Rip it like Euripides
In the latest high-culture appropriation of hip hop (remember MTV's Carmen?), North Hennepin Community College Theatre Ensemble is putting on a rap version of The Bacchae, an old-school Greek tragedy written by ancient MC Euripides, who rocked the Dionysia and sonned the competition circa 406 B.C. In the play, young god Dionysus gets mad at his royal fam for denying his propers as a deity—Moms was Zeus's trick. But Dionysus gets his get-back: According to the NHCC press release, "Young, arrogant King Pentheus returns home to find the women of his kingdom gone wild with seemingly reckless religious rituals of the mysterious god Dionysus," whose magic "is both intoxicating and dangerous."
Working from the C.K. Williams translation, director Janice Marie Wolf says she got the idea for a hip-hop Bacchae when she first heard the music. "The choruses were originally done in a rhythmic way in Ancient Greek, so there was always a rhythm to it," she says. "This semester, when I heard my students rapping, I handed them this and said, 'Could you rap this?' And that was it." The show opens Friday, April 20; call 763.424.0788 or visit www.nhcc.edu for more information.
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