Stay-at-home orders or not, nothing can stop the Troubies from giving us some much-needed comedy. The Getty Villa will premiere its first virtual theater presentation of The ODDyssey on Sunday, July 19, 2020 at 3:00 PM PDT on the Getty Museum YouTube channel. Co-produced by the Getty Museum and the Troubadour Theater Company (aka The Troubies), The ODDyssey recounts Homer’s 24 books in five webisodes of about 15-20 minutes each, in a whimsical retelling of Odysseus’s adventure for audiences of all ages.
“The ODDyssey is a family-friendly, seat-of-our pants, stay-at-home ordered-up mix of wacky and whimsical storytelling by a cast of kooky, colorful characters,” said Matt Walker, artistic director of the Troubadour Theater Company. “Learn 12000 lines in only five episodes. Our ODDyssey is the Rosetta Stone of epic poems.”
Held captive by Calypso (a magical nymph) after a harrowing encounter with a giant Cyclops, Oddy (Odysseus) is finally allowed to leave Calypso’s island—only to be confronted by witches, sirens, angry gods, and multi-snake-headed creatures on his quest to return home to his beloved family.
Made from their respective dwellings, the Troubies stepped up to the quarantine challenge and used what was at their immediate disposal to tell the story. Poseidon is forced to wield his authority with a spatula instead of his usual trident!
The ODDyssey is told with all the characters on Zoom and, inspired by Zoom’s low-resolution quality, is retro styled with a variety of music and even some sitcom song remakes. Think family friendly comedies like The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island. Slapstick and sitcom-style comedy is what the Troubies are known for and this virtual presentation is no exception with its wild costumes, music, masks, and dozens of characters.
Each episode will premiere on Sundays at 3:00 PM PDT from July 19 to August 16, 2020, where audiences will get to live chat with the Troubies via YouTube Premiere. After the final episode, audiences will be invited to a Zoom party with the cast. All episodes will be available to view any time on the Getty’s YouTube channel.
This is not the first time the Troubies have been in residence at the Villa. Most recently they presented a 15-minute live comedy performance of The Odyssey during the Roman Holidays summer weekends in 2017, when the Villa unveiled its new galleries. Other performances include the 2016 outdoor theater performance Haunted House Party, a hilarious adaptation blending music, comedy, and circus-style performance based on the Roman comedy Plautus’ Mostellaria; and three theater lab comedies: Oedipus: The King, Mama! in 2009, a musical parody that mashes up the Greek tragedy with the music of Elvis Presley; For the Birds in 2011, based on Aristophanes’s feathery utopian comedy; and Abbamemnon in 2014, a physical and musical romp, set to the music of the Swedish band ABBA, featuring one of the most famous dysfunctional ancient Greek families.
In The ODDyssey, the Troubies have created a fun and entertaining look at Homer’s epic poem that can be enjoyed by both Gods AND mortals…and so far no one’s been struck by lightning. So, get the family together and tune in on Sunday afternoon to Zoom with some of the most beloved mythological characters as they struggle with communicating remotely just like the rest of us.