johnleiser

The Bacchae@ Central Park

In Uncategorized on August 21, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Holy makeral; I got 2 tickets to the Delecorte on the virtual line; Yea! The Bacchae is a Euripides tragedy directed by Joanne Akalaits and music by Phillip Glass, free in Shakespeare in the Park.
Dionysus wanting to establish himself as a god to reckon with ensnares Pentheus, who will not worship him, to search for the Bacchae; who have taken the women of Thebes and driven them wild; leaving their homes and children and living in ecstasy. Cadmus, Pentheus’ grandfather, and Teiresias, a blind prophet,are leaving to dance for the god when thy encounter Pentheus. Pentheus is enraged and arrests Dionysus , but can’t keep him in chains. Pentheus is moved by Dionysus to look for his cities’ women;in drag so he won’t be recognized, and is killed by his mother and his aunts, real disfunction. His mother thinks he is a lion or a bear that she has killed with her bare hands; that is until she meets her father , Cadmus, and he reveals the truth to her and they realize the family is doomed and banished from the city All this action is narated by the chrous(the Bacchae) in fine voices to Glass’s marvelous score. As Phillip Glass writes for voices his style moves and flowers into a new Phillip Glass sound. The singing and chanting and scolding that The Bacchae do is the back bone of the story; they are wonderful!! Jonathan Groff as Dionysus is thrilling and scarey and Anthony Mackie as Pentheus brings real tragedy in his downfall and death. Cadmus, George Barteneiff and Agave, Joan Macintosh, bring the tale to it’s horrific end and we know the peril of trying to deal with the gods, after all they are gods, duh!

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