Getty Villa: Greek Tragedy in a Classic Open-Air Setting | NBC Southern California

Getty Villa: Greek Tragedy in a Classic Open-Air Setting

"Persians" by Aeschylus is this year's history-veined work.

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    © 2014 Craig Schwartz Photography
    SITI Company presents "Persians" by Aeschylus. The Greek tragedy expands/expounds at the Getty Villa's outdoor theater, which is "modeled after ancient Greek and Roman theaters." The play runs Thursdays through Saturdays, Sept. 4 through 27.

    It's as close to a fact as you can get when you unequivacably state these true words: Los Angeles has darn near everything.

    A space shuttle? Yep, got one, near downtown. A giant boulder you can walk beneath? It's just off Wilshire and Fairfax. Every version of type of performance venue, from ten-seaters to arenas? Those, too.

    That lengthy list includes an especially notable player: a perfectly realized outdoor theater very much in the style of ancient Greece. It's at the Getty Villa in Malibu, and while visitors to the statue- and artifact-packed museum can sit and enjoy the al fresco space all year long, it comes to vibrant life each September when the Getty presents a play by a long-ago master.

    "Persians" by Aeschylus is the 2014 presentation, and SITI Company from New York takes on the work, "an emotional story of war, victory, and loss experienced by an imagined Persian court." What's often noted about "The Persians" is this: It addresses a real happening of the era. It's the "sole surviving Greek tragedy about a historical event," the "battle of Salamis in 480 B.C."

    Even a few millenia later, audience members sense the urgency of an actual event unfolding. And they do so in a very convincing homage to the outdoor theaters of Greece. By moonlight, with the lights low, can you almost picture yourself on some hillside outside Athens, watching drama and headlines of the day -- such as they were -- co-mingle in thrilling form?

    "Persians" make a stand in Malibu Thursdays through Saturdays from Sept. 4 through 27.