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Theatre Review (San Diego): Oedipus the King, Mama! by Matt Walker and the Troubadour Theater Company

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Direct from its sold-out run at the Getty, the amazingly talented Troubadour Theater Company (affectionately known as the Troubies) brings the classic tale of Oedipus to the Falcon Theatre. Through the spectrum of the Troubies, led by the one and only Matt Walker, Oedipus Rex becomes Oedipus The King, Mama! Yup, they are telling the story of Oedipus using the King of Rock and Roll's music, with altered lyrics – although some of Elvis' songs don’t have to be tortured to fit: “Burning Love,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love," and “Don’t be Cruel” more than fit the bill. The result is the wild hilarity that has come to be the Troubies' signature.

Madman-genius Matt Walker has gathered some of his regulars to help him tell the story. The full-voiced Lisa Valenzuela is here to act out the part of the Greek Chorus and to sing about the Sphinx. The truly crazy and hilarious Rick Batalia is on board to be a perfect comic foil for Matt Walker. Their improvisations together are extremely funny. Rick also has a great voice.

The voluptuous Beth Kennedy, here made more voluptuous by some giant cloth breasts, plays Queen Jocasta. She is always a pleasure to see. Many of the rest of the cast – James Michael Lambert, Breanna Pine, Jill Morrison, Andy Lopez, Mike Sulprizio, Kimberly Wood, and Jen Seifert (wonderful as the old servant) – are part of the extended theatre company. The Troubies have added a certifiable Broadway star, James Snyder (who excelled in Cry Baby), to the mix to play young Elvis.

The amazing thing about this company is that they only get better and more skilled. The singing is now on a par with most professional productions. Add to that their skills in acrobatics and comedy and you have a delightful brew.

None of this would be possible without the leadership of “Daddy” Matt Walker who is the artistic director of the company and plays Elvis/Oedipus. He is a terrific singer, athlete, clown, actor, and all-around good guy (you can see how the company as well as the audience loves him). I'm looking forward to their next mash-up of a classic, Frosty the Snow Manilow. If you can snag a ticket, Oedipus The King, Mama! will be at the Falcon Theatre until September 27th.

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