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After weeks of bearing the mindlessness of holiday music and cocktail-party chatter, treat yourself to a story that’s inspired and influenced us for millennia. An Iliad, opening this week at Studio Theatre, offers audiences a welcome opportunity to lend their ears to weightier fare. In adapting Homer’s epic poem for the stage, playwrights Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare eschew the spectacle typically associated with tales of the Trojan War and root their play in the ancient tradition of oral storytelling. In this one-man show, the poet is a traveling bard, performing his account of the glorious and tragic war through a mix of Robert Fagels’s Iliad translation and metaphors tailored to a modern audience. In his Studio debut, Scott Parkison plays the poet; he’ll be accompanied only by musician Rebecca Landell. A heavy evening? Perhaps. But it’s still livelier than a college course in the classics.
The play runs to Jan. 13 at Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. $39-$61. (202) 332-3300. studiotheatre.org.