June 30, 2006


Filed under: Listings,Press Releases — offoffbway @ 8:59 pm

It’s not a warning, it’s the title of a play. Based on the film of the same name, it’s from the Hourglass Group, the company that did Mae West’s play SEX a few years back.

Stage Adaptation of 1932 Film Classic Makes Leap To Off-Broadway

“Yummy… smooth as silk” – New York Times
“Plays like a million bucks.” – Time Out

Hourglass Group in association with True Faux Productions (Christopher Atamian and Hillary Knill) bumps its critically acclaimed new stage adaptation of TROUBLE IN PARADISE to an Off-Broadway contract for an extension through July 22nd at the Hudson Guild Theatre. Conceived & directed by Elyse Singer, this adaptation of the 1932 Ernst Lubitsch film of the same name and screenplay by Samson Raphaelson is written by David Simpatico and features an original score by downtown jazz veteran Steven Bernstein & the Millennial Territory Orchestra.

It’s TROUBLE IN PARADISE when suave swindler Gaston meets his soul mate Lily, a crass pickpocketer masquerading as a countess. The two grifters join forces to con Madame Colet, the glamourous heir to a perfume empire. Risking his own heart and Lily’s jealousy, Gaston gets a job as Colet’s assistant and begins to woo the heiress away from a pair of bumbling suitors. When the secret of his true identity catches up to him, sparks fly and Gaston is caught between two women who have stolen his heart.

The original 1932 pre-Code film by Ernst Lubitsch starred Herbert Marshall, Kay Francis, and Miriam Hopkins is considered a comic masterpiece. It epitomizes the “Lubitsch Touch” with its witty innuendo-filled dialogue, orchestrated grace, charming style, sardonic humor and cynical amorality. The film was pulled from circulation 1935 due to its multiple violations of the Code and was not re-issued until the 1960s.

The production stars Carolyn Baeumler and Nina Hellman (of Sex and, most recently, Heddatron), Obie winner Jeremy Shamos (Engaged), Henry Caplan, Liam Craig, Cynthia Darlow, Obie winner Steven Rattazzi and Gordon Stanley. Sets by Lauren Helpern (Obie winner for Bug), costumes by Theresa Squire (Lieutenant of Inishmore, upcoming High Fidelity), lighting by ’06 Drama Desk nominee Traci Klainer (The Asphalt Kiss), sound design by Katie Down (Target Margin’s Faust), props by Faye Arnon, dramaturgy by Erika Rundle & Aniko Szucs, choreography by Carey Bertini and casting by Deborah Brown.

David Simpatico is currently working on the stage adaptation of High School Musical for Disney; The Screams of Kitty Genovese (upcoming NYMF), a music drama with composer Will Todd; the stage adaptation of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood; and the screen adaptation of Antonya Nelson’s novel Nobody’s Girl.

Hourglass Group has been producing new plays and neglected classics since 1999. In addition to producing the highly acclaimed first NYC revival of Mae West’s Sex, their other credits include the world premiere of Ruth Margraff’s Red Frogs at P.S. 122, Mae West’s Pleasure Man starring Charles Busch and Tom Hewitt, and the ground-breaking 1995 Courtney Love Internet-fueled drama Love in the Void, all directed by Elyse Singer. Upcoming productions include Ruth Margraff’s new gypsy opera, Wellspring; and the acerbic new Kate Moira Ryan (25 Questions for a Jewish Mother) comedy Dishes for Artists.

TROUBLE IN PARADISE runs July 11 – July 22, Tuesday -Saturday at 8pm, Saturday at 3pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 3pm. Hudson Guild Theatre is located at 441 West 26th Street (between 9th/10th, accessible from the E train at 23rd Street). Tickets range from $20 – $40. TICKETS: 212-352-3101. For more info visit www.troubleinparadisenyc.com.

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