The first thing that jumped into my head as The Vanity Project stated its motto (a cautionary tale for an isolating age): is this supposed to be a metaphor for the Facebook generation?
Should you see it?
When it comes to the tale of Narcissus, did Ovid get it wrong? That’s what The Vanity Project seeks to answer with this retelling of the Greek myth. However, this show seems to be stuck in the middle; it takes itself too seriously to be satire and yet it’s too superficial to make the tragedy of Narcissus and Echo believable. We’re supposed to think that Echo and Narcissus are madly in love based on a scene where they mostly just spill drinks on each other. Therefore, Echo’s revenge when she thinks Narcissus doesn’t love her back plays out like petty teenage angst.
I chose an odd performance to review, since Tim Oberholzer was performing both his and Nick Amott’s parts due to a conflict with Amott’s other Fringe show, The Fight. Having Oberholzer play both the narrator and Narcissus didn’t get too confusing, but I’d like to see how it works on a normal night.
Tim Oberholzer and Tess Mc Manus as Echo have great voices and sing their hearts out. I enjoyed the original music, especially the haunting song of the fates. Overall, The Vanity Project has potential, but either needs to turn up the tragedy to an operatic degree or turn itself into a send-up of other tragic loves like Romeo and Juliet to really work for me. I mean, a show featuring a scene where a man serenades a mirror can probably stand to be a little more fun.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to know what you think. Tell me in the comments below!