January 9, 2003
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Children of Herakles

I saw the opening of Peter Sellars' Children of Herakles at the ART last night. It's the first American production of this Euripides play. There's got to be a story behind that, doesn't there?

It's a moving and thoughtful production, featuring talk show host Chris Lydon as the Attic Chorus (played as a talk show commentator) and a slew of high school kids -- all refugees with asylum -- from Cambridge schools as Herakles' exiled orphans. Jan Triska is simply brilliant as Iolaus, the kids' protector, an aged and wheelchair-bound survivor of the last war; his is probably the best performance I've ever seen in an ancient play, although Hepburn was awfully good in The Trojan Women.