Hotter than Dutch love

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The twenty-something hipster quotient at Friday’s Spoleto Soiree was off the charts and into another realm altogether. You could have powered a small city for a week on the sexual energy crackling around the Gaillard Exhibition Hall, fueled by several open bars, pulse-punding ung-cha-ung-cha from a DJ in the corner, enough liquor to fill the grotto at the Playboy mansion, and an acreage of bared leg and cleavage to make Jenna Jameson blush. To paraphrase Dorothy Parker, if you had laid every girl in the room end to end, I wouldn’t be at all surprised. The future of Spoleto looks … horny.

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But it was a good chance to catch up with the rest of the Spoleto blogerati – Jonathan from our own Spoleto Party Blog, Janet and Geoff from the P&C, Ida from Charleston mag – and pretend for a moment that a world outside our temporary, self-imposed bubble actually exists. The best part of the evening was an encounter with Dood Paard actor Kuno Bakker and the Dutch group’s manager Marten Oosthoek. I’d just emerged from their premiere of medEia, and my brain was still whirring madly trying to make sense of what I’d seen. The way the work ends – with Bakker uttering the words, “So to everyone who doubted me, I’m just saying, fuck you.” – had a few patrons leaving with their undies in a knot, not happy about being lobbed an f-bomb on the way out. The words, Bakker told me, are part of the lyrics from a rap song (I’ve forgotten the artist, and I’ve unwisely been Googling the lyric all morning trying to hunt it down). In his delivery, he said, he turns his head aside on the last two words, looking down and away, as if in deference and respect to the audience.

The play’s text contains nearly 130 similar samples of lyrics from 80 different musical artists, from The Doors to The Beatles to The Cure. Dood Paard has been presenting the English-language show at a variety of European locations, but that evening’s performance, Bakker said, was the very first time they’d performed it for an English-speaking audience.

I hafta wonder: how many Charlestonians would go to see a postmodern play based on a work by Euripides performed completely in Dutch? (And we call ourselves cultured.)

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