The Phantom Lady, a play by Pedro Calderon de la Barca, has proved popular enough for Off-Broadway's Pearl Theatre Company to extend the run by a week, to Feb. 24. The show began performances Jan. 10 and officially opened Jan. 21, under the direction of Rene Buch, artistic director of fellow downtown repertory company, Repertorio Espanol. (The production is in English.) Seldom is this play produced, although some believe Calderon to be the greatest playwright of the Spanish Golden Age.
This comedy is considered a cloak-and-dagger classic translated by Edwin Honig. The Phantom Lady portrays brave young widow Dona Angela, who falls deeply in love with a stranger, Don Manuel. The need to uphold the honor of the family creates conflict between Dona Angela, the phantom lady, and her protective brothers, Don Juan and Don Luis. The themes of love, mystery, chivalry and family are intertwined in this production.
Many seasoned Pearl performers belong to the the cast of The Phantom Lady, including Celeste Ciulla, Ray Virta, Rachel Botchan, Robin Leslie Brown, Dan Daily, Jason Manuel Olazábal, Emily Gray and Aaron Ganz. According to Pearl spokesperson Michelle Brandon, director Buch worked with the Pearl once before: in 1995 on a mounting of Calderon's Life is a Dream.
For tickets and information on The Phantom Lady at the Pearl Theatre Company, 80 St. Mark's Place, call (212) 598-9802.
— by Zoe Andrada and David Lefkowitz