HIGH PRIEST A New Play By Paul Iacono Debuts At La MaMa In Free Reading This March

HIGH PRIEST tells the story of Warhol Superstar Ondine (Robert Olivo) and his role in the rise and fall of the Silver Factory (Andy Warhol's legendary 1960s studio).

By: Feb. 26, 2024
HIGH PRIEST A New Play By Paul Iacono Debuts At La MaMa In Free Reading This March
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La MaMa's “Experiments Play Reading Series” will present the first public reading of Paul Iacono's new play HIGH PRIEST for one night only on Monday, March 18 at 7:00 PM. The play is directed by Rachel Klein (The Gospel According to Heather, Grindr: The Opera).

HIGH PRIEST tells the story of Warhol Superstar Ondine (Robert Olivo) and his role in the rise and fall of the Silver Factory (Andy Warhol's legendary 1960s studio). Ondine, a brilliant young gay performance artist, also known as The Pope of the amphetamine people, comes to the Big Apple with one goal in mind: to become a star. He is discovered by Andy Warhol, who makes his dream come true when he turns Ondine into a Superstar and the reigning High Priest of his Factory. But at what cost? The story also features an ensemble of some of Andy Warhol's most outlandish and fascinating Superstars like Edie Sedgwick, Billy Name, Brigid Polk, Gerard Malanga, Paul Morrissey, Lou Reed, Nico, Valerie Solanas, and more. HIGH PRIEST is an epic roller coaster through the Silver Sixties and beyond.

The cast includes Paul Iacono (Ondine), Andy Mientus (Andy Warhol), Alexa Xioufaridou Moster (Edie Sedgwick), Zane Pais (Billy Name), Doug Plaut (Paul Morrissey), Kayli Baldasre (Brigid Polk), Katherine Crockett (Nico, Valerie Solanas), Corey Rogers (Gerard Malanga), Keith Rapp (Lou Reed), Philip Embury (Rotten Rita), Luke Pretue (Freddie Herko), and Justin Elizabeth Sayre (Henry Geldzalher, Judy Garland).

HIGH PRIEST will be presented on Monday, March 18 at 7:00 PM at La MaMa, located at 74A East 4th Street, New York. Free Tickets are available at Lamama.org. Donations go directly to getting critical climate control for the La MaMa Archive. All donations will be matched by a National Endowment for the Humanities grant.

About the Artist

Paul Iacono, an actor, writer, producer, and NYC nightlife host, is thrilled to present the first public reading of his new Warholian play, HIGH PRIEST, and make his stage debut at La MaMa. A graduate of Manhattan's Professional Performing Arts High School, Iacono is best known for portraying the title character on MTV's “The Hard Times of RJ Berger.” Paul was first featured on “The Rosie O'Donnell Show” at age eight, after she discovered his unique talents for impersonating Frank Sinatra and Ethel Merman. Favorite stage credits include Mercury Fur (The New Group), Bridget Everett's “Rock Bottom” (Joe's Pub), Noël Coward's Sail Away with Elaine Stritch (Carnegie Hall), and John Guare's Landscape of the Body with Lili Taylor and Sherie Rene Scott (Signature Theater). Favorite film credits include MGM's remake of Fame, Darren Stein's G.B.F., and Dating My Mother with Kathy Najimy. Iacono's play Prince/Elizabeth premiered at The Teatro LATEA Theater co-starring Sofia Black D'Elia and Peter Vack, and The Last Great Dame (loosely inspired by his relationship with Elaine Stritch) at Jane Friedman's HOWL! Happening Gallery. His cabaret “Where's The F*cking Kid?” premiered at 54 Below, with “Psychedelic Hedonism” following at Joe's Pub (New York Magazine “Critic's Pick”), and “Psychedelic Playhouse,” and most recently “Paul Iacono, Unfiltered” at The Green Room 42. He was named one of OUT 100's most influential after coming out in Michael Musto's Village Voice column in 2011.

Rachel Klein is a New York City-based stage director, specializing in new play and musical development. Off-Broadway: The Gospel According to Heather (Theatre 555; starring Katey Sagal); Red Roses, Green Gold (Minetta Lane Theatre, /ft. the music of the Grateful Dead); Around the World in 80 Days (The Davenport Theatre); The Anthem (Lynn Redgrave Theatre). Selected NYC: Tink! (NYMF); More Than All the World (Theatre for the New City); Circus of Circus (House of Yes). Selected Regional: The Suffragist (Gallagher Bluedorn Theatre; starring Nancy Opel), Dead Certain (composer: Air Supply's Graham Russell); 54 the Musical (House of Independents; starring Michaela Jaé Rodriguez and Frankie Grande). Selected workshops and readings: Helen (starring Bonnie Milligan), Medusa: A New Pop Opera; Girlfriend from Hell. Charity: Ms. Klein directed the charity roast of Michael Musto raising funds for the Callen Lorde Community Health Center, featuring Rosie O'Donnell, Bruce Vilanch, and Jinkx Monsoon. Ms. Klein is a proud member of SDC, founding member of Iconoclast Theatre Collective, guest teaching artist at Fordham University, serves on the New Musical Screening Committee for NAMT,  and was the director/showrunner of the audio series “The World to Come.”

LA MAMA EXPERIMENTAL THEATER CLUB is dedicated to the artist and all aspects of the theatre. La MaMa's 62nd "Radical Access" Season comes on the heels of our 61st season when we re-opened our newly-renovated, original theater at 74 E. 4th St. The building's $24 million makeover provides the return of the fully accessible Club, a new Community Arts Space for neighboring groups in the East Village, and an expanded public lobby and galleries. Our “Radical Access” initiative builds an infrastructure of opportunity that supports new ways of connecting us to people and communities around the world, expanding our means of connectivity and providing space where artists and digital tools converge from multiple points of entry. La MaMa has been honored with 30+ Obie Awards, dozens of Drama Desk, Bessie Awards, Villager Awards, the 2018 Regional Theatre Tony Award, and most recently a 2023 New York Drama Critics' Circle Special Citation. We are a creative home to artists and resident companies from around the world, many of whom have made lasting contributions to the arts, including Blue Man Group, Bette Midler, Ed Bullins, Ping Chong, Jackie Curtis, André De Shields, Adrienne Kennedy, Harvey Fierstein, Diane Lane, Playhouse of the Ridiculous, Tom Eyen, Pan Asian Rep, Spiderwoman Theater, Tadeusz Kantor, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, Mabou Mines, Meredith Monk, Peter Brook, David and Amy Sedaris, Julie Taymor, Kazuo Ohno, Tom O'Horgan, Andrei Serban, Liz Swados, and Andy Warhol. La MaMa's vision of nurturing new artists and new work from all nations, cultures, races and identities remains as strong today as it was when Ellen Stewart first opened the doors in 1961.