Part of the Y's "Poets' Theater" series, the Jan. 24, 2005, performance will feature Philip Bosco, Rosemary Harris, Paul Hecht and Paxton Whitehead. David Yezzi will direct "Don Juan in Hell," the third act of Shaw's masterpiece Man & Superman. Show time is 8 PM. It was Bosco's idea to present "Don Juan," noting, "Apart from Shakespeare, there is no playwright who can approach Shaw's wit, profundity and cleverness." Bosco will play The Devil in the one-night-only reading with Harris as Ana, Hecht as Don Juan and Whitehead as The Commander.
"Don Juan in Hell," according to production notes, "is a dream sequence in which Shaw's well-to-do protagonist, John Tanner, who is being pursued by a persistent woman, falls asleep in the mountains of Spain and dreams of himself as Don Juan in Hell. Shaw's vision of Hell is not Dante's sphere of eternal punishment and pain or Milton's underworld of demons and pandemonium. Instead, it's comfortable in Hell. There is no work, disease, or hunger and its residents are free to pursue love, beauty and enjoyment. . . . The only character miserable in Hell is Don Juan, who finds it 'boring beyond life, beyond comprehension.' He contemplates defecting to Heaven, which described from a distance, sounds like an austere realm ruled by rationality. After Dona Ana, a woman Don Juan seduced in life, appears at the gates of Hell upon her death, the play unfolds into a dynamic debate between four characters: Don Juan; Ana; Ana's father, The Commander, whom Don Juan killed in a duel; and the witty and cultured Devil."
Tickets, priced at $16, are available by calling (212) 415-5500 or by visiting www.92Y.org. The 92nd Street Y is located in Manhattan at Lexington Avenue and 92nd Street.