Theatre: Prometheus is Bound to Please
With just three weeks left in its run, Prometheus Bound continues to impress Cambridge audiences at Oberon. Steven Sater’s (Spring Awakening) ambitious adaptation of the ancient Greek tragedy by Aeschylus turns the two thousand year old play into a pulsating rock musical that manages to be both modern and engaging without diluting the original storyline. And as the production’s partnership with Amnesty International demonstrates, the story of Prometheus’s struggle against the injustices of tyranny remains as relevant as ever.
The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) and director Diane Paulus bring strong musical and theatrical credentials to the Boston theater scene with this unique show. The score was composed by Grammy winning musician Serj Tankian (System of a Down) and two-time Tony nominee Gavin Creel (Hair, Thoroughly Modern Millie) portrays the title character. The Broadway-bred crew includes lighting designer Kevin Adams (Spring Awakening and American Idiot) and costume designer Emily Rebholz. Both keep the onstage action compelling – a tough job when one considers that the title character remains bound in chains throughout the entire show. The lighting colorfully illustrates the tragedy of Prometheus’s imprisonment and the costuming is impressive and timely, incorporating goth and punk styles (skinny jeans-wearing Hermes sports winged Adidas sneakers). These onstage and behind the scenes elements make Prometheus Bound every bit the rock musical for the iPhone generation.
One of the show’s standout characters is Zeus’s evil crony, Force, portrayed by renowned lesbian actress, singer, and comedian Lea DeLaria. In addition to her role in Prometheus, DeLaria will be performing her one woman show The Last Butch Standing this Sunday, March 13. She was nice enough to take a break from her duties torturing Prometheus to answer a few questions for us:
The New Gay – Boston: Why should people come out to see Prometheus Bound?
Lea DeLaria: I am not sure how often Boston gets to see new theater with the sort of elite credits that [Prometheus Bound] has. If you are into musical theater - this is a gay web site, so I am assuming there are one or two of you out there that are – for these reasons alone you should come see this.
TNG Boston: Can you describe your character a bit? What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your role?
LD: I am playing Force, a demi -god who is Zeus’s pure evil henchman. It is a challenge to make pure evil three dimensional. However, evil is soooo much more fun than good. That’s true in life as well. I get to beat the shit out of [Prometheus] with a baseball bat and scat sing… all in the same show. AMAZING! I have done a bit of the classics before [DeLaria has previously appeared in As You Like It, Midsummer Night’s Dream and Samuel Beckett's Happy Days] but Greek has its own rhythm trying to make that palatable to the modern ear while dealing with the particulars [and] problems of an environmental theater piece with a hard core rock score. I’ve never quite done anything like it… having said that, it’s what makes Diane [Paulus - director] so good at what she does. My character works in the show. All of our characters do, making it a true ensemble piece.
TNG Boston: How does this production compare to other shows you’ve done?
LD: There is no comparison. There is nothing like it. It is without a doubt the best and most unique musical…hell, any kind of play, with which I have ever been involved.
Prometheus Bound runs through April 2nd. Tickets are still available on the Oberon website.
Prometheus Bound – OBERON
2 Arrow St., Cambridge (Harvard Square)
Tickets $25+ (student rush $15, group discounts available)
Show runs through April 2nd
Running time: 80 minutes (no intermission)
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