Mlle. God runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm andSundays at 2 pm and 7pm, January 28 through March 6. Preview performances take place on the same schedule January 20 through 27. General admission is $25;preview performances are $15; Pay-what-you-can tickets are available on Thursday, February 3 and Thursday, February 10 when purchased at the door (subject to availability). Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA is located in the Atwater Village Theatre complex at 3269 Casitas Ave in Atwater Village, CA 90039. On-site parking is free. For reservations and information, call 323-644-1929 or go to www.ensemblestudiotheatrela.org.
Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA’s world premiere production of Mlle. God by Oscar-nominated writer Nicholas Kazan inaugurates the new Atwater Village Theatre and an adventurous joint season with Circle X Theatre Co. The six-week run takes place January 28 through March 6, with low-priced previews beginning January 20. Nicholas Kazan has re-invented Frank Wedekind’s Lulu, creating an outrageous and muscular dark comedy that is a paean to sex, art, and living in the millisecond. Rated “R” – not for the faint of trousers!
EST/LA artistic director Gates McFadden (Star Trek TNG) states, “Theater should provoke as well as entertain. Mlle. God is the perfect choice to kick off the new space and our first season.”
“Mlle. God is ribald, raucous, and wildly entertaining,” agrees director Scott Paulin, whose relationship with Kazan dates back more than thirty years. “It’s about joy and sex as the core of life. Lulu is a spirit who brings out the truth in people, and the vehicle through which she travels is sex.”
The character of “Lulu” is the most famous creation of German dramatist Frank Wedekind (1864-1918). She is a force of nature, a wild, beautiful beast who is the embodiment of pure female sexuality, destroying the weak men around her. “She was created to stir up great disaster,” said Wedekind, whose “Lulu plays,” Der Erdgeist (1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (1904), were originally written as a single work. Because of their perceived immorality, the plays were banned and never performed during his lifetime. Wedekind’s erotic masterpiece later inspired George Pabst’s expressionist film Pandora’s Box (1929), starring the Hollywood actress Louise Brooks, as well as Alban Berg’s unfinished opera Lulu. Mlle. God is loosely adapted from the original.
“I was inspired by Wedekind, by Pabst, and most of all by Louise Brooks’ luminous comic performance,” says Kazan. “Sex is, in a way, so simple…the means by which we reproduce. But the experience itself can be so powerful that it overwhelms us…as Lulu does. This is why the character, with her playful joy, still feels so dangerous and shocking: she refuses to assign a moral weight to what is, after all, a biological necessity.”
Annika Marks stars as ‘Lulu,’ the femme fatale who is the reflection of every man’s desire. The double-cast ensemble features Laura Beckner, Keith Arthur Bolden, Kim Chueh, William Duffy, Tasso Feldman, Kareem Ferguson, Will Harris, Jon Kellam, Andy Lauer, John Nielsen, Gary Patent, Heather Robinson, Keith Szarabajka, Robert Trebor and Jacqueline Wright. Set and lighting design for Mlle. God is by Richard Hoover; sound design is by John Zalewski; projection design is by Jason Thompson; costume design is by Christina Haatainen-Jones; production stage manager is Caitlin Reinhart; production manager is Rebecca Cohn; and the associate producer is Laura Flanagan.