At first glance, the St. Paul neighborhood known as Frogtown might seem an arbitrary spot for Greek-themed festivities. Greek, after all, isn't a nationality that springs to mind when consider ing the evolving ethnic makeup of the area. As one of the most historic locations in St. Paul, however, Frogtown has long balanced renovation and preservation while grappling with the kind of economic limitations that Greece has come to know all too well. Looking to that artistically venerated culture for inspiration, Gonzo Group Theatre has teamed with Irrigate Arts, an initiative dedicated to incorporating art alongside the Central Corridor Light Rail line, to produce the inaugural Greek in the Street Festival. Held in the parking lot of Frogtown Square, the event's centerpiece is a performance of Aristophanes' The Frogs. A satiric recounting of how the deity Dionysus and his servant Xanthias journeyed to Hades to enlist the assistance of tragedians Euripides or Aeschylus (depending upon who wins a verbal sparring contest), the work endures as a potent example of why Aristophanes is still considered the Father of Comedy. The open-air performance, however, is just one facet of a carnival atmosphere that will also includes games, activities, and prizes. Designed as family-friendly entertainment, the festival proves that community revivals are never an antiquated concept. 6 p.m. festival; 7:30 p.m. performance.
Fridays, Saturdays, 6 p.m. Starts: July 13. Continues through July 21, 2012