The Classical Theatre of Harlem presents this free, outdoor staging of the classical drama from Sophocles, reset in a dystopian future. More…
The struggle for power, glory, and the claim to the city of Thebes has shattered the bonds of brotherhood, leaving two men lifeless. The new king proclaims one brother a hero and the other a usurper, leaving his limp body lying in the street as an example to those who dare act against the state. But when the sister of the slain young brothers protests the edict, she breaks faith with everything she has ever known in order to set things right at any cost.
"For all its seriousness of intent, this 'Antigone' is not some grim, eat-your-spinach night at the classics. It is free, an hour long and a summer-evening delight...Director Carl Cofield knows that Sophocles’ intensity will land strangely on our ears, so he sometimes redirects it into humor... Jones is extraordinary...He finds a way to make us spare a thought for Creon, a man trying to rebuild a city from blocks that turn to dust in his hands." Full Review
“A vividly contemporary twist on a Sophoclean tragedy...This production sometimes seems eerily in sync with our strange times...This is an 'Antigone' more rooted in melodrama than tragedy, focusing less on the price she pays with her life and more on the fireworks that occur when the status quo is challenged...This is a tense, involving drama presented with a highly theatrical flourish and with something to say about the debased state of our democracy.” Full Review
"A brisk and very handsome staging...Directed with admirable clarity by Carl Cofield...Devoted to atmospherics, this production prioritizes complexly layered design over dramatic cohesion. Some of the play’s meaning is lost with what this slender, hourlong show leaves out...Yet even with these shortcomings, the ritual of the whole — with the music of a crooning chorus and the movement of a flock of five dancers — does bring catharsis." Full Review
“Familiar images of mourning and protest make clear the relevance and importance of this powerful play...Though the performances are uneven, there are some stellar moments...Inspired by Paul Roche’s adaptation, the added moments of colloquial dialogue connect us to the material (many times with humor) and make the relationships clearer...There is something special about sitting under the stars and sharing an evening of compelling theatre with an energetic, New York audience." Full Review
"While linking 'Antigone' to movements such as Black Lives Matter might seem slightly tenuous, those echoes of current controversies about police brutality turn the play into a passionate cry for justice...Less successful are a series of Afropunk-style dance interludes that replace the traditional tragic chorus. These numbers are themselves finely choreographed but feel incidental...But Cofield and his cast get the main thing right by making classical tragedy seem fresh and eternal." Full Review
See it if You like Greek tragedy applied to the modern idiom and updated. This production takes the play's essence and condenses it into the present.
Don't see it if If you do not like Greek tragedy or prefer to see it in its pure form. You will be missing something excellent.
See it if If you have never experienced Sophocles before. This is the production to see. It is a feast for the senses and it is FREE. Go.
Don't see it if You don't enjoy wonderful, visually stunning free theatre.
See it if Outdoor theatre in park is superb. Great sense of community, maybe like how Delacorte once was. Powerful performances in nicely set drama.
Don't see it if you're preference is for indoor, with conventional staging.
See it if you like modernized classics made relevant to our times; want to see great young performers in a terrific set
Don't see it if you would be disappointed in that this abbreviated version of a complicated, classic play is only one hour long
See it if Bring your kids. Bring your pretentious theatergoing sister. Bring your boyfriend who is sure he will hate it. All will be entertained.
Don't see it if A bit of a stretch to try to wrap this story around current events but- visually stunning,spectacular dancing, fully accessible dialogue.
See it if you've never been to a CTH summer show. You'll wonder why you didn't know that such high-quality theater was happening for free in Harlem.
Don't see it if you don't have patience for a show that is overtly connected to modern political issues. Also, Antigone's performance is a bit one-note.
See it if Ambitious production, with impressive set, music, choreography and costumes. Some strong dramatic moments.
Don't see it if Attempts to accomplish too much in 60 minutes with awkward comic elements in a serious drama. Overreaching politically.
See it if Modernist production design (palace as court house) & sharp direction infuse timeless drama of revenge/restitution Songcycle & choreo vivid
Don't see it if Acting is overwraught (Jones' Creon) or one note (King's Antigone) but its injurious Smart, swift pacing by chorus helps drama stay potent
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