BWW Review: DON JUAN at Westport Country Playhouse
The world premiere translation and adaptation of Moliere's Don Juan is the closing play of the season at the Westport Country Playhouse. It's performed in modern dress, but the book is overly faithful to the original story of the narcissistic womanizer (played well by Nick Westrate). Warning: this is a hard play to like because Don Juan is not likeable and because some of it is vulgar and unnecessary. Nor can Don Juan command any respect because of the way he treats everyone, not just women. There were some patrons who walked out during the intermission. It was their loss to miss out on the rest of the play, which was worth seeing for Bhavesh Patel, who stole the show as Sganarelle, Don Juan's servant. He's a human mop, underpaid and having to clean up his master's messes.
Also in the cast are Jordan Bellow (memorable as Don Carlos), Paul DeBoy (fantastic as Mr. Gusman and the Statue), Carson Elrod (very funny as Pierrot and Dimanche), Philip Goodwin (Beggar and Don Louis), Suzy Jane Hunt (strong as Dona Elivra), Claudia Logan (pleasant as Mathurine and the Ghost), Bobby Roman (impressive as Don Alonzo), and Ariana Venturi (likeable as Charlotte). The acting was the best part of the show, but kudos also go to set designer Marsha Ginsberg for a simple yet stunning set, Matthew Richards for the complementary lighting design, and Katherine Roth's costumes. David Kennedy's direction was skillful, but still saddled with Brendan Pelsue's adaptation of a somewhat problematic story.