Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Eurydice opens Friday

Cedar Rapids - The first time Leslie Charipar saw a production of Eurydice, she was literally moved to tears.

She’s now hoping the show will move local audiences the same way, when Charipar’s production of Sarah Ruhl's play performs at Theatre Cedar Rapids April 8-23.

Eurydice retells the classic Greek myth of Orpheus — only it’s from the perspective of Eurydice, Orpheus’ wife. Eurydice dies shortly after the couple’s wedding and is sent to the Underworld, where she is reunited with her lost father. However, Orpheus yearns to bring her back from the dead, and goes on a mission to find her — a decision that forces Eurydice to choose between returning to the land of the living, or staying behind in the land of the dead.

Playwright Ruhl does more than just change the focus of the Orpheus story with Eurydice. She also makes heavy use of poetry and imagery in her adaptation.

“Sarah Ruhl’s use of language is so beautiful and fresh and unexpected,” says Charipar, the Artistic Director of Theatre Cedar Rapids. “It’s different from a typical translation. It feels more like a good piece of music than a novel.”

The cast of Eurydice is full of veteran TCR volunteers, including Hannah Spina (White Christmas) as Eurydice; Alex Williams (Crimes of the Heart) as Orpheus; Scot Hughes (It’s A Wonderful Life) as the Father; Scott Humeston (A Streetcar Named Desire) as the Nasty Interesting Man and the Lord of the Underworld; and a Chorus of Stones made up of Emmy Palmersheim (Gypsy), Nick Walters (Annie) and Mike Wilhelm (The Laramie Project).

The show also promises to be visually lush and imaginative, with set design by Bret Gothe and lighting by Derek Easton and costumes by Richie Akers.

“These people are totally capable of delivering Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, and I am really excited about our audiences being introduced to this playwright and this story through this production,” Charipar says. “It’s a lovely show.”

Eurydice performs April 8-23 at TCR as part of the Linge Series, sponsored by the Linge Foundation. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, as well as a 2:30 p.m. performance Sunday, April 17. Tickets are $20 or $25, with $12 rush tickets available at the door. For tickets or more information, visit, call (319) 366-8591 or visit the box office, 102 Third St. SE, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Here's a sneak peek video:

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