There is a terrible moaning coming from the McCoy Theatre at Rhodes College. It's the sound of large, hairy men stooped over their painfully engorged members, crying out for a bit of sexual healing.
Playwright and director Kyle Hatley, a Rhodes alum, has returned to his alma mater to create an innovative, profane, visually poetic, and sometimes wildly self-indulgent adaptation of Lysistrata (pictured above), Aristophanes' classic anti-war comedy about a group of women who end the Peloponnesian Wars by taking over the bank and refusing to give up the booty. Noted community actors Bill Andrews and Kim Justis Eikner join a stellar cast of students and alumni for three hours of Greek-inspired silliness, self-satisfied preaching, and reverb-drenched folk songs.
The costumes of Lysistrata and the Death of Cupid look like they were pinched from Xena: Warrior Princess, and the wickedly cool set is a giant sandbox that, once the action begins, is forever ringed in a halo of glowing dust.
Meanwhile, at the University of Memphis, the pigs are taking over. Professor Gloria Baxter opens her narrative adaptation of George Orwell's satirical novel Animal Farm on Thursday, April 10th.
Widely recognized as one of the most influential novels of the 20th century, Animal Farm tells the story of a group of barnyard animals who overthrow their human masters then turn on one another. It was originally written in response to Stalin's rise to power in Soviet Russia but now serves as a broader allegory for how easily a society can be hijacked by tyrants.
"Lysistrata and the Death of Cupid" at McCoy Theatre at Rhodes College. Thursday-Saturday, April 10th-12th, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday,
April 13th, 2 p.m. $2 to $10. To reserve tickets, call 843-3839.
"Animal Farm" at the Mainstage Theatre, University of Memphis Department of Theatre and Dance. Through April 19th. Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m. $10 to $15. For more information, call 678-2576.