Friday evening April 19th at BC was a great ending to a very hectic week. I went to see the delightful opening production of the play The Birds, a modern adaptation of a comedy by Aristophanes first performed in 414 BCE Greece that was brought to life by the students in Kim Chin’s class. The play was staged in front of the Gym, outside and in the round – true to its ancient Greek origins. It was well attended with three sets of bleacher-style seating faced the gym and formed a ring around the curtained entrance to the gym where the actors entered and exited.
The plot revolves around two disillusioned Athenians who set off in search of a Thracian king who has metamorphosed into a bird. They end up joining with a whole flock of birds to depose the Olympian in favor of the establishing the kingdom of the birds. If this sounds a bit crazy, well, it is – an raucous Mel Brooks style farce with word play, racy language, dancing and singing, and produced with lots of connections to modern day celebrities and music.
The costumes are great, and the birds act, move, dance and sing in character, from Rock Dove to Flamingo. If I tried to do them all justice this would be far too long a post and, well, you just need to go see the play to appreciate their full glory, from kestrel to pigeon to owl and peacock and many more.
The humans do a great job as well, and the modern music lends itself to some very funny and well-done numbers. The dancing is at times wild and overstated as you’d expect in a farce, and at times subtly executed in an understated way. Let me just say: Prometheus – OMZ (oh my zeus), who knew?