C.S. Lewis was fascinated by the Greek myth of Psyche and Cupid for most of his adult life because of its symbolism and what he perceived was the moral rightness of the human characters, and the immorality of the gods. After attempting to retell the tale in verse format and finding little success, he wrote it as a novel, Till We Have Faces, using the point of view of Psyche's possessive and ugly older sister, Orual. Cupid loves Psyche, but his mother Aphrodite is jealous of Psyche's great beauty; after some divine meddling from mom, Cupid is finally able to get with Psyche but keeps his true identity hidden from her. Orual urges Psyche to discover the true identity of her husband, and Psyche's success in this endeavor drives Cupid away, leaving Psyche emotionally devastated. This sets Orual off on a journey to restore her beloved sister's joy, and in doing so, Orual learns some hard facts about love, jealousy and the true nature of beauty. Deanna Jent's stage adaptation of Till We Have Faces is presented by Mustard Seed Theatre at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (April 15 through May 1), at the Fontbonne University Fine Arts Theatre (6800 Wydown Boulevard; 314-719-8060 or www.mustardseedtheatre.com). Note that there is no performance on Sunday, April 24, but there are 2 p.m. matinees on successive Saturdays (April 23 and 30). Tickets are $15 to $30.
Thursdays-Sundays; April 28-May 1. Starts: April 15. Continues through April 23, 2011