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The Burial at Thebes 

An inventive adaptation of a classical drama -- with fantastic music

Wednesday, Jan 18 2006
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Collaborating with Rococo Risqué, the Quixote Project delivers another inventive adaptation of a classical drama produced by young theater artists. No need to brush up on your Greek mythology; the play opens with a comical recap of the genealogy that sets the scene. A collision of passions results in tragedy, raising politically relevant questions: How is patriotism defined, and by whom? When must leadership take action and blame? Antigone rebels when King Creon denies her brother burial for fighting against Thebes. Creon remains steadfast, matching Antigone's recklessly prideful decisions with his own. Nobel Prize-winning playwright Seamus Heaney penned this fresh, accessible adaptation, layering modern rhetoric of media and politics over poignant, poetic dialogue. Unfortunately, Heaney's careful script feels rushed by performers, who speed through lines, swallow syllables, and sacrifice meaning for pace. On the plus side, this dark tale finds vibrant color in the toe-tapping tunes from a four-piece band and the versatile vocals of Ariela Morgenstern, who sings three jazzy treasures (two written by the group's Pat Moran) and an impressive a cappella dirge. The swanky Creon, Ben Flax, has a marvelous solo in the spirit of Sinatra. Music aside, these 90 minutes of excellent energy could have entertained longer and more thoroughly with greater attention to language.

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Emily Forbes

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