8.14.2009

Shakespeare in the Park- The Bacchae





I was the lucky recipient of 2 free tickets from the Shakespeare in the Park summer series of plays held nightly in the outdoor Delacorte Theatre. It is this opportunity- to be able to walk across the street to the Park to watch a world-class play w/world class actors/actresses- that makes me feel honored to have spent a good chunk of time in NYC & really get to know the cities delights intimately.



Tonight's performance was The Bacchae- an ancient Greek tragedy by Athenian playwright Euripides. The Thebian king, Pentheus is punished by the god Dionysus, who is living among men, for refusing to worship him. As well, his mother Agave mistakenly tears off her sons head and limbs thinking him to be a creature.



Dionysys, or Bacchus, is feeling pissy towards Pentheus, King of Thebes, his cousin & nemesis because Pentheus got the throne from Cadmus- the grandfather they both share. Pentheus is pissy at Dionysus because all the women of Thebes are deserting families & children to be w/Dionysus- the Bacchae, or devotes. They continually walk up the mountain, Cithaeron, in a trance-like induced state (well, he is the God of Thunder and a gaze from him is thought to hurl mortals into fits of ecstasy- I know a man who currently produces this behavior in myself actually...) to join their new god, and in doing so denounce Pentheus.



I loved the darkness of the material. There was such beauty to the feelings being emoted by the actors. So the play has some macabre overtones and the setting was incredible at the outdoor ampitheatre with a threatening sky ready to burst open & into a frenetic downpour- which it never did.



There is so much else to explore in Central Park as well. It is so sweet to walk up to Belvedere Castle and view the Park from above. The Rambles is a devastatingly romantic walk through a quaint dirt path with overgrown vines

rambling over the trees creating an archway to walk under as you ramble down, or up. Benches are conveniently places at remote spots throughout for lovers to partake of each others charms as the lush foliage certainly must induce feelings of seduction into everyone who crosses this path. I know I got the fever and I plan on taking a certain man here as well so we can lose ourselves in the wonders of nature and recharge ourselves by being exposed to such beauty and grandeur in the woods right here Uptown. Who would think so much natural beauty to exist here.