Hayes's Applegate has a similarly divided effect. His spoken lines lie flat in the air; his goofy physicality (and his unexpected piano playing) add a touch of the flair the material sometimes lacks. But the evening's pretty much stolen away from the stars when Graff's wide eyes respond as Jackson's warm baritone starts casting its spell. John Rando's production keeps the show's mild comic pizzazz rolling pleasantly along, but the wistful romance is its strongest suit.
The Bacchae, alas, displayed no such strengths. There was a neat fire effect, so placed as to make the most important scenes feel anticlimactic. Tiffany seemed to have conceived the staging as a series of effects with no connection to each other, as if Euripides had been writing early treatments for music videos rather than a drama. Such meanings as The Bacchae offers today can't be grasped that glibly. Devil or Dionysus, the theater's god is a tricky fellow to handle.