Few roles are as ferociously inviting to powerhouse actresses as Medea, the title character of Euripides' ancient masterpiece who sets out to teach her two-timing husband, Jason, a lesson he surely will never forget. Essaying the role in UCLA Live’s production, directed by Lenka Udovicki, is Annette Bening, who will get to exercise her more menacing muscles. No stranger to dramatic malice, Bening won Oscar nominations for her portrayals of chilly connivers in "The Grifters" and "American Beauty." But Euripides takes the wrath of a scorned woman to a fatal peak in this tinderbox tale of marital vengeance. Udovicki, an international theater and opera director making her U.S. debut, attempts to bridge the gap between classical and contemporary worlds in a stylized production that includes onstage musicians and a 12-person chorus. UCLA Live, opens Sept. 23.
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