The Bacchae

Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall
Broadway and 60th Streets, New York, NY 10023
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From the moment Scottish actor Alan Cumming's provocative Dionysus is lowered onstage from above, it is clear that in this North American premiere of the National Theatre of Scotland's acclaimed production, playwright David Greig's interpretation takes the mask off one of the last great Athenian tragedies in his unique take on Euripides, making it a Bacchae for the 21st-century. Cumming, perfectly cast in this timeless exploration of sexuality, "proceeds to give us a Dionysus who, while of divine origin, has adopted a flirty, sportive, sexually equivocal human form" (The Guardian, London). Backed by a gospel-singing female cult of Maenads, Cumming's inimitably narcissistic Dionysus arrives at Thebes to claim godly recognition from a disbelieving, ascetic King Pentheus, opening the door to a sardonic, contemporary look at the battle between hedonism and repression.

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The Bacchae - Jul 7, 2008

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