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Theatre

The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre tackle the seducer's downfall

Editor Pick
Editor Pick

While his reputation is singular, he is known by many names: Don Juan, Don Giovanni, Don Jon and Leonardo DiCaprio. In Czech he is Don Shayn but the Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre (CAMT) calls him plain Don Juan. Based on 18th century marionette shows and Mozart's opera, CAMT's Don Juan, or Wages of Debauchery is a knockabout look at the seducer's downfall. The Don, a smartly-dressed lean puppet with trimmed beard, answers to no one - not even the Devil. Unlike his acting or singing counterparts, the puppet Don Juan is completely, refreshingly, unrepentant; he deserves what he gets. The only one he occasionally pays attention to is his servant Kasparek, a roly-poly who provides both comic relief and common sense. As in CAMT's previous productions, author-director (and Don Juan's operator) Vit Horejs integrates the puppeteers onstage with their wired counterparts; they even come into the audience singing arias from "Don Giovanni" and change scenery with the help of a skeletal hand. These moments, along with those of a mobile of dancing maidens, a menacing red devil and talking skull, form the fantasy in a morality tale that tells rather than preaches.

Patricia Contino Editor

Don Juan, or Wages of Debauchery

April 10 – May 4

The Jan Hus Playhouse (351 E 74th St, New York City, NY 10021, United States) Map it $18

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