Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Notes from a Stone

Just got back from my first rehearsal of Eurydice and boy are my arms tired (because I flew). Anyway, thing about Eurydice is that it's based on an old story called "How Orpheus got his Groove Back." Now this story has been told by many different people through many different ages. Ovid told it, Virgil told it, Aaron Spelling told it, all the greats have put their grimy mitts on this tale. The Version we're doing is by Sarah Ruhl, who wrote other plays like Cleaning the House and De Parking Meter in de City.

However, as a public service to all you loyal blog readers, I have gone into the Curio archives, and unearthed a dusty old version of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. It’s written in Latin by a man named Bolognius Halatocia. Now I don’t know Latin, but I have an old Wheelock’s Latin textbook in my basement, so I’m going to try to do my best to translate it into modern English. Here goes:

“So there was this dude-brah, a total stud right? This dude-man fell in love with a beautiful mystery lady. Dude-guy said to mystery lady, ‘hey yo, wanna have a son or something?’ Mystery lady was all like, ‘here’s the deal, I got a lot of irons on the fire, but I guess I’ll give you a son or something.’ So they shack up for a while, but they mystery lady gets the wanderlust and leaves dude-fellah, with the baby. The baby’s a son, and he’s named Orpheus Dorpheus, but everyone calls him Orphy-poo. So Orphy-poo grows up the regular way, but one day he’s all, ‘yo pops, where’s my mama?’ And dude-dude, not wanting to make the kid feel bad told Orphy-poo, ‘You’re mother was a magical music lady, so you should be a magical music lady too… only the boy kind… a musical man we call them sometimes.’

And so Orphy-poo learned all about music and stuff. He wrote all the great songs of the time, “Cherry Pie,” “Ave Maria,” and Hank Williams’s “I’ll Never Make it Outta this World Alive.” Then one day he met this super hot lady. He saw her and literally said, ‘Wowza!’ [Translation note: He said ‘wowza’ in Latin, but really it would have been Greek.] He said, ‘hey, nice lady, with the hair and the legs and things! Wanna maybe go out some time, with the dating and the smooching?’ And she, her name happened to be Eurydice, agreed. They dated for a while, and things were going great. They were gonna get married, but then Eurydice went walking in a meadow without any shoes on, and she stepped on snake. The snake, being justifiably peeved, bit the lady, and poisoned her to death. So she was dead, which was a major bummer.

Orphy-poo didn’t want to be married to a dead woman, so he wrote the saddest song in the world. He played it all day everyday, until finally Pluto, the cartoon dog god of the underworld, said to him, ‘Hey guy! Cut that out, you’re bumming everyone out with that jam! I’ll make you a deal, if you can walk an arbitrary distance without looking back at your foxy lady wife, then you can have her. But the catch is that you gotta chill it with that sad song stuff… go back to playing ragtime jams!’ I probably forgot to mention that Orphy-poo used to play wicked good ragtime jams. So Orpheus Dorpheus said he’d be down with the deal, and got to the starting line. He was supposed to walk four hundred steps before turning around, but he miscounted and only walked three hundred and ninety nine steps before turning around. So Eurydice was doomed to eternal death again. Orpheus was bummed out, and joined a Screamo band called “The Thrashing Maenads.” He screamed so hard one concert that his body just straight up exploded into bits. His skull was found by a fan, and she buried it at the foot of Olympus Mans, that big mountain on Mars, because it turned out that she was a Martian. And they all lived happily ever after, except for all the dead ones. The end.”

So that’s the original version of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. You should come see our production to see how the versions differ.


Harry Slack, Big Stone

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