Stars come and go for the Cultural Olympiad shows

Singers Sting and Leonard Cohen are among the many big international personalities who will not be appearing, as planned by the Cultural Olympiad, in a concert of Manos Hadjidakis works at the Herod Atticus Theater on June 23 and 24. However, organizers still hope that the stars they have booked to play in the performance «Theatrical Monologues,» such as Gerard Depardieu, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and Valerie Lang, among others, will come after all. The Cultural Olympiad, and the intermediary in charge of organizing the «Theatrical Monologues,» the Attiki Cultural Society, have been in talks with a number of stars for several months now, but nothing solid has as yet transpired. The reason for this uncertainty, according to sources in the Cultural Olympiad, is that the sought-after performers will not commit right now to appearing in an event such as this, preferring instead to keep their rosters open for other – obviously more attractive – offers. The «Theatrical Monologues» performances by foreign actors have been scheduled to take place in Athens (at the Roman Agora) and Epidaurus (at the Little Theater) from May 21 to June 19, separately from the Greek monologues that are held annually in September in Metaxourgeio. However, the Cultural Olympiad has been unable to provide a finalized program of the events, even though its has received 1.5 million euros in funding, because of the uncertainty surrounding the bill. The good news is that despite this glitch, the rest of the Cultural Olympiad’s program of events will go on as planned, save the ambitious program «Manos-Cosmos» – an effort by an old American associate of Manos Hadjidakis to familiarize world-class performers with the Greek composer’s work – which, unfortunately, was called off following the untimely death two months ago of the main organizer. Instead, the Cultural Olympiad has now turned to an older proposal and is scheduling a performance by the French troupe Cirque du Soleil, with music performed by the Athens State Orchestra under the baton of Loukas Karytinos. Another new feature in the events program is an awards ceremony organized by stage director Spyros Evangelatos, honoring personalities from politics and the arts from around the world. The event, titled «Peace-Eros,» has been scheduled for September in the period between the Olympic Games and the Paralympics, and is composed of choral works and extracts from dramas and comedies that deal with the themes of peace and love.