Lisa Harrow, Simon Jones Star in Art vs. Science Play, Phallacy

News   Lisa Harrow, Simon Jones Star in Art vs. Science Play, Phallacy
Carl Djerassi's Phallacy, a new comedy about the beauty, provenance and mystique of a piece of ancient Roman art, gets its U.S. premiere May 15 at The Cherry Lane Theatre in Greenwich Village.

Elena Araoz directs the four-actor satiric comedy (inspired by a true story) featuring Lisa Harrow and Simon Jones as sparring partners.

Djerassi is a chemist and playwright most famous for being the inventor of "The Pill." His second career is as fiction writer, poet and playwright. Phallacy was seen in London in 2005.


According to Redshift Productions (Megan K. Halpern and Max Evjen, co-artistic directors), "She's a top art historian in a world famous museum. He's a distinguished professor of chemistry. She searches for artistic truth through connoisseurship; he finds scientific fact through cold material analysis. Between them stands the object of her affection: a revered classical statue long thought to be a Roman original…and he just proved it to be a 16th century cast. But is it now worth less? Is it now less beautiful? As personal rivalries and professional reputations clash, how far will each go to prove the other wrong?"

Phallacy opens May 18 (after previews), and continues to June 10, at The Cherry Lane Theatre at 38 Commerce St. Respected actress Harrow starred in the films "The Last Days of Chez Nous" (AFI Award for Best Actress) and "Sunday" and starred in Off-Broadway's Wit.

Simon Jones is co-artistic director of The Actors Company Theatre (TACT) and was featured in its recent production of Home. His Broadway credits include Waiting in the Wings, Benefactors and The Real Thing. He was the elder brother in TV's "Brideshead Revisited."

Phallacy also features Vince Nappo TFANA's Merchant of Venice and Jew of Malta) and Carrie Heitman (Sideways Stories From Wayside School).

The performance schedule is Tuesday-Saturday at 8 PM; matinees Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday at 3 PM.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at or call (212) 239-6280.

For more information about the U.S. premiere of Phallacy visit

For more information about Carl Djerassi and Phallacy, visit


"Talkbacks" will follow the matinees May 16, May 19 and May 20.

Playwright Djerassi, emeritus professor of chemistry at Stanford University, was awarded the National Medal of Science, for the first synthesis of a steroid oral contraceptive — aka "the Pill" and the National Medal of Technology for promoting new approaches to insect control. He has received 20 honorary doctorates together with numerous other honors such as the American Chemical Society's highest award, the Priestley Medal.

For the past 20 years, he has turned to fiction writing, mostly in the genre of "science-in-fiction," whereby "he illustrates, in the guise of realistic fiction, the human side of scientists and the personal conflicts faced by scientists in their quest for scientific knowledge, personal recognition and financial rewards." In addition to five novels, he has written poetry, short stories and an autobiography ("The Pill, Pygmy Chimps, and Degas' Horse"). The latter recounts his arrival in New York City as a Nazi refugee from Vienna and the letter he wrote to Mrs. Roosevelt about a scholarship that led him into the American bible belt.

Ten years ago, he embarked on a career as playwright, initially on a trilogy of "science-in-theatre" plays: An Immaculate Misconception (seen around the world since its premiere at the 1998 Edinburgh Fringe Festival); Oxygen, co-authored with Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann; Calculus (also seen as a chamber opera with music by Werner Schulze). His "non-scientific" play Ego (aka Three on a Couch) has been seen internationally. Phallacy was seen in London and heard on German radio. His sixth play, Taboos, opened in London in 2006 and had its German language premiere in July 2006 in Graz.

He is also the founder of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program near Woodside, CA, which provides residencies and studio space for artists in the visual arts, literature, choreography and performing arts, and music. Over 1500 artists have passed through that program since its inception in 1982.

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