Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Writing for CurtainUp
|A CurtainUp Review
By Jenny Sandman
The production, written and directed by LaMaMa's own Ellen Stewart, is an amalgamation of a number of classical sources, drawing on many different cultural traditions and storytelling elements. It reiterates the myth of Perseus, who slew Medusa and rescued Andromeda from the sea monster and does so mostly through dance and song. The result is that this is less about ancient story or characters than about spectacle. What little dialogue we have is sung in ancient Greek and Latin.
The multicultural cast of over 25 use their varied backgrounds to full advantage. Athena is Chinese, Andromeda is Ethiopian. They also use movement (in addition to dance) to propel the story, in the form of tightrope walking, flying, and acrobatics.
The use of such a a variety of sources, many of them obscure, is often surprising. The two hours provide some very imaginative moments: Gorgons are constructed out of baskets . . . Zeus coming down, literally, in a golden shower when he visits Danae. . . ; Perseus acrobatically "battling" the sea monster.
It all adds up to a visual experience enriched by the stunning array of costumes and masks. Perseus is a multicultural swirl, beautiful and vivid, punctuated by beautiful singing and original music. But the drab theater threatens to swamp the play's imagery, and dampens the overall effect. All the elements are there--excellent cast and original stagecraft--but they don't quite gel.
Easy-on-the budget super gift for yourself and your musical loving friends. Tons of gorgeous pictures.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
Click image to buy.
At This Theater
Leonard Maltin's 2005 Movie Guide
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
Click image to buy.
Go here for details and larger image.