Charles L. Mee’s dark comedy Big Love brings the classic battle of the sexes to the Hilberry Theatre. Playing October 25 through December 7, 2013, this hilarious and boisterous theatrical production is a meditation on love and an exploration of gender archetypes told through the viewpoint of a trio of soon-to-be brides as they quarrel with their three suitors. Tickets for Big Love range from $12–$30 and are available by calling the Hilberry Theatre Box Office at (313) 577-2972, online at Hilberry.com, or by visiting the box office at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock Street.
Big Love is a contemporary reimagining of one of the western world’s oldest plays, The Suppliant Women by 5th century BC Greek playwright Aeschylus. Big Love follows fifty brides, who have been forced to marry their fifty cousins, as they flee their home country and seek refuge in an Italian villa —only to be pursued and discovered by their fifty grooms! A roller coaster of comedic mayhem, passion, and a bit of bloody violence, this dark comedy explores human rights abuses, gender politics, domestic violence, and, ultimately, love.
Director Blair Anderson believes that, “The 21st century is a more ambiguous time where both women and men struggle with the search for ‘Love.’ Audiences can expect to see young men and women in search of their own individual ‘big loves’ – because, for each of us, finding love is always a big deal.”
The production is highly stylized featuring a scenic design that acts more as an art installation than a traditional set. Anderson explains, “The visual design…is less about establishing traditional elements of time, period, or locale but rather the elements are used to somewhat playfully provide historical pastiche and assist in a montage of actions and emotions,” including – lots of laughter!
Playwright Charles L. Mee is the first and only playwright to make a large body of theatre work available on the internet. He pioneered the (re)making project (of which Big Love is a product) where he remakes classic plays then makes them available for free for anyone to produce. Mee has expressed, “There is no such thing as an original play…I think of these appropriated texts as historical documents – as evidence of who and how we are and what we do. And I think of the characters who speak these texts as characters like the rest of us: people through whom the culture speaks, often without the speakers knowing it.”