I just got home from an amazing Industry Night at Arouet’s Don Juan in Chicago and I couldn’t have had a better theatre experience. Simply put, this is the kind of production that brings an audience together by how many laughs they share. My smile was permanently affixed across my face as each character perfectly leapfrogged the other in a cadence that Joshua Jon (Director) should be very proud of.
The show begins in Spain circa 1600 where an insatiably introverted Don Juan desires eternal life. Vainly, the devil makes a pact with this hapless virgin that everlasting life would be his, only if he sleeps with a different woman for each day he lives. A dumbfounded twist on the classic origins of the world’s most famous lover, this awkwardly funny man lives out 400 years of torture trying to live up to the deal he made.
Without a doubt, this entire cast deserves honorable mention. Dylan Smith playing the lead role of Don Juan was marvelous in his wit and confounded delivery of this role. The equal and opposite female role played by Amanda Falcone was expertly played with a comic balance that makes me jealous of how much fun rehearsals must have been. Zach Sanders succeeded in one of the most important roles in a comedic ensemble performance: being the Dude’s carpet and tying the room together. Caitlin Frances ruled as Mephistopheles with a sinister playfulness that carried the story’s momentum. Kate Witt and Todd Hull were an amazing duo of haphazard victims in Don Juan’s storyline who were magnificently funny. Similarly, Randall Brammer and Amberlee Williams played an equal and opposite couple whose mild intentions become ensnared in the wretchedness of the situation. Expertly cast, directed and performed, this production is a shining example of what greatness is possible when a few people come together to create something big. Bravo!