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REVIEW: Greece

August 9, 2017 5:00 am0 commentsViews: 118
The Gold Dust Orphans in Greece.

The Gold Dust Orphans in Greece.

by Steve Desroches

Evolve or die. It’s not only the law of nature, but also the arts. It’s hard enough to see an idea or concept through to creation, but perhaps the real challenge is to each time weave the new into the fabric of a current work. Since their inception as a theater company in 1995 the Gold Dust Orphans have continually surprised and delighted audiences with their boisterous parodies perfectly melding together the energy of fringe performance, gay and camp culture, and theatrical professionalism with the veneer of madness and chaos. Their current offering of Greece shows that after more than 20 years they are not afraid to take risks. It pays off marvelously in this new musical mash up of Grease and Clash of the Titans.

All the core elements of a great Gold Dust Orphans production are in Greece: the smart, crack of the whip writing full of double entendres by Ryan Landry, the inventive campy set design, hilarious site gags peppered throughout, and the presence of a fourth wall so full of holes it could be Swiss cheese. And perhaps above all there is the loving vibe of a gay vaudeville misted throughout that further supplies that special Gold Dust Orphans’ magic. But if there is any one piece of evidence that the theatrical accomplishments of this theater troupe that goes spread eagle over Cape Cod Bay each year has found that sweet spot balancing tradition and innovation its Greece. It seems there were quite a few baskets left on the doorstep of the orphanage this winter, as Greece largely boasts young actors making their Orphan debuts, bringing a fresh vigor and dynamic voices to this rock musical.

Part of the joy of a Gold Dust Orphans production is watching it unfold like an accordion dipped in glitter, thus the story line must remain a secret. While the source material is well known, this incarnation is unpredictable as the unhappy gods and goddesses on Mount Olympus send Zeus’ disobedient teenage daughter Sandy to high school as a mortal in 1950s B.C. as punishment. The new Oprhans, Taryn Cagnina as Sandy, MacMillan Leslie as Danny Zeuso, Michael Underhill as Icarus, and Vanessa Calantropo as Brizzo, as well as the other Titans and Pink Sirens, bring an electricity to the production with their powerhouse voices and glittering stamina. However, the big laughs and drive for this production comes from familiar faces with Landry as Venus, Larry Coen as Zeus, Penny Champayne as the just “ghastly” Patty, and Qya Marie, an incredible talent and rising star, as Aphrodite. And there is of course the iridescent-winged Pegasissy, the anal-inspired Kraken, and one pissed-off giant Cyclops that are presented in classic, or is it classical, Gold Dust Orphan style.

Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans present Greece Sundays at 7:30 p.m. through September 3 at Fishermen Hall, 12 Winslow St. (entrance in the rear of the building), Provincetown. Tickets ($39.99/$49.99/$100) are available online at fishermenhall.com and at the door. For more information call 774.538.9220.