You will want to see this often, but not on Mother's Day
This is the U of Tenn/Kennedy Center production of 1982. Jeffers' translation is as evocative as any I've heard for the Greek plays. I was perpetually stunned by its power. Caldwell's performance burns at white heat beginning to end. I saw Mitch Ryan hold his own against James Earl Jones in play after play in the sixties and seventies, from Baal at the Martinique, to Coriolanus at Papp's Theater to The Great White Hope, but Caldwell turns him into Ralph Bellamy. All he can do on this is what he's told to do. Competently but outclassed. Pleasure also to see Judith Anderson at her most neoclassical. The entire cast is strong. Robert Whitehead's work as the stage director is manifest in their uniform quality. It's all Euripides, of course. And I am grateful for this reminder of who and what he was, and how alive his work and his ideas remain.
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