Voice Choice: The Bacchae


Euripides’ The Bacchae—that hymn to faith, filicide, and the dangers of drink—enjoyed its first performance some 2,400 years ago. But John Tiffany, a remarkable young director, has given this ancient tragedy an utterly up-to-date production, which he remounts at the Lincoln Center Festival. A hit at last summer’s Edinburgh Festival, critics variously described the play—adapted by Scottish writer David Greig—as “a masterpiece,” “a knockout of epic proportions,” and “a spectacular piece of theater.” Alan Cumming, rather spectacular himself, stars as the naughty god Dionysus, and first appears on the stage resplendent in a gold kilt, wearing nothing underneath. Supporting him is a chorus of voluptuous Anglo-African women, clothed in vermilion gowns, who sing his praises gospel-style. How heavenly! Opens tonight, through July 13, Rose Theatre at Jazz at Lincoln Center, 33 West 60th Street, 212-721-6500, $35–$90 ALEXIS SOLOSKI