L'Universe, the strange new place created by The Flying Karamazov Brothers, ends its stay at the Arizona Theatre Company's Phoenix location May 28, after begining performances May 23. The production premiered in AZ at the company's Tuscon locale May 16-21. Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein (Scent of the Roses) directs.
Pronounced "looney-verse," L'Universe will explore the cosmology of the universe, revealing its secrets via action, technology and comic verse -- all in Karamazov style, which, in this case, features on-stage consultations with Aristotle, Galileo and Einstein, virtual juggling and "jazz," their improvisational club passing feat. Other Brothers shows have included the music and rhythm piece, Sharps, Flats and Accidentals, and ACT's Room Service.
L'Universe marks the group's first collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Laboratory. Described in their press as "America's premiere think tank and home to the finest nerds in the land," MIT's Media Laboratory plans to incorporate new technology that has never yet been used for the stage into the show.
The Flying Karamazovs are Paul Magid (Dmitri), Howard Jay Patterson (Ivan), Mark Ettinger (Alexei) and the newest addition, Roderick "Baby K" Kimball (Pavel). Michael Preston (Rakitin) and Sam Williams (Smerdyakov) did the original workshop with Magid and Patterson.
Take note, however, this Karamazov presentation will not feature the infamous "The Challenge," where the Brothers will juggle any object the audience brings to them. The release notes: "Do not bring bowling balls, dead fish, bags of feathers or other items you wouldn't normally carry in your purse or wallet." L'Universe made its world premiere Jan., 2000 at Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre, where it returned again in Feb. for a second run.
Tickets are $30-$22. The Orpheum Theatre is located at 203 West Adams. For tickets, call the box office at (602) 256-6995.
L'Universe will make a stop in New Jersey at Princeton's McCarter Theatre May 31. For Tickets, call the McCarter Theatre Box Office at 1 888-278-7932 or at the McCarter web-site www.mccarter.org.
-- By Christine Ehren