Mommie deadest

Gryphon Players cut through the Greek in Euripides' Electra

Director Keith Oncale makes nice use of choruses, especially when four women play one character, like the old man who recognizes Orestes or Electra's cuckolded husband. This all-female cast gives Euripides' script a certain feminist oomph, not in the sense of consciousness-raising or empowerment, but as a covenly expression of natural female force. These actresses united behind a mask on a stick lend majesty to the old man, and a sense of fragmentation to the queenly Clytemnestra.

Sounding like Camille Paglia for more than one sentence ought to be punishable by court-ordered community service, so I'll stop here but say the best feminist interpretation of a classic is the one that was there all along, however enmeshed in the misogyny of its own era. Medea may have killed her children just to spite her husband, but there's still victory in a woman who can hate without being condescended to by the author. Gryphon Players pare away the frou-frou "poetry" of classical Greece, daring us to feel the fury of a woman scorned.

Electra runs through April 26. Call 526-1158.

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