Argonautika
Season 07-08 Season

What Critics Have Said

“A sizzling theatrical adventure, full of mythical flourish and dramatic excitement … smart, fresh, endlessly imaginative and thoroughly enjoyable … replete with Zimmerman’s ability to take one step back from the fanciful story and ponder its deeper truths.”
Chicago Tribune
 
“Theatrical wizard Mary Zimmerman’s stunningly imaginative, engagingly comic, affecting and invigoratingly immediate retelling of the ancient myth of Jason and the Argonauts’ quest for the Golden Fleece, and his ill-fated romance with the virginal sorceress Medea, is a 2 1/2- hour treat. Graced with beautiful, deceptively simple design, inventive stagings, beguilingly wry puppets and a thoroughly engaging cast, it’s a modern take on an old tale of ambition, deception, heroism, love and unintended consequences.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“The experience of seeing the show really is like going on an adventure into some uncharted theatrical territory, and returning with memories to treasure for a long time.”
Contra Costa Times

“Argonautika fuses the elegance of a ritual with the full-throttle thrill of adventure. She sets the heart pounding and the imagination ablaze for the drama’s duration. The director takes time to etch each leg of the legendary expedition meticulously. From the bullying and braying of Hercules to the pathetic attempts of Medea to remove Cupid’s arrow from her breast, each moment feels as fully realized as it is highly stylized. The performances ground the loftiness of the fable in flesh, blood and raw emotion. This is a ballet of details, danced to perfection. Billows of green silk morph into a sea monster. Puppet strings tug a baby’s limbs to life. Strips of scarlet satin are transformed from hair ribbons to rivulets of blood. The images flow seamlessly from one stage picture to another, as Jason rides the ocean’s waves to his destiny.”
San Jose Mercury News

“As the great fantasy adventures have frequently been inspired by mythology, it is no surprise that a faithful retelling of myths could produce such an enormously entertaining and supremely artistic effort as Argonautika, adapter-director Mary Zimmerman’s version of the story of Jason and the Argonauts. This is arguably as enjoyable an epic as an installment of Lord of the Rings or of Star Wars; and, however large or small her production budget may have been, it is exceeded by the creativity of the visual artistry on stage. Ms. Zimmerman has performers entering acrobatically from every which way, and props flying in from Zeus-knows-where. Additionally, the artistry of the design team’s costumes, props, puppets and lighting complement her use of the actors’ bodies in unexpected ways that turn the simple rectangle of her playing space into a fantastical world in which gods and men interact.”
Talkin’ Broadway

1/3/2008

 

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