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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

One Eye on the Classics

Cyclops did some crunches before devouring Mass Medias Reggie T.
Cyclops did some crunches before devouring Mass Media’s Reggie T.

Week after week, the insipid comic strip Family Circus features an invisible daemon named “Not Me,” whom little Billy blames for every broken window. Bil Keane must have been a big Odysseus fan as a kid, since the classic Greek warrior and erstwhile explorer pulls a similar schtick in The Cyclops, with far bloodier-and funnier-results.

If your jones for student acting couldn’t wait until the April 17 debut of the Theatre Department’s newest showboat, the Classics Club’s sweet and simple Cyclops fit the bill in a tight 45 minute performance that slipped nicely between afternoon and evening classes, right in the comfort of the Ryan Lounge in McCormack Hall. Without actor wannabes worrying about resumes and technique, the small cast and crew relaxed and had fun putting the bawdy, 2500 year old satyr play through its paces.

The play is the one of its type to have survived the ravages of time and the prude no-nonsense censors, which is too bad since it gives an idea of what the Greeks might have been like if they had Spring Break.

The two satyrs of the chorus chewed the scenery and were played by Lesley College’s Ria Campbell and UMB’s Marie Hedrick. Recent UMB graduate Collin Leslie stood half-naked and proud as their big daddy Silenus.

The production tipped its hat to political correctness by forgoing wildly-swinging erections, but the cast still gave a sneaky nod to historical accuracy and ancient tradition. “Satyrs were always portrayed with large phalluses and always erect,” director Amelia Atwater-Rhodes said. Leslie’s trousers were packed tight, and the gleeful satyrettes were made more masculine with the subtle addition of strap-on enhancements, tucked largely out-of-sight beneath their robes.

Ship’s crewman Reggie Themistocle should have just worn a red shirt, as he was one of the first gobbled up by a literally man-hungry Cat Sauer, playing the titular Cyclops. Other crew members, some more fortunate than others, were played by Domenik Hausenbichl, Anh Nguyen and Laura Fay.

With the Classics Club at the bottom of a membership cycle (older crew graduating and not enough new blood,) Amelia pulled in some outside talent to flesh out the ranks. Emily and Lauren Smith, twins and students at the Art Institute of Boston, played cute with their role as sheep.

UMass Boston alum Dan Smith, a cofounder of the Classics Club in 2000, donned gaudy purple, shiny boots and let his hair down to strut the stage as straight-man Odysseus, a noble foil for the chorus’s quips.

Nobody lost an eye, except the Cyclops, so it stayed fun and games right up to the end. The club goal is to “open up classics to people who aren’t classics majors.” Atwater-Rhodes said. “When people hear ‘classics’ they think Beethoven… or Moby Dick.” A good number of UMass Boston students will now be adding horny satyrs stuck on an island with a blinded cyclops to the list.