The Alley Theatre of Houston has a lot to celebrate this year. Not only did it receive the 1996 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, it is also in the midst of its 50th anniversary season.
The highlight of the season is The Greeks, a two-evening epic, directed by Artistic Director Gregory Boyd, as adapted by John Barton and Kenneth Cavender from nine plays by ancient Greek playwrights, including Sophocles and Euripides, as well as storyteller Homer. Opening Mar. 5, through two evenings of theatre, or one marathon day (March 23, April 6, April 19, April 20), audiences will be able to witness the stories of the Trojan War and the fall of the House of Atreus in a modern narrative, revealing that humanity hasn't changed much in more than 2,000 years.
A recent press release referred to the production as "the most ambitious project in the Alley's history," and Boyd says of the production, "It is an epic that demonstrates a social consciousness reflecting our shared humanity, and I can't imagine a better time in the Alley's history than right now to present such a work that celebrates the essence of theatre." Part I and II of The Greeks run in rotating repertory through May 4.
The epic begins with Part I - "The War And The Murders," opening Mar. 5, which includes Euripides' Iphigenia At Aulis, The Trojan Women and Hecuba; Achilles, adapted from Homer's "Iliad;" and Aeschylus' Agamemnon. Part II - "The Gods," opens Mar. 19 and deals with Sophocles' Electra, and Euripides' Helen, Orestes, Andromache and Iphigenia In Tauris.
John Gromada has composed the music for the project, which is choreographed by Sara Rudner. Sets and lighting are by Kevin Rigdon, costumes by Susan Tsu. Wrapping up the Alley season is the Southwest premiere of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning Love! Valour! Compassion!, followed by Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Both have had enormous success in New York and other cities around the country. Love! Valour! Compassion! illustrating a few weekends between five homosexual friends, runs May 9 through June 1 on the Arena Stage. Picasso, reflecting an argument between young painter Pablo Picasso and young physicist Albert Einstein, closes the season on the Large Stage, May 16 through June 14.
For tickets, or more information, call (713) 228-8421 or refer to the Alley Theatre regional listing on Playbill On-Line.