Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble to Present DON JUAN IN HELL, 6/13-7/5

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Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble to Present DON JUAN IN HELL, 6/13-7/5

Medicine Show Theatre Ensemble, one of New York's longest-running experimental theatres, will stage George Bernard Shaw's Don Juan in Hell this month.

A preview performance will be on Friday, June 13. Opening night is Saturday, June 14, with 10 additional performances: Sunday, June 15; Friday, June 20; Sunday, June 22; Monday, June 23; Friday, June 27; Saturday, June 28; Sunday, June 29; Wednesday, July 2; Thursday, July 3; and closing night Saturday, July 5. All curtain times are 8 p.m. It runs 95 minutes with no intermission. The theatre is located at 549 W. 52nd Street, 3rd Floor, near 11th Ave., subway C/E 50th St.

Shaw originally wrote the piece at the turn of the 20th century and it is still ahead of its time, as a hilarious indictment of hypocrisy, the "easy" life, and the subsequent war and slaughter of the 20th and 21st centuries. He crafted the work as Act III of his masterpiece Man and Superman, but it stands alone as a one-act play. It focuses on the legend of Don Juan, who famously courts the beautiful Doña Ana and kills her father, The Commander, in a duel. The Commander returns from the dead as a statue and causes Don Juan to be carried to hell. Shaw's piece begins some time later when Ana arrives in hell. Once there, they join the devil in a truly funny exploration of heaven, hell, life and virtue.

Medicine Show artistic director Barbara Vann plays The Devil, Perri Yaniv plays Don Juan, Sherese Parris plays Ana and Clinton Powell plays The Commander. The production will also highlight a rotating roster of jazz musicians playing and improvising throughout so no two performances will be exactly the same.

Medicine Show first produced Don Juan in Hell in 1977, staging it again in 2006. Reviewers called those productions "...an exhilarating evening," and "...for theatre lovers." The Shaw Society called it, "The best Don Juan in Hell ever." Austin Pendleton named it, "The liveliest classic I've ever seen."

Don Juan in Hell was most famously showcased as a stand-alone play in a 1950s production with Charles Laughton and Agnes Moorehead.

This production is made possible in part by grants from The New York State Council on the Arts and the Leibowitz-Greenway Family Foundation. Tickets are $18.00 for general admission, $15.00 for seniors and students. They are available from Smarttix at www.Smarttix.com or (212) 868-4444. For more information, log onto the company's website at www.MedicineShowTheatre.org.

Photo Credit: John Quilty

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