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theater: Hit Myths

The Barksdale has fun with Greeks and Romans.

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The action kicks off when Jupiter (Richard Travis) comes down from the heavens to check out this thing called "love." He is accompanied by Mercury (Jerold Solomon). (Technically, these guys should be Zeus and Hermes, but author Barry Harman must have been sipping a little too much ouzo when he wrote the script to care whether his Greek and Roman mythological references were kosher.)

As one might suspect, Jupiter falls in love with Alcmene (Sara Maynard Sommers), the beautiful wife of Amphitryon (also Richard Travis), who happens to be off at war and missing in action. Also missing is his faithful slave Sosia (Scott Wichmann). Posing as her husband, duplicitous Jupiter spends one night with Alcmene, and after 17 hours of bliss, duped she is.

Things get a little complicated when the real husband and the real slave drag in from the war looking for their spouses. Charis (Susan Sandford) and Sosia (Wichmann), together at last, are a hilarious duo. The audience jumped to its feet when they took their bows. Sara Maynard Sommers and Jerold Solomon offer heavenly renditions of Grant Sturiale's melodies. Richard Travis lands the laurel wreath for his dual roles. Terrie Powers and Steven Koehler team up for the creation of a fabulous set and celestial lighting, rivaling (in polymer) the ancient amphitheater Epidauros.

All in all, "Olympus on My Mind," is a triumph of Olympic proportions, not to be missed for its glorious, simply deloreus, summer entertainment. S



"Olympus on My Mind" runs through Aug. 4 at Barksdale Theatre, 1601 Willow Lawn Drive. Tickets are $28 with special discounts for groups of 10 or more. 282-2620.





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