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This Playwright Imagined Iggy Pop as Dionysus in a New Version of The Bacchae

(Photo: Meta-Phys Ed.)

(Photo: Meta-Phys Ed.)

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.

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Journey to Jackson Heights Without Having to Hop On the 7 Train

Jerreme Rodriguez as Reina and Brandi Bravo as Alex (Photo courtesy of Joel Weber)

Jerreme Rodriguez as Reina and Brandi Bravo as Alex (Photo courtesy of Joel Weber)

Audiences of the latest play to appear at The New Ohio Theater can relish the sweetly comedic absurdity of an Indian man handing an Ecuadorian woman a mango as if she might not know what it was, and of a Latino drag queen tenderly assuring his straight-laced, off-duty policeman one-night stand, “Being a cop is nothing to be ashamed of.”
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