As in the ancient version, 50 sisters are engaged to marry their 50 cousins, but run away, in this case from Greece to Italy. The sisters are represented by just three actors: Markia Nicole Smith (Lydia), Saige Smith (Olympia) and Amber Jones (Thyona). Their rendition of “You Don’t Own Me” (the Leslie Gore song) is a musical highlight of the show. And becomes about as philosophical as the didactic messaging gets.
The brothers — Nate Willey (Nikos), Charlie Rowell (Oed) and Drew Campbell-Amberg (Constantine) — also sing, roll around with muscularity, and have some moments that could be mistaken for primal therapy.
Director Reginald L. Douglas’ staging is big and rowdy. Dishes are smashed, pianos are pounded, and jaws are dropped.
Gianni Downs’ Mediterranean set is well complemented by Andrew David Ostrowski’s lighting, which evolves from day to evening to night like a gentle, crepuscular painting giving birth to itself. Steve Shapiro manages to evoke a panoply of sounds, from distant swooping gulls to the rowdy soundtrack comprising Lady Gaga and several pop songs.
While the marriage night does not go well for most of the brothers (there will be blood), The Beatles remind us in the end that “All You Need is Love.” Certainly true, but not the most profound conclusion. It seems our age has not added much to this story after 2,500 years.