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Director Alfred Preisser © Lia Chang

LaMaMa e.t.c. presents Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s CALIGULA MAXIMUS, a project with Hammerstein & Weiner, LLC, Christopher McElroen, Alfred Preisser and Kingsize, USA, at La MaMa’s newly renamed Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St. in New York from March 12-April 3. Previews begin March 12, 2010. Opening night is set for March 19th and the show will continue through April 3rd. Performances are Thursday and Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm and 10pm.

Helmed by Preisser, CALIGULA MAXIMUS takes place on the last night of the notorious dictator’s life, in his palace where he is stage managing, directing, and starring in one of his famous “entertainments” which test the limits of human intellect and appetite. Caligula, sensing the encroachment of monotheistic religions (Christianity and Judaism) holds a phantasmagoric revival meeting in which he attempts to save the world by ushering in a new religion with himself as its principle prophet and god. Caligula’s “senate” is an outrageous collection of circus performers, wrestlers, animals, show girls and freaks who enact his spectacles and indulge his whims and fantasies. As the revival meeting reaches fever pitch, his troupe grows weary of being used as toys, gains a sense of their own power and, bedecked in the war paint and leather costumes of barbarian invaders, descend upon him and murder him in mob frenzy. Expect circus, music, dance, rhetoric, and the unexpected.

Alfred Preisser is an award winning director, writer and producer of theatre. From 1999 – 2009 Mr. Preisser was the Founding Artistic Director of The Classical Theatre of Harlem, where he created a wide and distinguished body of work noted for its physicality, originality, and use of music and dance. His production of Melvin Van Peebles’ Ain’t Supposed To Die a Natural Death garnered seven Audelco Awards including Best Director, and his 2006 production of King Lear with André De Shields opened the 75th Anniversary season at The Folger Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C. He has created critically acclaimed original adaptations of Medea, The Trojan Women and Electra. His production of ARCHBISHOP SUPREME TARTUFFE, co-written with Randy Weiner, recently completed a sold out run at The Harold Clurman Theatre on 42nd Street, and received four Audelcos, including Outstanding Musical Production of The Year, Outstanding Performance in a Musical, Male (André De Shields), Outstanding Performance in a Musical, Female (Kim Brockington) and Outstanding Musical Director (Kelvyn Bell). Other projects with CTH include Macbeth, which toured Germany in 2004, Hamlet, Day of Absence, Dream on Monkey Mountain, and Romeo and Juliet.

Randy Weiner is best known as the foremost proponent of a hybrid form of theater that mixes the music and energy of a nightclub with the drama and spectacle of theater. His writing credits include ARCHBISHOP SUPREME TARTUFFE, CALIGULA, both with Alfred Preisser, Classical Theatre of Harlem; THE DONKEY SHOW, produced all over the world, currently running at American Repertory Theater; BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, Music-Theatre Group, Women’s Project, American Repertory Theater; SWIMMING WITH WATERMELONS, Music-Theatre Group, Vineyard Theatre; TURANDOT: RUMBLE FOR THE RING, Bay Street Theatre; THE JIM ROSE CIRCUS IN “STAIRWAY TO HELL”, Base Entertainment, Underbelly in Edinburgh; THE KARAOKE SHOW, Jordan Roth Productions; and DEATH AND THE POWERS to be presented in Fall 2010 in Monte Carlo. As the Producing Director of Project 400 Theater Group, he and partner Diane Paulus have produced over 40 productions. He is the creative director and co-creator of “Beacher’s Madhouse,” a variety show that ran four-years at The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and now tours North America. Other producing projects include a new variety circus, “The Most Interesting Show in the World,” sponsored by Heineken, that recently completed its second 16-city US tour, and “Purgatorio,” a Halloween extravaganza presented by CBS Radio in Times Square. Randy is also a managing partner of The Box, a performance venue in NYC, and the creator and executive producer of OBERON, a club-theater venue in Cambridge, MA.

La MaMa is a world-renowned cultural organization led by founder Ellen Stewart. For 48 years La MaMa has passionately pursued its original mission to develop, nurture, support, produce and present new and original performance work by artists of all nations and cultures. Creative risk-taking, experimentation, and challenging artistic boundaries have always been the focus of the work created and performed at La MaMa, where art has always been envisioned as a universal language. Cultural pluralism and ethnic diversity have been inherent in the work created at La MaMa since the theatre’s inception. To sustain this global vision, La MaMa has become one of this country’s foremost presenters of international performance. We are delighted to call artists from over seventy nations part of the La MaMa family. La MaMa has been honored with over thirty Obie Awards, dozens of Drama Desk Awards, Bessie Awards and Villager Awards. La MaMa has an incredible roster of theatre, movie and multi-media luminaries for whom La MaMa was an early artistic home.

La MaMa e.t.c. is located at 74A East 4th St. between 2nd Avenue and The Bowery.

March 12-April 4, 2010

Performances are Thursday and Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm and 10pm.
Tickets are $30, $25 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 1-866-811-4111

Click here for the CALIGULA MAXIMUS Articles Archive.


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