Margulies' Survivor Tale, Shipwrecked!, Told Anew at Geffen Playhouse

News   Margulies' Survivor Tale, Shipwrecked!, Told Anew at Geffen Playhouse
Gregory Itzin, widely known for playing corrupt President Charles Logan on television's "24," comes ashore again in Shipwrecked!, opening June 25 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles.
Gregory Itzin as Louis de Rougemont in Shipwrecked!
Gregory Itzin as Louis de Rougemont in Shipwrecked! Photo by Michael Lamont

He reprises his South Coast Repertory role as "bombastic adventurer" Louis de Rougemont in the Donald Margulies play, the full title of which is Shipwrecked! An Entertainment: The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself). Bart DeLorenzo again directs Itzin, Melody Butiu and Michael Daniel Cassady, his collaborators from the fall 2007 world premiere staging at South Coast Rep, which commissioned the play.

Written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Margulies (Dinner With Friends, Sight Unseen, Brooklyn Boy), Shipwrecked! An Entertainment had a subsequent March 2008 production at the Long Wharf Theatre with different players and a different director.

According to Geffen, "Inspired by the true story of the unlikely hero who spellbound Victorian England — and subsequently the world — with his incredible tale of survival, Shipwrecked! is a production that appeals to all ages with a wealth of fantastic characters."

Gregory Itzin, Melody Butiu and Michael Daniel Cassady in Shipwrecked!
photo by Michael Lamont

(The Geffen Playhouse is making this production a family event with special children's ticket prices and "Shipwrecked! Crew" removable tattoos. Tickets for children ages 8 to 16 tickets are $15 for seats in the mezzanine and $25 for orchestra seats.) Director DeLorenzo stated, "I like to think of this show as a children's play for adults. There's adventure, music and excitement perfect for a younger audience, but there's also a haunting message about truth, storytelling and the meaning of celebrity." Shipwrecked! is narrated by adventurer Louis de Rougemont, who reenacts his lifetime of escapades for the audience. The various other players in Louis' adventures — "including a giant octopus, a faithful dog, a curmudgeonly sea captain and some cagey natives" — are created by Butiu and Cassady as the ubiquitous Player 1 and Player 2.

Performances at the Geffen Playhouse continue to July 27. Previews began June 17 on the Geffen Playhouse Mainstage, 10886 Le Conte Avenue in Los Angeles.

The creative team includes set designer Keith Mitchell, lighting designer Rand Ryan, costume designer Candice Cain, original music and sound design Steven Cahill, shadow scenic design and choreographer Christine Marie, production stage manager Elizabeth A. Brohm and assistant stage manager Christopher Paul.

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