Mythic Figurations' Campbell Soup

Shawn Brackbill

Like the rock opera or the dystopian visions of Philip K. Dick, Joseph Campbell functions as a kind of Sargasso Sea for emerging artists, luring them into an eerily becalmed miasma of pseudo- profundity laced with “Haven’t we been here before?” Title:Point Productions is the latest to fall into this trap, with their Mythic Configurations, an old-gods-meet-the-new-gods parable whose flashes of ingenuity barely conceal its murky and threadbare plot. Set in the headquarters of a three-person team of superheroes/gods for hire, the piece uses an array of media to chart the relative rise and fall of the team’s members, mixing the obsolescent (overhead projections) with the up-to-date (video broadcast). As the fading warrior Warren, Ilan Bachrach amusingly grouses and mumbles like a hybrid of Popeye and Wallace Shawn. Once he realizes he’s truly been supplanted as lead rent-a-god, his abject stare beetling from underneath his Viking helmet provides a rare moment of genuine drama. Vonia Arslanian, playing the ascendant assassin Rose, lithely kickboxes and sashays her way through a variety of pastiche scenarios. But from the loose, noodling improvisation that precedes the piece’s opening to the heavy- handed thematics pitting order against chaos, Mythic Configurations lacks the imaginative discipline to reinvent its familiar material.

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