Monday, April 28, 2014


If you remember the tale of the owl and the pussycat who "set out to sea in a pea green boat" searching for love and adventure, you might understand the fascination and attraction that captures a Victorian gentleman's imagination and sets him on a watery course of his own.  Maybe you've heard of him, one Louis de Rougement, an amicable fellow who might be the slightest bit prone to exaggeration and hyperbole.

His rainbow hued story, which some might term as tall tale. will be spun purely for the sake of entertainment by the innovative and inventive New Haven Theater Company, just four years young, at their new home, The English Building Market, 839 Chapel Street, New Haven on Thursday, May 1 and  May 8 at 8 p.m. and Friday, May 2 and 9 at 8 p.m. and Saturday  May 3 and 10 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. "Shipwrecked! An Entertainment.  The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as told by himself)" is a product of the New Haven Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies.

If you've ever been confined to a sick bed for any length of time, you will empathize with a youthful Louis who declares his independence at sixteen, throwing off his fretful fevered brow and wrinkled bed covers for excitement with a capital E.  He trades in his overly protective mother for a man of daring and danger, a sea captain named Jenkins, as he dashes off to encounter LIFE.

Will he be defeated by an octopus, find despair on a deserted island, drown in a giant whirlpool or rather take a fanciful ride on a sea turtle, marry an Australian aborigine and meet the Queen of England?  To discover the truths to the tale, if there are any, follow Louis and his faithful dog Bruno literally to the ends of the earth.  Louis will be played by Christian Shaboo, while Erich Greene will be his trusty pooch and the Queen of England,  Margaret Mann  and Mallory Pellegrino will play his overly protective mother and an Australian prospector,  his bride Yamba and a newspaper boy, the ship captain and an aborigine Bobo, with the help of Jesse Gabbard, Katelyn Marshall and Tyler Williams who are all making their NHTC debuts. To Peter Chenot, the inventive director, " 'Shipwrecked" is a wonderful play because it lets the audience imagine the story along with the actors on stage.  We try to create a jumping off point for the story telling." The projection design will be created by Drew Gray.

For Christian Shaboo who plays Louie, "it's a once-in-a-lifetime type of role, incredibly exciting.  The amazing stories cover a range of emotions and I live in the moment, with a wonderful ensemble cast who play all the other parts.  This all heightens the experience. The production is going great and our new theater space is truly unique and we are making it our own.  It now has the feel of a real theater."

For tickets ($20, students and children  $12), go online to www.newhaventheatercompany to

Hang on to the coattails of Louis de Rougement as he sets off from France on what will be a thirty year intrigue in the late 1880's, one that takes him to Australia and a "dangerous and marvelous world."  His childhood sickroom books of "Robinson Crusoe" and "Arabian Nights" are sure to pale by comparison.

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