Clague Playhouse wraps season with 'improbable adventure'

Louis de Rougemont (Alex Nalbach, center) narrates a fantastic account of treasure hunters and storms at sea in Clague Playhouse's "Shipwrecked!", playing through May 24. Jack Matuszewski (left) and Cat R. Kenney (right) play two of the many characters he meets along the way.

Clague Playhouse is presenting Donald Margulies’ inventive "Shipwrecked! An Entertainment – The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself)" as the final production of its 87th season.

Late 19th-century British readers were thrilled by the “real” Rougemont’s South Seas adventures, first in the pages of popular magazines, then on the music-hall stage. But some details of his story were too amazing to believe. Others were obviously wrong. Who was this “Louis de Rougemont,” and was he a charlatan, a madman, a genius, or a bit of all three?

In Clague’s production, the old man tells his story directly to the audience, assisted by two actors who change hats and coats to portray dozens of the real and imagined people on his life’s journey.

Director Tyson Douglas Rand describes it as a “radical departure from traditional theater.” Rand promises an evening of entertainment that will collectively capture the imagination of patrons from age 5 to 105, blotting out their thoughts of everyday responsibilities and worries.

In this storytelling adventure, viewers, actors and technicians share the story as one community. Rand challenges audience members to courageously “dismiss our cynicism and disbelief and willingly, wholeheartedly dive into an improbable adventure that transports us as a group to another place and time.”

The three actors, a musician, and backstage people will deliver many surprises to enhance the storytelling. Alex Nalbach as Louis de Rougemont returns to Clague after last entertaining audiences in his leading role in "Blithe Spirit." Actors Cat Kenney, Jack Matuszewski, and Terrence J. Smith will demonstrate their versatility in multiple portrayals within the story.

The production runs through May 24 on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults, $15 for seniors (60+), and $10 for students with valid ID, and may be purchased by calling the box office at 440-331-0403 Wednesday through Saturday from 1–6 p.m.

Clague Playhouse is located at 1371 Clague Road in Westlake.

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:22 AM, 05.05.2015