According to one of the many wonderful female characters in Charles Mee's Big Love, "the male is a biological accident, an incomplete female, the product of a damaged gene..." Her sister deadpans back, "That's maybe a little bit extreme." But Mee, the author of bobrauschenbergamerica, is nothing if not extreme. Inspired by The Suppliant Women by Aeschylus, Mee reinvents the story of 50 sisters who flee Greece on the night their father tries to marry them off. But the University of Houston production is not all drama. According to the show's director, Leslie Swackhamer, "Big Love is big fun."
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In Mee's version, the husbands are Americans who chase after their runaway brides in a helicopter. It's a "big entrance," says Swackhamer, "amazing sound, searchlights, big, big entrance." Mixed in with all the action is a little song and dance, and some nudity, plus one hell of a fight scene. Swackhamer warns, "Get ready for some creative murders." Swackhamer, fight director Brian Byrnes and choreographer Teresa Chapman have included death by pneumatic staplers, hula hoops and aerial silks in this highly theatrical piece, which is both slapstick funny and a raging drama. 8 p.m. February 26 and 27, March 4, 5 and 6; 2 p.m. February 28 and March 7. University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun. For information, call 713-743-3003 or visit www.theatredance.uh.edu. $10 to $20.
Feb. 26-28; March 4-7, 2010