Opening: ACT stages modern-day retelling of ‘Eurydice’

ACT Theatre officials are calling Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice,” a poetic take on a classic Greek myth, inventive and fresh with a contemporary spin that takes audiences on a fantastic ride to the underworld.

The play, which is being performed in the round, opens tonight to run at various times through Oct. 5 at ACT Theatre in Seattle.

Directed by Allison Narver with Renata Friedman in the title role, Trick Danneker as Orpheus and Mark Chamberlin as Eurydice’s father, the play is based on the myth of Orpheus who visits the underworld to try to save his young bride, Eurydice, from death.

The New Yorker called Ruhl’s presentation “an exercise in imaginative freedom, in which riddle and reality coexist.”

Ruhl, inspired by her father’s death in 1994, focuses on the bond between father and daughter as she bases the play on Eurydice’s experience of her death and the choice between leaving her father again to rejoin her new husband.

“Ruhl’s playfulness and her characteristic light touch in the face of almost unbearable loss catapults the play into a gorgeous, surreal realm of wonder and enchantment,” according to press materials from ACT.

Ruhl was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for “The Clean House,” which was produced last season at ACT.

“ART”: Presented by the Eclectic Theatre Company, “ART” has been called “naughtily provocative” by the New York Post and though a comedy, manages to take a sophisticated look at art and the ties that bind men together.

The show opens at 8 p.m. Thursday and runs through Sept. 28 at Odd Duck Studio on Capitol Hill in Seattle.

Winner of the 1998 Tony Award for Best Play, “ART” takes a contemporary look at friendship today through a painting: a very expensive painting done entirely in shades of white by a really hot artist. The painting was bought by Serge, who shows his two best friends the work and wants their approval. Marc is totally mystified; Yvan tries to quietly go along but is asked to choose sides.

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