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wedding cake topper depicting groom dragging reluctant bride“Big Love,” opening this weekend on the University Players stage, is a modern update of one of the oldest texts in Western literature.

University Players presents wild and zany update of Greek classic

Epic in scope, yet open in heart, University Players concludes its 59th season with the wildly energetic Big Love, written by Charles L. Mee. The show runs March 23 to 25 and continues after Easter weekend April 4 to 8 at the Essex Hall Theatre. Tickets can be ordered online at www.UniversityPlayers.com or by calling 519-253-3000 ext. 2808

Based on one of the oldest texts of the Western world, The Suppliant Women by the ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus, the play revolves around 50 brides from Greece who flee to Italy to avoid marriage to their 50 grooms.

When the grooms pursue the brides to take their hand in marriage, the resistance leads to a chess match of the sexes. Each group is represented by three actors, and their perspectives provide an insightful look on love as they grapple with the lack the choice they have in how to lead their lives.

The play may be based on a historic text, but this production takes place in the modern day and makes for an exciting retelling for today’s audiences. The addition of wildly physical elements brings a fresh and absurd take on the classic tale.

Director Monica Dottor calls Big Love a story of love, murder, passion, food fights, power struggles, refugees, gender politics, and violence.

“It’s really zany, it’s really wild, it has really important themes that resonate today,” she says. “I think it’ll just be a really enjoyable evening.”

Performances start at 8 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. On Sunday, March 25, a “Talk Back” discussion with the actors will follow the performance.