Don Juan – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

Don Juan is a cad, a womanizer, a philanderer, a seducer of females married or not, a man without morals, a reprobate, one who enjoys the chase and the victory but then carelessly destroys the prize as worthless. Well, you get the idea. Don’t trust him with your money, your property or your wife. To become intimately acquainted with him, and this is at the peril of your own risk, travel posthaste to the Westport Country Playhouse for Moliere’s “Don Juan,” a world premiere translation and adaptation by Brendan Pelsue. Until Saturday, November 23, you are invited deep into the psyche of the chief scoundrel as he weaves his tentacles around besotted women and secures them as notches on his belt of conquests.

Nick Westrate’s Don Juan loves to engender scandal and scorn wherever he travels. Every woman he sees has the potential to stir his loins and make his heart, at least initially, sing with lust. He has no limitations on his potential conquests and, without conscience, will even seduce a nun away from the nunnery if it suits his fancy. Just ask Dona Elvira (Suzy Jane Hunt) who suffers from his rejection and wants him to repent his evil ways. His own father (Philip Goodwin) despairs of his son ever mending his frightful ways, while his faithful manservant Sganarelle, a devoted Bhavesh Patel, tries in vain to educate Don Juan to change to save his soul.

The beauty he sees in the fairer sex quickly turns to boredom and he is on to his next courtship, like with Mathurine (Claudia Logan) and Charlotte (Ariana Venturi). He chooses to ignore the threats issued by Mr. Gusman (Paul DeBoy), the entreaties of his tailor for payment (Jordan Bellow ), the comic attacks of Pierrot (Carson Elrod) and even the ghostlike murmurs of a statue come to life (Paul DeBoy).

This Lothario delights in his actions and sees nothing wrong with his behavior. Threats of death do not sway him and he wears his dishonor proudly. No act of grace will ever penetrate his being. Finally Sganarelle surrenders to both their fates and accepts the truth. David Kennedy directs this visit with corruption with a mixture of humor, pathos and immorality.

For tickets ($30 and up), call Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport, Route 1 at 203-227-4177 or 888-927-7529 or online at Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m, Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

Take a lesson in indecency from Don Juan as he peddles his wicked ways all around the world.