Brown Paper Tickets or Goldstar.

-Meg O'Connor

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