Best Experimental Theater - 2001
For more than a year, pundits the world over wondered whether John Barton's Tantalus would be a millennium-defining hit or flop. Much like the nature of Greek myths themselves, the grand, lavishly staged show was less absolute, and the joint effort of the Denver Center Theatre Company and England's Royal Shakespeare Company leaned more toward triumph than failure. The virtuoso performances, masterful directorial touches (the piece was co-directed by British theater legend Peter Hall and his son Edward) and astonishing design elements made for an event that brimmed with brilliance, wit and beauty. Despite its marathon length and exorbitant admission price, the epic showed itself to be a bold experiment about the dangers of aspiring to be godlike before understanding our own mortality.