How do we live with the fact of our death every moment of every day? According to stage collagist Nancy Keystone's reworking of Euripides, the specter of our end informs everything we do. Not an especially original thought, perhaps, but as presented by Keystone's Critical Mass Performance Group, it forms the basis for a visually inventive and wryly ironic meditation on the bathetic pomp and occasionally incredible circumstance of mortality. At its center is Keystone's modern-dress riff on the myth of Queen Alcestis (Kalean Ung), whose uxorial virtues extend to substituting her own life for that of her husband, Admetus (Jeremy Shranko), in a deal brokered by Apollo (Lorne Green) to circumvent the king's untimely demise. Like Euripides, Keystone's version examines the manifold repercussions of Admetus' self-centeredness (hint: not good), albeit with side trips into metaphysical philosophy, scathing satire and allegorical vaudeville. Throughout it all, a precision ensemble expertly navigates the drama -- Ung and Shranko's breakfast-nook coda is a tour de force of nonverbal eloquence -- along with Keystone's dance movements, which include cool quotations of Lucinda Childs and Pina Bausch. The highlights are Sarah Brown's chic costumes, Randall Tico's witty sound and Nick Santoro as Herakles in a show-stealing cross between wrestler Roddy Piper and musician Andrew W.K. Boston Court, 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun 2 p.m.; through July 28. (626) 683-6883, Bostoncourt.org.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: June 29. Continues through July 28, 2013
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