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Bigger, Better, Pflaster
Have you found yourself longing for a staged production of an ancient Greek myth with a distinctly contemporary sensibility? If so, look no further. The Cross-Eyed Bear Theatre Production Company will be presenting Amazing Dædalus, a new black comedy based on Greek mythology, written and directed by Hoboken resident Duncan Pflaster.
Some of you may already be familiar with Pflaster's work. He's the guy behind the “Hoboken Conspiracy” web page (see sidebar). With Amazing Dædalus, Pflaster is expanding his creative vision well beyond cyberspace; he's aspiring to reinterpret Ancient Greek mythology for the live stage. Pflaster (that' s a silent “P”) became fascinated with the Greek mythos when his sixth grade teacher introduced him to the world of Narcissus, Eros, and Psyche. The notoriously kinky lives of the Greeks continue to captivate him as an adult.
“Greek gods had very strange lives. They turn into animals, they have sex with strange women. In Amazing Dædalus I wanted to explore what that world would be like”, says the mortal.
The Grecian Formula
According to ancient myth, Dædalus and his son, Icarus, are thrown into a Labyrinth Dædalus erected to imprison the monster Minotaur. As the legend goes, Dædalus the builds two sets of wings out of wax and feathers so that he and his son can escape. When they finally flee, Icarus soars too close to the sun, burns his wings and dies. Set inside the Labyrinth, Amazing Dædalus chronicles the previously undocumented events leading up to Icarus's demise.
Being a genuinely creative guy, Pflaster has used his artistic license to effect a few small changes to the ancient myth. He has abandoned the Minotaur's monster status, transforming him into a diaper-wearing overgrown child (The actor portraying Minotaur wears a very small costume). To further complicate matters, Pflaster has made Icarus gay. Finally, while the play is set in ancient times, the characters speak modern English (the vernacular, not the band).
Amazing Dædalus is Pflaster's first foray into Ancient Greek adaptations. However, most of his previous work also revolves around the fantastic.
When asked why, Pflaster emphatically responded, “Because reality is boring! I like to see things on stage that you can' t do anywhere else. We' re doing it for the audience, and what you see one night might not ever happen again.”
You don' t have to be a Greek scholar to enjoy Amazing Dædalus, either. Aware that not everyone is such a freak for all things Greek, Pflaster provides a program note as a crash course in Greek mythology.
Amazing Dædalus runs May 18th through May 29th, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. at the Producers Club Theatres (358 W. 44th St) in Manhattan. Tickets $15 for all shows. For more information and reservations call (212) 539-3901 or visit the Web site.
While Duncan Pflaster has lived in Hoboken for only seven months- he recently relocated from Florida- he has already made quite an impression on the city with his “Hoboken Conspiracy” Web page.
Most of us stroll up and down Washington Street, oblivious to some bizarre storefronts. For example, take Dr. Nails, Baron Drugs, and Chicken Galore- unless we're going to these places, we walk right by them. But, Pflaster saw more, and was inspired to create a Web page.
Referencing James Bond- or, more appropriately, Austin Powers- the “Hoboken Conspiracy” Web site depicts Hoboken not just as a friendly and simple town, but as a battleground for two rival despotic overlords, Baron Drugs and Doctor Nails. Their minions are the prostitute Cheap Maggie and Chicken Galore. Mr. Bagels and a podiatrist from the Washington Foot Care Center are the “good guys” sent to restore peace in Hoboken.
Needless to say, the page is a different look at the city, from a uniquely newcomer perspective. Hoboken residents and 007 fans can check out the madness at his web page.
The Opening Scene
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This is where the gods play games with the lives of men,
on a board which is at one and the same time a simple playing
area and the whole world.
Fate always wins. Most of the gods throw dice but Fate plays chess, and you don't find out until too late that he's been using two queens all along.
Fate wins. At least, so it is claimed. Whatever happens, they say afterwards, it must have been Fate.
-Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times