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AN ILIAD OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: February 15, 2012
Synopsis: An Iliad spins the familiar tale of gods and goddesses, undying love and endless battles told through an original and immediate voice. Denis O'Hare and Stephen Spinella will alternate as performers in this 100-minute sweeping account of humanity's unshakeable attraction to violence, destruction and chaos. Has anything really changed since the Trojan War?
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"Great armies are clashing on the stage of New York Theater Workshop. Sharpened spears fly through the air, tearing into flesh as they strike their targets. Swords clatter on shields, blood soaks the sand, and myriad souls are dispatched to the underworld. Above the fray the gods look on with studied interest, rushing to the aid of their favorites when peril threatens."
"The New York Theatre Workshop's production of An Iliad, running Off Broadway through March 25, is the latest attempt to make Homer's classic war story relevant for a new generation worn down by foreign military conflicts. As conceived and adapted by True Blood and American Horror Story star Dennis O'Hare with director Lisa Peterson, the tale of the nine-year Trojan War becomes a vehicle for a single, singular performer to shine for roughly 100 uninterrupted minutes. This production is blessed with two such performers: O'Hare as well as Tony winner Stephen Spinella (Angels in America), who switch nights in the role of the Poet and imbue the work with slightly different shadings of emphasis and style."
"Greek poet Homer's 8th-century B.C. epic, "The Iliad," told the story of the mythical 10-year Trojan War, featuring two warrior heroes, the wrathful Greek, Achilles and noble Hector, the peace-loving Trojan prince."
"“You see” are the last words spoken by the Poet in An Iliad. It’s a fitting end to a piece that consists of a man on a mostly bare stage conjuring images through mere speech. Our storyteller has narrated a 100-minute condensation of Homer’s Bronze Age slaughter chronicle, The Iliad. The language sears impossible-to-stage tableaux of death and destruction on your mind’s eye. So, yes, by listening we do see—almost more than our hearts can bear."
""It's always something," cries the Poet as he describes the various causes of war. Sometimes it's a beautiful woman, a game, pride, religion, or land—but it's always some ridiculous, meaningless catalyst that sets off the chain of events causing death and destruction. That's the sad, painful message of "An Iliad," the solo theatrical adaption of Homer's classic by the actor Denis O'Hare and director Lisa Peterson. O'Hare is performing the powerful piece in repertory with his fellow Tony winner Stephen Spinella at New York Theatre Workshop. It's an exciting opportunity to examine contrasting approaches to the same material as well as to view an ageless classic through new eyes."
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