From Vanity Project Productions and writer/director Tim Oberholzer, The Vanity Project is an original musical that questions if Narcissus’s reputation for vanity might not be all there is to the story. Or even true at all.
Should you see it?
The Vanity Project, told in song, is a retelling, or correction, of the story of Narcissus from Greek mythology. In this version, Narcissus has no sense of self-worth. He’s girl-shy and accidentally slights a chick named Echo who has an in with the gods. Echo calls upon hitwoman of the gods, Nemesis, to punish Narcissus and Bob’s your uncle. Wiki it if you need to how it ends.
I love a good Greek myth. In the telling, or adapting, or postulating. That said, it’s a mistake to think everybody knows the story of Narcissus, or knows anything more than broad details. This means first, I think taking a few minutes to recap the recorded story would have been a useful idea to set the stage for this reimagining.
And the time certainly could have been spared. The show only runs 45 minutes and even if it were already at sixty, the first fifteen is largely repetitive. So yes, the story needs some tightening.
The Vanity Project’s other significant weakness, however, is Nick Amott’s Narcissus. Amott is a very capable actor (see my review of The Fight), but he feels out of his depth as a singer – especially in comparison to the caliber of the others in this cast.
The others include Tim Oberholzer and Tess Mc Manus. Oberholzer has a good vocal range and grace as a singer. Mc Manus does as well. She has an exquisite voice and has a very evocative and moving solo in the show. Holly Griffith and Rachel Eugster also have minor roles in The Vanity Project and are wonderful singers
I think that with a bit of work and a lot of story tightening I’d happily watch The Vanity Project again.
But that’s just my opinion and I’d love to hear what you think. Was I asleep at the wheel for this one? Did the show succeed in providing you a cautionary tale for an isolating age? Tell me in the comments below?
For more information about The Vanity Project, including links to other press and reviews, check out our preview article.