LET "BURNING DESIRE" LIGHT YOUR FIRE OF LOVE

BONNIE GOLDBERG

Did you know the Devil has a wicked sense of humor? He is also light on his feet and loves a challenge. Whether he answers to the name Satan, the Lord of Darkness or the Devil, he has been portrayed in movies and theater by any number of actors from Al Pacino to Peter Fonda. This time around think the boyish charms of a George Burns or Robert DeNiro and the scheming plots of a Jack Nicolson or Harvey Keitel and you have an idea of the newest Lucifer in town: Lou Diamond Phillips.

Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury is heating up the fire and brimstone (or not) for the world premiere of “Burning Desire,” a clever comedy written by and starring the man of machismo and mystery, Mr. Phillips in the flesh, until Sunday, March 13.

“Burning Desire” tells the seductive tale of the Devil encountering a modern day Eve and Adam and his master manipulations in the magic of love. With the help of his two graceful and adorable dancing minions, Jackie Aitken and Sophie Lee Morris, he arranges a meeting between the perfectly pure Evan, a delightfully earnest and honest Tara Franklin and the sincere but cautious Andrew, a handsome and hunky Ryan Wesley Gilreath.

The fruit and vegetable aisle of the local supermarket becomes the breeding ground for romance as Lucifer masterminds their accidental cart crash (symbolically) and eventual love connection. With clever dialogue and witty banter, the pair proceed quickly from awkwardness to actual affection.

Once the devious Devil has them trapped like flies in a sticky and honeyed web, he is delighted to design obstacles to drop in their path and test them to commit dastardly deeds. His goal is to win their souls, or at least Andrew’s, in this engaging game we call life.

“Burning Desire” first sparked to flame while Lou Diamond Pillips was traveling on the Long Island Railroad to perform his award-winning role as the King of Siam on Broadway in “The King and I.” With the help and encouragement of actor Dan Lauria, the Playwrights Kitchen Ensemble, the show’s director Richard Zavaglia and Seven Angels’ Artistic Director Semina DeLaurentis, Waterbury now has the bragging rights to being the first of many sites to welcome and bring this fickle fated fun fantasy to fruition.

For tickets ($38-57), call Seven Angels Theatre, Hamilton Park, Plank Road, Waterbury at 203-757-4676 or online at www.SevenAngelsTheatre.org. Performances are Thursday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m, Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Watch how the charming, sophisticated and charismatic leader of the underworld lures an unsuspecting pair down the garden path, straight to H-E- double celery and carrot sticks.  While Lou Diamond Phillips is not playing the King of Siam this time around, he certainly knows how to perform royally. After all, the Devil is surely in the details.

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