By Clifford Grindstaff
Ask any artist creating new work, and they'll tell you audiences love the classics. Maybe we prefer the familiar, the comfortable. Perhaps older material deals in timeless themes. Maybe there is no such thing as "original" anymore.
Happily, each moment is unique, and every classic can be reinterpreted by fresh, young talent. This weekend Albuquerque has several vintage works re-imagined on stage.
At UNM, the Theatre & Dance Department presents Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses. Directed by Joe Alberti, these 10 classic myths of yore are based on Ovid's narrative poem and infused a with contemporary twist. The gods and mortals will dance, sing and presumably transform into animals, plants and gold. Theatre X has been home to some outstanding performances in the last few years, and the first effort from Alberti is likely no exception. (Through Oct. 7, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.)
Thanks to "Downton Abbey," phrases like "Shall we retire to the drawing room?" and titles such as dowager are returning to the collective consciousness. But for decades—nay, centuries—keeping alive the concerns of the landed gentry has been the province of Jane Austen. Should one marry for love or money? How much money does Mr. Darcy have? If such questions excite you, Pride and Prejudice (as directed by Leslee Richards) explores love and social standing on stage at the Adobe Theater. Join the ranks of P&P readers, who for 199 years have wrung their hands wondering whether the heart will prevail. (Through Oct. 7, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.)
The Vortex Theatre is one of my favorite places to see a plays in town because the curation is always tastefully done. This is the last weekend you can watch a little part of the American Dream die when (spoiler alert!) Willy kills himself. Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller's classic, is directed by James Cady. Go eat at Thai House across the street before the show. The heat of curry blends well with diminished hopes and mental degradation. (Through Sept. 30, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m.)
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