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The Lantern Presents Limited Return Engagement of NEW JERUSALEM, 9/4-23

Lantern Theater Company will open its 2012/13 season with a pair of plays by David Ives: The Liar, an adaptation of the French comedy classic by Pierre Corneille, and a limited return engagement of New Jerusalem, The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 1656, which last fall played to sold out houses and was extended twice to meet demand, quickly becoming the best-selling production in the Lantern's history.

Heralded as "an absorbing debate over big ideas" by The Philadelphia Inquirer, "a lively and inspiring debate" by Philadelphia City Paper, "an engaging courtroom drama full of complex philosophical ideas" by Philadelphia Jewish Voice, and "a first-rate production of a literate and often eloquent play" by Broad Street Review, New Jerusalem will run from September 4 – 23, 2012 (press opening Wednesday, September 5, 7 p.m.). [A full performance schedule follows in the fact sheet below.]

As the Inquisition bears down on them, a small Jewish community flees Portugal to find a tenuous peace in seemingly liberal Amsterdam. But Spinoza, a favorite son of the community and the rabbi's heir apparent, is a revolutionary thinker. When the boldness of his ideas strains the bounds of Amsterdam's professed tolerance, it leads to a dangerous confrontation between powerful political forces and his own beloved community. Based on true events in the life of one of the greatest philosophers in history, David Ives' engaging drama challenges traditional political and religious thinking with conviction, passion, and wit.

This limited return engagement of New Jerusalem features the same cast as the original production: Sam Henderson as Baruch de Spinoza, David Bardeen as Rabbi Mortera, and Seth Reichgott as Abraham van Valkenburgh, with David Blatt, Jake Blouch, Kittson O'Neill, and Mary Tuomanen. Also returning are Nick Embree (scenic design), Maggie Baker (costume design), Shon Causer (lighting design), and Nick Rye (sound design), and Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon will again direct.

Tickets for New Jerusalem are $20 – $38 and are available online at lanterntheater.org or by calling the Lantern Box Office at (215) 829-0395. $10 student rush tickets are available 10 minutes before curtain with valid ID; cash only. Additional discounts are available for seniors and groups of 10 or more. Lantern Theater Company is located at St. Stephen's Theater, 10th & Ludlow Streets in Center City Philadelphia.

On September 7-9, the Lantern will present SpinozaFest: Echoes of a Greater Thinker in the Modern World. "The Lantern's mission is to put great work on stage that brings people together, starts meaningful and enjoyable dialogue, and brings big ideas into perspective and shows how they connect with our lives," says Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon. "When we have a show like New Jerusalem that so many people are keen to see and discuss, and we run out of time to continue showing the play, we have to bring it back. And with SpinozaFest, this year we have a whole program of additional events intended to put Spinoza's ideas in greater context for audiences."

 


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