Military hero Titus (Jack Stehlin) radiantly returns to Washington, D.C. from the Middle East wars to a grand welcome by the public and his family, but a serious case of PTSD sets in to distort and ultimately obliterate his reality. As his mind descends, his beautiful wife,, Tamara (Brenda Strong) becomes an adulterous devil, her two sons (Dash Pepin and Vincent Cardinale) are transformed into murderous monsters who rape and maim his precious daughter, Lavinia (Margeaux J. London), and his mild-mannered neighbor (John Farmanesh-Bocca) transforms into his mortal enemy. The story's pieces are mostly shaped from fragments of Shakespeare's tragedy but the text quickly jumps from the original Elizabethan verse to contemporary prose, the staging leaps from staid classical poses and violent choreography to Twyla Tharpstyle pop-dance sequences to big-screen film images. Each of the elements under Farmanesh-Bocca's often wild direction offers vividly exciting moments, but the event doesn't congeal. There are filmed pieces that are given too much weight, overwhelming the sections of live movement. Still the talents of seven fine performers are glorious, particularly Stehlin's powerful portrayal of pride crumbling into madness. Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Tues.-Sat., 8 p.m.; through Sept. 11. (213) 628-2772.
Sundays, 7 p.m.; Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Aug. 29. Continues through Sept. 11, 2010