|The Club at La MaMa will present "Dipteracon,
or Short Lived S%*t Eaters," a Greek tragedy rock musical conceived
and directed by Raine Bode, from April 17 to 27. Based on the "Oresteia,"
the story reveals the very timely themes of lust, blood, guilt and greed.
With a old school garage rock 'n' roll score composed by Felicia Carter
Shakman especially for this production and performed by an accomplished
cast of singers and musicians, the production is intended to provoke thought
as well as to entertain.
It's been 15 years since Orestes, now 18 years old, escaped death in
Argos. His father, Agamemnon, was not so lucky, having been murdered by
his wife, Clytemnestra (Orestes' mother), and her lover, Aegistheus, who
is now king. Orestes' sister, Electra, has dreamed of revenge all these
years, and has awaited the return of her brother in the hope that he will
exact vengeance. All this is overseen by Zeus, god of flies and death.
The approach is reminiscent of Jean-Paul Sartre's "The Flies,"
but whereas Sartre's piece is his adaptation of "The Oresteia"
as interpreted through the lens of his world--World War II, the German
occupation of France and his forming philosophy of Existentialism--"Dipteracon"
adapts the classic through the lens of our world. The company suggests
that this includes "The possible beginning of World War III, the
judicially-appointed occupation of the White House and our forming philosophy
of Rock 'N Roll."
"Dipteracon" has been conceived and is being directed by Raine
Bode, who has been working with La MaMa as a full-time theatre artist
since 2000, working on such productions as Ellen Stewart's "Seven
Against Thebes" and "Dionysus Filius Dei" Arthur Maximillian
Adair's "Sound of The Sun." Ms. Bode made her New York directorial
debut last year with Joe Brady's "Bow Down" at the Club Theatre
at La MaMa. Prior to coming to New York, she was co-founder and artistic
director of Mongrel Theatre, an independent theatre company in Baltimore,
Original music and lyrics have been composed for the piece by Felicia
(Fifi Carter) Shakman, former leader of the punk pop band Pottymouth and
currently a professional jazz singer. Musical direction is by Ms. Shakman
and Ron C. Spencer III with vocal direction by Club Curator Nicky Paraiso.
Scenic and lighting design is by veteran La MaMa designer Arthur Adair.
The band will include Masa Imamura, Felicia Shakman, Ron C. Spencer III
and Alan Lerner. Musical consultant is Yukio Tsuji.
The show features an international cast including Kristin Atkinson, John
Benoit, Ann Bonner, Antonio Cerezo (Mexico), Eveleena Dann (Germany),
Kaori Fujiyabu (Japan), Sara Galassini (Italy), Mark Gallop, Denise Greber,
Nicky Paraiso, Eugene the Poogene, Lars Preece, Ramona Pula, Stephanie
Rafferty, Peter Schuyler, Shannan Shaughnessy, Shigeko Suga (Japan) and
Mary Ann Walsh.
The script was assembled by the company from various versions of "The
Oresteia," and then mostly replaced by songs. Song lyrics are by
Felicia (Fifi Carter) Shakman.