Smash Hit Valparaiso Returns to the Stage
Don DeLillo play exposes far reaching affect of the media
The Virtual Stage Co-op is pleased to announce that it is again bringing the play Valparaiso – written by multi-award winning American novelist Don DeLillo (Underworld, White Noise) – to the stage. The Virtual Stage Co-op’s Canadian premiere production in 2001 received significant critical acclaim and generated tremendous word-of-mouth buzz.
Michael Majeski, an ordinary businessman, heads out on a routine plane ride to Valparaiso, Indiana, but ends up in Valparaiso, Chile. The press catches wind of his misadventure and turns him into a "media darling" overnight. As Majeski's fame grows, his personal life erodes in front of the cameras; a creation of the media, he is caught between sanity and celebrity. Valparaiso, DeLillo’s second play, is a funny, sharp and deep reaching story about how the media shapes our lives. This devastating and chillingly entertaining play makes us look with unwavering directness at the world we inhabit – a world in which the virtual and the real are skewed.
Valparaiso, which will be replacing The Bliss in this year’s See Seven season, runs May 7 – 22 at Performance Works on Granville Island. The Virtual Stage’s artistic director and multi-Jessie award nominee Andy Thompson (Reading Hebron, Brilliant!, The Fall) will be reprising his acclaimed performance from the Canadian premiere in the starring role of Michael Majeski. Other returning cast members from the Canadian premiere include Diana Swayze (Loveplay) and Jessie award winner Daune Campbell (Little Sister, Loveplay). Joining the cast for this mounting are John Murphy (Gut Wrench, Loveplay, Some Assembly Required), Erin Wells (The Fall, Burning Vision) and James Long (The Beginners, K). Jessie award winner Craig Hall (Delveki’s Closet, Snowman) will direct. Lighting design by Itai Erdal. Stage managed by Michael Brooks.
“Exceptionally brilliant. Voluptuous, erotic and wickedly funny.”
Chicago Sun Times
“Well-realized theatrically… Playwright Don DeLillo's Valparaiso explodes into philosophical fireworks… You have to wait for the stimulation in Valparaiso, but when it comes, it floods your synapses.”
Colin Thomas, Georgia Straight
"Andy Thompson gives a bravura performance as a man who has misplaced not only his body, but his soul. So superbly subtle is his acting that the audience sees his persona crumble molecule by molecule. By the time he and Livia, played with feral precision by Diana Swayze… they are as vulnerable as cattle at a slaughterhouse.”
The Globe and Mail 1/2
Valparaiso is produced by The Virtual Stage Co-op
Valparaiso opens Saturday May 8 at Performance Works and runs through May 22.
Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Preview Friday May 7.
Matinees May 15 & 22, 2pm & Sundays, 3pm
Box Office (604) 257-0366 Tickets $20/16 Preview, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are two-for-one.
Performance Works, 1218 Cartwright Street, Granville Island
Click here to purchase tickets online!