CULTURE

An improvised and informal festival for open-air Lycabettus theater this month

An improvised and rather independent festival is taking over the Lycabettus theater this month, featuring music, song and theater. Developed in a rather random manner and not operating under any particular organizing body, the improvised festival is made up of events proposed by various artists and ensembles who book the theater from the Hellenic Festival. No one is either in charge or ultimately responsible for the events in general, and that is why it keeps on changing: Some events are simply canceled – such as a UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)-sponsored production of Racine’s «Phaedra» – while others are added. In this informal and rather anarchic manner – where, for instance, the Hellenic Festival stages shows that do not fit in with the Herod Atticus Theater schedule, such as last Saturday’s concert featuring music by Hadjidakis, Christou, Christodoulidis and Andoniou for Aristophanes’ «Birds» – audiences will get a chance to see a variety of artists from a wide musical spectrum, including composer Mikis Theodorakis, top-selling Greek rock band Pyx Lax, not to mention legendary hard rock group Deep Purple. This what the festival looks like so far: Eleven concerts featuring Greek and foreign music, including Loukianos Kilaidonis, Alkinoos Ioannidis, Yiannis Markopoulos, Stamatis Kraounakis, Despina Vandi, Nena Venetsanou and Stelios and Angelos Dionysiou; six theater productions, including four of which were produced by the municipal regional theaters of Roumeli, Kozani, Agrinio and Patras; and a performance by the Cairo Ballet Company, making its first appearance in Greece. Tonight: Loukiakos Kilaidonis is preparing for a «Cocktail Party,» 20 years since his first performance at the Lycabettus theater. In this way, the Greek singer/composer is gearing up for a musical retrospective of his work, featuring four different ensembles (including strings, jazz and popular) including 16 musicians and four singers. Wednesday: Ruggiante’s «La Mosqueta,» in a production by the Municipal Regional Theater of Roumeli (Lamia) directed by Sotiris Hantjakis, featuring actors Tassos Pezirkianides, Melina Botelli, Panos Skouroliakos, Pericles Moustakis and Costis Koukios. Friday: William Shakespeare’s «Comedy of Errors» will be presented by the Municipal Regional Theater of Kozani; directed by Nana Nikolaou, the cast is led by Dimitris Mavropoulos, Vassilis Lekkas and Lina Makraki. Sunday: Federico Garcia Lorca’s «Blood Wedding» will be staged by the Municipal Regional Theater of Agrinio; the celebrated play is accompanied by Manos Hadjidakis’s beautiful score. Directed by Thodoris Gonis, the cast includes Anna Vagena, Dimitris Alexandris, Gogo Brebou and Giorgos Morogiannis, among others. September 9: Increasingly popular singer Alkinoos Ioannidis goes solo. September 11: The Cairo Ballet Company makes its debut appearance in Greece with a production titled «Osiris.» The performance is being organized under the auspices of the Consulate of the Ivory Coast, with all proceeds going toward the development of a childcare center in Tanzania, hosting child victims of AIDS from around the whole African continent. September 12: Mikis Theodorakis’s Laiki Orchestra goes on stage once again, featuring works by its founder, interpreted by established singers Paschalis Terzis, Glykeria and Pandelis Theocharidis. September 13 and 14: Greek rock band Pyx Lax takes the stage for two consecutive nights. September 16: Alexandros Rizos-Rangavis’s «Tou Koutrouli o Gamos,» will be directed by Yiannis Mortzos, who is also leading the cast. September 17: An evening featuring the music of high-caliber Greek composer Yiannis Markopoulos. September 18: Popular Greek composer Stamatis Kraounakis presents a show titled «A Night to Remember,» featuring a number of close collaborators including Spira Spira, Costas Makedonas and Dimitra Papiou, among others. September 19: Despina Vandi is set to present a spectacular show featuring her hit songs. September 20 and 21: The Municipal Regional Theater of Patras presents Aristophanes’ «Lysistrata.» Directed by Themis Moumoulidis, the play stars Yiannis Bezos, Dimitris Piatas and Renia Louizidou. September 23: Patras-based Raining Pleasure come to Athens to offer their fans an evening of rock tunes and hits in English. September 24 and 25: The return of Deep Purple. September 27: Nena Venetsanou goes onstage for the right cause: a concert dedicated to the international year of women refugees, with proceeds going toward refugees in Greece. September 28: The Pontiac Theater will present Aristophanes’ «Peace.» September 29: Siblings Angelos and Stelios Dionysiou promise of an evening of genuine laika songs, and perhaps a tribute to their late father, Stratos.