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The Greek Play 

Free wine, plus a dripping sexiness and brutality -- what's not to like?

Wednesday, Jan 24 2007
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The wine is plentiful and free for audience members at Elastic Future's new production, vaguely inspired by Aeschylus' "Oresteia Trilogy." Inventively set in the art gallery at Root Division (which co-produces), the play puts the crowd in the round on pillows and chairs, surrounded by walls covered with specially commissioned art pieces with mythological themes. Actors grab masks and costumes from these displays to embody brutal gods, sex-starved nymphs, and adventurous mortals (Baruch Porras-Hernandez is delightfully seedy as the sexually deviant philosopher Democritus). The plot detailing Clytemnestra's descent into madness feels a little stitched together, with plenty of unearned hysterics, while the dialogue combines modern cursing with classical soliloquies. The company's forte is its luscious set design (merging forest glade with apocalyptic hell), stunning costumes (goddess wings and satanic masks), and propulsive soundtracks (Nine Inch Nails and Scissor Sisters). There's a dripping sexiness and brutality here that reflects the Greek gods' penchant for rape, murder, and lusty fornication. But what really defines Greek is its ambitious combination of performance, art exhibition, and wine bar — which enthusiastically recreates the environmental theater of the '60s with hints of ancient bacchanalia. — Nathaniel Eaton

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Nathaniel Eaton

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