NEW YORK – Angelika Sandora, CEO of Popular Theater Inc. and Theater Director in the Club for UNESCO of Piraeus & Islands (Greece and New York Chapters), spoke with The National Herald about her latest project, Faux-Bia, a pun pronounced “phobia.”
The musical, written and produced by Sandora, is a new, fast-paced anti-war comedy that picks up right after Aristophanes’ famous heroine, Lysistrata, devises a brilliant plan to blackmail the men of Greece by withholding what men want most in the world from women.
Sandora, noting the topical nature of comedy, ancient and otherwise, told TNH that “Aristophanes, if he was alive today, would definitely comment on the current issues and Faux-Bia’s subject matter, the world crisis in both politics and personal relationships, through the lens of Greek political satire. The solution, as in most of Aristophanes’ plays, lies in the power of the female libido. In accordance with the primitive Aristophanic style, we have chosen the Greek war dance, Pentozali, to be the basic music platform throughout the whole play, while at the same time the songs have a strong worldly flavor, since our story concerns the whole modern world. And it’s because these ancient Greek heroes represent each one of us today, that they are not presented in the idealized form of tragedy, but as Aristophanic broken, anti-heroes. Lysistrata, whose name literally means ‘army unraveller,’ is Aristophanes’ famous ancient Greek comedy about women who are completely fed up with their husbands always leaving them to go off to war.”
“In Faux-Bia, soon after Lysistrata’s decree, something terrible happens. Men lose complete interest in committing to women. In response, the women start to lose their minds. The world comes crashing down in colossal crisis. One by one things start to fall apart: the economy is in shambles, leading to more war, poverty, immorality, and environmental destruction.
“Our play begins with the most famous women of ancient Greek myths and dramas, Medea, Hera, Phaedra, and Antigone.
“One at a time, they arrive at Olympus, pounding on the gates, egos clashing, and each with an agenda to fix her own self-centered problems. Eventually, they realize the problem is bigger than themselves and end up hatching a plan to save humanity, and make the men stop ruling the world with violent, warmongering tactics. All this in order to save the world from… fear, which is the root of all evil.
“We’ve got it all in this play: beautiful women, a bunch of women-starved men, and a chorus of men and women who are constantly brawling to the rhythm of fun music, singing, and dance. An amazing political comedy/parody with the most famous personae of Greek mythology in the style of the father of comedy, Aristophanes, showing us that phobia is nothing but a fake violence, a… ‘Faux-Bia.’”
To highlight her point, Sandora quotes Gandhi, “The enemy is fear. We think it is hate: but, it is fear.”
Also featured in starring roles in the play are Sophia Dama, Silvana Gonzalez, choreographer Paloma de Vega, Stavros Markalas, Theodore Petropoulos, and Tasos Karydis.
Tickets are on sale at carnegiehall.org, through CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or the Carnegie Box Office at 57th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan.
A Greek actress, playwright, and philosophy teacher with a Master’s in Socratic Philosophy from the University of Leeds in the UK, Sandora studied theater at Traga Drama School in Athens, Greece, and speech with renowned master speech teacher, Susan Finch in New York. For the past seven years, she has been teaching the philosophy seminars, The Power Of Socrates’ Philosophy In Personal Happiness & Global Leadership, (UNESCO of Piraeus and Islands, Greece and New York Chapter) combining philosophy and drama, while playing principal roles in ancient Greek tragedies and comedies, under the direction of the legendary Greek actor and director Kostas Kastanas, devoted pupil of the late Oscar-winning actress Katina Paxinou.
Sandora appeared as the protagonist in the successful Greek production of Faux-Bia under the direction of the prestigious Greek director and actor, Konstantinos Konstantopoulos.
The premiere of Faux-Bia! The Musical in New York City is under the auspices of the General Consulate of Greece in New York, the Greek National Tourism Organization, the Club for UNESCO of Piraeus and Islands, AHEPA Delphi Chapter 25 (Manhattan), the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, Kefalos Society of America, and with the support of Alma Bank, and the Kohas Agency.