Review: Re-Tied Thread Offers Charming Storytelling for All Ages

Re-Tied Red Thread, adapted and directed by Fotis Batzas, runs March 9-31 at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria. Photo: Courtesy of Fotis Batzas

ASTORIA – Greek folk tales have been around for generations and many grew up hearing them from Yiayia and Pappou, so they have a special place in the hearts of many. Seeing the stories brought to life in the new production Re-Tied Red Thread, adapted and directed by Fotis Batzas, is therefore a special treat not to be missed for all ages.

The play opened on March 9 and runs through March 31 at the Hellenic Cultural Center, 27-09 Crescent Street in Astoria. Performances are Saturdays, 8 PM, and Sundays, 5 PM.

The talented cast, Ioanna Chasta, Fanis Gkikas, Mantalena Papadatou, and Theodore Petropoulos, demonstrates tremendous skill playing multiple roles, transforming seamlessly from one character to another in this tour de force of physical theatre and storytelling. The actors, under the dynamic direction of Batzas, manage to capture the whimsical quality and also convey the darker aspects of the stories with ease giving a level of depth, nuance, and interest to archetypes and animals alike. Their skills make even the most well-known stories, including The Bridge of Arta, for example, into something new, drawing the audience into this specific world of imagination and artistry and connecting us to our Greek heritage wherever we happen to live.

As noted in the show’s description, the Greek folk tales are a unique aspect of our heritage that reflect the innermost needs and quests of early societies. The ancient art of storytelling appears in different ways in each region as the function of these traditional stories defines the boundaries of what is commonly acceptable for a community and very often surpasses them. By repetition from word of mouth and from generation to generation, the folk tale becomes a yardstick, a pattern of behavior, and a benchmark that connects the past with the present. It offers something greater than mere entertainment for the audience. Without being bound by specific events or experiences, the folk tale gives the world its poetic expression.

Batzas said, “The goal of our show is to connect in a meaningful and entertaining way the rich and popular tradition of our country with the Greek diaspora and keep alive our language and customs.”

The play succeeds in charming the audience and re-imagining the Greek folk tales in a refreshing way while still maintaining the traditional lessons and cultural references that make them so unique. This family-friendly show could easily be performed across the country for young people at all Greek schools to see these charming stories brought to life.

More information is available online: www.f2tsny.com and follow: @f2tsny.

Tickets are available on brownpapertickets.com, search Red-Tied Red Thread.