Phoenix Theatre Ensemble Extends DON JUAN IN HELL Through 10/6
Owing to sold-out houses and one extremely encouraging major review, Phoenix Theatre Ensemble is extending its production of Shaw's"Don Juan in Hell," directed by Karen Case Cook, through October 6 at the newly-renovated Paradise Factory Theater, 64 East 4th Street (between 2nd and Bowery).
Phoenix Theatre opened its Tenth Anniversary season this month with Shaw's "Don Juan in Hell" (September 18-29) alternating with a performance of Jacques Brel songs titled "Go to Brel," performed by Go Mahan (September 20-25). Both shows have been performed at the newly renovated Paradise Theatre Factory at 64 East 4th Street (next door to La MaMa).
Reviewing "Don Juan in Hell," Terry Teachout (Wall Street Journal) concluded, "This production deserves to run longer--much longer," stating "Accompanied by the eerie, perfectly timed electronic music of Ellen Mandel, Ms. Cook's 'Don Juan in Hell' comes across as a full-blooded drama, not a debate. The staging, in which Shaw's characters are aware of and play directly to the audience, adds focus and emphasis to the proceedings, and the four actors, Jason O'Connell, Joseph J. Menino, Craig Smith and Elise Stone, are well matched and nicely varied. Mr. O'Connell...is altogether remarkable, giving us a vibrant Don Juan who is by turns amused and anguished by his plight."
"Go To Brel" concludes its run on September 25 and no extension is planned at this time.
Shaw's "Don Juan in Hell" is the dream sequence of the larger work, "Man and Superman," in which three characters from Mozart's "Don Giovanni" (Don Juan, Dona Ana, and the statue of the Commendatore, Ana's father) meet the Devil in Hell and discuss, debate and argue about Heaven and Hell, men and women, the state of humanity, and marriage. "Don Juan in Hell" is often produced as a reading, but Phoenix Theater is giving the piece a fully staged production under the direction of Karen Case Cook (On the Verge, 2007) with a cast of Phoenix regulars: Jason O'Connell as Don Juan, Craig Smith as The Devil, Elise Stone as Dona Ana and Joseph J. Menino as The Commander.
"Don Juan in Hell" continues with initially-scheduled performances on 9/25 at 8:00 PM, 9/26 at 8:00 PM, 9/27 at 8:00 PM, 9/28 at 8:00 PM and 9/29 at 3:00 PM and extended performances October 1 to 6, Tuesday-Saturday at 8:00 pm and Sunday at 3:00 pm. Tickets are $25 and can be ordered at 212-352-3101 and www.PhoenixTheatreEnsemble.org.
Photo by Gerry Goodstein