When Pridamant, hopes to discover the whereabouts of his long-lost son, he visits Alcandre the magician, who shows him more than he ever wanted to know. That's the premise of Corneille's 1636 classic, L'illusion Comique, which has become quite popular on regional stages (Off Broadway as well) because it was adapted in 1988 by Tony Angels In America) Kushner.
Kushner's version, The Illusion, opens Jan. 31 and runs to March 2 at the Ensemble Theatre Company of Santa Barbara on Santa Barbara St.
Robert Grande-Weiss directs the play, which stars Sylvia Short (Alcandre), Kevin Murphy, Abby Craden, Dena Anderson, Ted Leavengood, Paul Welterlen, David Brainard and Michael Siinclair (Pridamant). Designs are by Barbara Lackner (costumes) and Gary Wissmann (set).
ETC of Santa Barbara is the town's longest-running professional resident company, founded in 1979 and housed at the Alhecama Theatre. For tickets ($18-$23) and information on The Illusion, call (805)962 8606.
--By David Lefkowitz