Theater archives

The Medea/Madea Disconnect Grows In Brooklyn


The Gallery Players is a very cool theater group in Park Slope, where they’re currently doing a strong production of Dreamgirls, giving it more intimacy than some of the splashier versions that have been mounted through the years.

And the entertainment started before the curtain, when the director told the audience about other revivals they’d be doing.

The Pajama Game, ” he said, smiling. “And Equus, A Little Night Music, Rent…” The audience was politely attentive throughout that list, taking mental notes as to what they planned to get tickets for.

And then he said: “Medea…” And suddenly, a woman started shrieking from the fifth row: “Ooh! That one I want to see!!!! Oooh!!!”

I flinched and started wondering: Does anyone really get that hopped up with excitement about seeing Medea? Does anyone start yelping in public about their sheer elation at the prospect of watching the crazy lady kill her two kids?

Well, by time the show ended, I’d had some time to process this weird outburst and started sensing what was up. I cornered the woman and asked, “You didn’t think he meant Tyler Perry‘s Madea, did you?” I was a little bit afraid she’d slap me and say, “How dare you! I know my Greek dramas!” But it turned out I was right. She thought the theater company was going to apply their finest thesping skills to a Madea show!

When I told her that what was actually going to be performed was a Euripides tragedy, she was way less interested–especially when I explained that it’s not a musical.

And I am telling you she’s not going.