Juan in Chicago
The legend of the Latin lover
Don Juan gets a comic, modern twist when Carpenter Square Theatre presents the
Oklahoma premiere of the David Ives comedy DON JUAN IN
David Ives turns his razor
sharp wit on the challenges of romance in his irreverent version of the Don Juan
legend. The result is an eccentric, somewhat bawdy tale full of witty wordplay
and slapstick antics.
The play opens in Seville,
Spain in 1599 when Don Juan is a 30-year-old virgin searching for the meaning of
life. His servant Leporello urges him to lighten up and lead a normal carnal
life, but Don Juan declares, "Life's too short to waste on sex."
Afraid that he won't have
time for his high-minded pursuits, Don Juan conjures up the Devil and cuts a
Ironically, Mephistopheles grants Don Juan and his servant immortality, as
long as Don Juan beds a different woman every day. The first conquest is a
breeze, as the fair Dona Elvira has been in love with him from afar for years.
Don Juan promptly falls in love with her, but can never be with her again.
Naturally, Dona Elvira
doesn't take kindly to his "wham, bam, thank you, ma'am" style. In anger, she
cuts her own deal with the Devil - she will not die until she sleeps with Don
Juan again. Of course, only the Devil knows the two deals are mutually
exclusive, and the chase leads us to modern-day Chicago.
By Act Two, Don Juan
(alias Don Johnson) is exhausted from four hundred years of performance pressure
and evading Dona Elvira. The comedy boils over from his entanglements with a
wild woman and her jealous, two-timing boyfriend, the naïve neighbors and, of
course, Dona Elvira still in hot pursuit.
Playwright David Ives is a
native of Chicago, where he began writing plays as a student at Northwestern
University. He is best known for his collection of absurd short comedies
ALL IN THE TIMING, which propelled him to instant
celebrity in the early-nineties. For the New York production of
DON JUAN IN CHICAGO, he received the Outer Critics
Circle Playwriting Award and a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Play.