With brilliant costumes and dark humor, 'Balkan Bordello' explores the legacies of war

Balkan Bordello: The Saga of a Balkan Family tells the story of a traumatized society in a battle for democracy and peace. Based on the Greek tragedy of Agamemnon, this modern opera from Qendra Multimedia in Kosovo explores the profound effects of violence, intolerance, and hatred still festering in the region three decades after the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Qendra Multimedia is known for its groundbreaking—and jaw-dropping—productions that grapple with pervasive and often taboo social issues in the Balkans using provocative imagery, stylized movement, and noire humor. The Theatre Times called Balkan Bordello "a flamboyantly dark antiwar show."

The show's New York debut at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club coincides with the 30th anniversary of the start of the Seige of Sarajevo, which killed at least 10,000 people and wounded another 50,000 in the Bosnian capital over more than 1,400 days of lockdown, shelling, and sniper fire.

Balkan Bordello is a collaboration between Qendra, Theater Atelje 212 in Belgrade, and My Balkans in Belgrade/New York. The show will run through April 10 at La MaMa; tickets are available here.