PRINT December 1997

Lisa Liebmann

1 Platée (The Royal Opera at the Barbican Theatre, London): Mark Morris directed and choreographed Rameau’s rarely performed, rococo delight—a fête galante set to music, concerning a soulfully vain and froglike naiad wronged by Roman gods. Dancer-members of the Morris Group seemed at times to be singing their steps, while the singers moved with intelligence, humor, and verve. The costumes, by Isaac Mizrahi, were expressive and friendly rather than, say, Beatonesque. With sheer enthusiasm and a few ribald turns, Mizrahi warmed up a rather low-rent set, and, most important, unbuttoned the characters, whether the barflies of the prologue, set in a saloon out of Reginald Marsh, or the other kind of marsh denizens in the drama proper, or Jupiter and Junon, those mundane and feckless deities, who turned up dressed like a pair of yacht club arrivistes. The players all prevailed. But the evening

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