With Greece going through a bit of a rough patch, now seems as good a time as any to remember the days before it all went a bit pear-shaped. And what better way to do that than through the time-honored tradition of theater. Next Monday, Classic Stage Company will put the awe back in austerity as its “Greek Festival” plunges into a month of celebrated dramatic productions, workshops, readings and seminars. Speaking of plunging, the fifth annual “Between the Seas” festival is also going down in September (8th to 13th), bringing contemporary Mediterranean dance and theater to The Wild Project.
Something caught our eye among the experimental, unusual, and low-budget plays that comprise the Ice Factory Festival, a spotlight of “the most exciting downtown companies” that starts today. As the name implies, Karaoke Bacchae is a take on Euripides’ classic tragedy, The Bacchae. This reimagining takes place not in ancient Greece, but in a karaoke bar during the Stanley Cup. And instead of witnessing a fleshy Dionysus blob around in a flowing robe, we’re treated to an appropriately shirtless Iggy Pop (well, an actor playing Iggy Pop, at least) as a not-too-far-fetched stand-in for the party god. We just had to speak with playwright and director Jesse Freedman (co-founder of the production company, Meta-Phys Ed.) about his absurdist punk take on classical Greek theater.