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Is Don Juan really not in hell? Oh, yes he is.

May 2, 2010

I’ve been following Coeurage Theatre for the past few months, in part because they produce shows with a ticket price of $___. Yes, you fill in the blank.

The company premiered Shaw’s Don Juan in Hell this weekend in North Hollywood. Below is a Facebook note from Artistic Director Jeremy Lelliott, which saddened, not surprised me. When I saw Coeurage’s most recent production, Head Over Heels, six of us sat in the audience. That, too was a “pay as you want” production. I put in $20 for the two of us and the company said it ultimately broke even on its run, thanks to a strong closing weekend.

Head Over Heels was entertaining and provocative. I imagine Don Juan in Hell will be, too – Coeurage takes its work seriously, from what I can tell. Yet to have so few people show up and prompt the company to cancel a matinee is an insult.

Where are all the people who blame the high price of tickets for their inattendance? Are they only Andrew Lloyd Weber fans? Maybe they, like me, had prior commitments this weekend and we’ll fill the theatre next weekend.

Enough. Here’s Jeremy Lelliott’s note:

Hello friends,
Something really special happened on Friday night. Four actors took an obscure text by George Bernard Shaw and brought it to roaring life in an unlikely back space of a theatre in North Hollywood. The room was alive in a way that would have excited Shaw, even though this production is far from anything he could have imagined his plays looking or sounding like (If you think you know Shaw, you should come see our play).

Unfortunately, the following performance had an audience of 3 (not counting our own company members), and there aren’t any reservations for tomorrow’s show. So we are canceling the Sunday matinee this weekend.

I am including a link to our reservations page at the bottom of this message. Our shows are pay-what-you-want, so price should never be an object. Click on the link below, reserve seats for the next 2 weekends, and come see a play. There are almost no opportunities to see works like this in Los Angeles, and certainly not at a price that you determine. I promise you that this particular production is especially unique. So show off your Coeurage and join us in hell!
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