Fortunately for the imaginative Louis de Rougemont – and his audiences -- adventure was the path to fame and fortune in 19th century London. The romantic dreamer who thrilled Victorian England with his ripping yarn of bravery, survival and celebrity returns to life to recount his tale in OpenStage Theatre's newest offering, Shipwrecked! An Entertainment ? The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself), playing June 1 to July 1 at Open Stage outside on the lawn at Columbine Health Systems at Centre Avenue and Worthington Circle (one block north of Drake and one block east of Shields).
As fashioned by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Donald Margulies in his most recent play, de Rougemont was a young lad who sought adventure with a crusty sea captain on a pearl fishing expedition off the coast of Australia.
"Almost immediately, de Rougemont was shipwrecked on the high seas," said OpenStage Theatre director Ann Russell Whiteman. "Over the years he encounters giant sea turtles, flying wombats, a man-eating octopus and Queen Victoria herself."
"De Rougemont was a real-life celebrity in his own time – a truly historical figure," said Whiteman. "Author Margulies simply created a stage version of his breathless adventures. De Rougemont was a sickly child who grew up reading 'The Arabian Nights' and 'Robinson Crusoe,' tales that enflamed his imagination and left him longing to see the world. All audiences need do is bring their own imagination to complement his creativity."
Truth is frequently stranger - and more interesting - than fiction, and OpenStage Theatre invites adventurers of all ages on de Rougemont's spell-binding journey, which is recreated through the talents of only three actors, who portray everything from a dog to a tribe of Aborigines. The action is enhanced by a live musician and on-stage sound effects.
Audiences should bring blankets or lawn chairs and are invited to bring picnic dinners. Seating begins one hour prior to curtain.
Performances of Shipwrecked! An Entertainment are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights from June 1 to July 1, with Sunday performances at 5 p.m. on June 10, 17, 24 and July 1, and a Thursday Pay-What-You-Can performance on June 7 at 7 p.m.
Individual tickets for Friday and Saturday shows are $22-27 for adults; $16-20 for seniors, students and groups of 10 or more; and $12 for children ages 12 years and younger. Sunday shows are $16-20 for adults, seniors, students and groups and $12 for ages 12 years and younger all tickets. Tickets for FAB Friday, sponsored by Boulder Beer, at 7 p.m. on June 8, are $14 and include a free beer following the performance. Admission to the Pay-What-You-Can performance on Thursday, June 7, at 7 p.m. is by donation at the door only with no advance reservations.
Tickets are available from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays, through the Lincoln Center box office at (970) 221-6730 and online at www.LCTIX.com.
Childcare is available for the Friday June 1 and 15 performances through Young People's Learning Center, 209 E. Plum St. Call Young People's Learning Center at 970-482-1212 for childcare reservations.
A free performance for students and educators, funded by The Thornton Family Foundation and OtterCares Foundation, will be presented on Thursday, May 31, at 7 p.m. To make reservations for the student/educator performance, contact OpenStage Theatre at (970) 484-5237.
An in-depth discussion, facilitated by Matter Bookstore, will follow the Saturday, June 16, performance.
Audiences are invited to meet the cast of Shipwrecked following every performance.
Photo by Harper Point Photography