ANDROMEDA In Montauk
Kate Mueth and the Neo Political Cowgirls presented a reimagined version of Andromeda, a modern myth at the Montauk County Park
By: Patrick Christiano
LaVonda Elam, LaWanda Hopkins
Andromeda, a delightful modern myth for children of all ages and adults too, was presented by the Neo-Political Cowgirls at the Montauk County Park on four consecutive evenings from Thursday, August 25 through Sunday, August 28. Kate Mueth, the founder and director of the Neo-Political Cowgirls, a woman’s dance theater company, took a dark fairytale, Andromeda, based on the mythological Greek tale of Andromeda, who was left chained to a rock by Poseidon to be devoured by sea monsters and reimagined her as a courageous and powerful woman. In the original myth Perseus rescues the Princess of Ethiopia, however in Mueth’s enchanting 75 minute re-telling using music, dance, puppets, and masks Andromeda is more than a damsel in distress. The Princess Andromeda, played by LaWanda Hopkins, is an equal to Perseus, who falls in love with her.
Trevor Vaughn, Kate Mueth
The plot follows Andromeda and her mother, Cassiopeia the Queen of Ethiopia, now refugees exiled from their homeland on a search for a new place to call home. Using lush music, sensual dance, and colorful masks and costumes the engaging tale is reminiscent of millions of people today struggling worldwide.
Josh Gladstone as Proteus
Music with an outstanding sound design by Joe Brondo is the through line that draws the audience into the charming evening conceived and directed by Mueth with her own original choreography. Mueth has assembled a strong ensemble of actors/ dancers led by Lawanda Hopkins, a New York based dance trained actor. La Vonda Elam plays her mother Queen Cassiopeia and Trevor Vaughn plays Perseus. The excellent company works magic in the outdoor setting of the park, where the story begins on the other side of a small bridge just at dusk with Proteus, played by Josh Gladstone the Artistic Director of Guild Hall, setting the tone for the evening and inviting us to cross the bridge to enter Andromeda’s world. The picturesque setting just as the light is fading is the beginning of the compelling evening.
Mueth said the production “Is a work in progress.” A perfectionist I’m sure, the evening feels complete to me. No doubt Mrs. Mueth will find new tweaks to enchant us even more.
Text is by Kate Mueth, Jordi Alonso and J. Stephen Brantley. Scenic Design is by Hannah Cook with puppets by Liz Joyce. Costumes by Lee Michel. Lighting by Sebastian Paczynski. Sound design by Joe Brondo.
For more information about the Neo-Political Cowgirls go to www.npcowgirls.org