Already closed | 1h 10m | Harlem

The Bacchae (The Classical Theatre of Harlem)

From 8 member  reviews
Members say: Great staging, Entertaining, Ambitious, Inventive, accurate, entertaining, must see, free, Must see

About the show

The Classical Theatre of Harlem presents a free, outdoor staging of a work that continues the company's investigation of the current political and social climate via the Greek classics.  More…

From the show:

Set in the modern era, Dionysus (God of wine and ecstasy) returns to his hometown in order to clear his mother's name and punish the insolent city for not allowing its citizens to worship him. The clash between Dionysus, played as a modern-day rock star and his cousin Pentheus, the uncompromising and moralistic king of the city, examines the consequences of a general public that blindly follows two vastly different leaders. Dionysus represents unbridled freedom and excess while on the other end of the spectrum, Pentheus epitomizes excessive law, order and rigidity. As society slides into fear and tribalism, its citizen's rationale becomes clouded as they blindly take orders and pick sides rather than seek moderation and rationality. CTH's interpretation is a lush and modern version of the classic Greek tragedy that tackles the ills of a culture obsessed with celebrity worship, social media and fear of the other, causing people to lose the ability to see the truth - that people in power are fallible…until it's far too late.

Member Reviews (8)


Great staging, Entertaining, Ambitious, Inventive, accurate, entertaining, must see, free, Must see

Insipid, Fluffy, Anachronistic (but not in a good way), Disappointing, Confusing

See it if It's a nice night and you have nothing to do other than go to Marcus Garvey Park and watch dancing that leads nowhere.

Don't see it if You have seen past productions of the Classical Theater of Harlem. This one is not up to caliber of past shows. It's boring.

July 11th, 2019
CRITIC’S PICK "The Greeks Go Coachella in a Boisterous ‘Bacchae.’ Sure, it’s a tragedy, but along the way this Classical Theater of Harlem production is a riot of music and dance, with a Dionysus worthy of Jimi Hendrix."
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July 12th, 2019
"Bryan Doerries, who has adapted…and Carl Cofield, the director, put the tale to their own uses, adding a strong smash-the-patriarchy theme; this is an arguable point and it certainly couldn't be more of the moment. Even with its overt reach for shock and spectacle, however, this Bacchae lacks th...
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July 12th, 2019
★★★★ "'Women Go Powerfully Wild in a Refreshed Classic.' The shrill cries of women gone wild slice through the summer night as The Bacchae erupts in an exhilarating outdoor staging by the Classical Theatre of Harlem in Marcus Garvey Park."
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July 12th, 2019
"A stunning new version written by Bryan Doerries now playing at the open-air theater in Marcus Garvey Park, reveals how relevant the play's themes of the dangers of extremism whether orgies of drinking and sex or authoritarian leadership still are."
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Cast & Creatives (3)