New Haven Theatre Company is presenting Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis De Rougemont (As Told By Himself).
We’ve heard this before. We’ve typed that long title out before, for naught. Apparently this time it’s happening. But then, it’s a show about deception and escape. (Hey! So was the last NHTC show—The Magician, by company member Drew Gray.)
The company originally planned to do Shipwrecked this time last year, but lost the rights to perform Donald Margulies comedy/adventure drama because a professional company in the area had suddenly expressed interest. That other company never ended up doing the show. Don’t you hate when that happens?
NHTC has returned to the project with the same lead player on board, Christian Shaboo as the show’s narrator/explorer Rougement. A couple of folks who were announced for last year’s cast can’t do it this time around. The ensemble that supports Shaboo consists of Mallory Pellegrino, Erich Greene and Margaret Mann. Three other people are also involved: Jesse Gabbard, Katelyn Marshall and Tyler Williams. Drew Gray is creating projections.
When the Long Wharf Theatre did the East Coast premiere of Shipwrecked in February, 2008 (directed by Evan Cabnet, starring Michael Countryman), it had a cast of three, as do most productions of the show. But Margulies doesn’t specify the size of the cast, and there are some 60 small roles to fill.
When they announced Shipwrecked last year, New Haven Theater Company was kind of at sea itself. The venue where they’d done several shows in a row had been rented out from under them, and they were having trouble finding a convenient new space. In recent months, however, they’ve settled into the English Building Markets at 839 Chapel St. in downtown New Haven, even signing a lease which allows them to use the markets’ first floor back room for a year.
Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis De Rougemont (As Told By Himself) will be performed May 1-3 and 8-10 at English Building Markets, Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturday at both 5 & 8 p.m. Tickets are $20, $12 for students and children. Yes, the show is appropriate for children; I took my daughter Mabel when she was just six, though she’d probably like it a lot more now she’s 11.
Everything that flows around comes around. This established local theater troupe rises back to the surface, like the curious hero of this Victorian-period soul-search of a show. Top marks for patience and forebearance.