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Updated: March 3, 2011
Performances for CALIGULA MAXIMUS 2011- to be announced- at the House of Yes in Williamsburg, New York. Stayed tuned.

Thanks to the talented team of Roberto Serrini, Michelle Vergara and Jamie Ward of www.concretebrothel.com for their superb coverage of CALIGULA MAXIMUS.
The Concrete Brothel gets a V.I.P. pass to the hottest urban theater action in NYC – Caligula Maximus – at the La Mama theater in the heart of the East Village.
Director: Alfred Preisser
Writers: Alfred Preisser, Randy Weiner
Starring: Ryan Knowles, Justine Joli, Jerz Short, and many many more.

Visuals: Michelle Vergara, Roberto Serrini
Editing: Roberto Serrini
Audio: Jamie Ward




Presented by La MaMa, e.t.c., CALIGULA MAXIMUS is a project with Hammerstein & Weiner, LLC, Christopher McElroen, Alfred Preisser and Kingsize, USA.

Performances for CALIGULA MAXIMUS, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St., are on Thursday and Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm and 10pm, through April 17th. Tickets are $30, $25 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at http://www.lamama.org or by calling the box office at 212.475.7710. Tickets must be picked up at the box office which is located at 74A E. 4th St. For more information, visit www.caligulamaximus.com.

Click here for the CALIGULA MAXIMUS Articles Archive.

Ryan Knowles (center) stars as Caligula, with the cast of  CALIGULA MAXIMUS, directed by Alfred Preisser, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St. in New York . Photo Credit:  © 2010 Lia Chang

Ryan Knowles (center) stars as Caligula, with the cast of CALIGULA MAXIMUS, directed by Alfred Preisser, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St. in New York . Photo Credit: © 2010 Lia Chang

CALIGULA MAXIMUS at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre completes its twice Extended Run on April 17th with a Closing Night Party sponsored by Penthouse Magazine. Special guests will include Victoria “Dr. Z” Zdrok (Pet of The Year, 2004, clinical psychologist, PhD Drexel University), Penthouse Pet Ryan Keely, Fetish model Darzenia and Guns N’ Roses guitarist Bumblefoot. The party will take place on the set when the curtain comes down. Penthouse is donating complimentary issues of the magazines while supplies last.

Co-writer Randy Weiner muses, “They say a theater production is best judged by the audience it attracts. Well, consider this: our show is attended by Penthouse Pets and rock stars. Only a couple of performances remain in our twice-extended La Mama run, make sure to come down and see our show.”

Co-written by Alfred Preisser (Co-Founder, Classical Theatre of Harlem) and Randy Weiner (owner of the notorious night spot, The Box) and directed by Preisser, CALIGULA MAXIMUS is an outrageous circus themed theatrical extravaganza, set on the last night of the infamous dictator’s life.

Ryan Knowles stars as Caligula, adult film star and Penthouse Pet Justine Joli as his wife Caesonia, Lady Circus troupe aerialist Anya Sapozhnikova as his sister Drusilla, Luqman Brown as Sulla, the peanut vendor and JerZ Short as circus master Helicon. The show features award-winning competitive bodybuilders Myra Adams and Roxanne Edwards, Coney Island Sideshow tattooed muscleman Tim DAX and an outrageous collection of over two-dozen circus performers, wrestlers, showgirls and freaks.

Check out what the critics are saying about CALIGULA MAXIMUS.

…a rock musical to make “Hair” pale by comparison, replete with nudity, sex, every form of perversion and violence …a probing, provocative and profound piece of theater.

This cast is the hardest-working ensemble of diverse talents with vastly varied backgrounds that could be assembled. Each plays many parts and the energy level could light up Manhattan. In addition to well-trained experienced actors, singers and dancers, there are actual circus performers, strippers, muscle men and body builders. Heading it all is the utterly astonishing Ryan Knowles, as beautiful a young man as the historical Caligula, an actor of range, sensitivity, colossal endurance, and a solid singer.

If you’re serious about the theater (world, street, experimental, theater in all its forms), politics, history, philosophy and/or theology, you’ll go to the Ellen Stewart Theatre (La MaMa) and witness “Caligula Maximus.” It’s run has been extended to April 17.
Beatrice Williams-Rude, BROADWAYAFTERDARK.COM

“Equal parts circus, rock musical, burlesque show and alt-theater extravaganza, ‘Caligula Maximus’ packs a lot into 70 memorable minutes that are heavy on energy and light on clothing. Porn star Justine Joli is topless for the duration, while toned Hula Hoop ace Tricia Storie does her thing completely in the buff. You just may find yourself fantasizing what they look like with their clothes on.” –Jeremy Gerard, BLOOMBERG.COM

Before it even began performances, Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s Caligula Maximus at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre was extended by one week due to the buzz generated by the parties involved—the former a co-founder of the Classical Theater of Harlem, the latter the owner of infamous LES club The Box… people who wouldn’t normally go to see experimental theater—especially not experimental theater based on an ancient Roman political tragedy—will go see experimental theater that features pornstar Justine Joli, a scantily clad aerialist, a showgirl-like ensemble of dancers and singers, and a giant, golden, penis-shaped canon that shoots confetti all over the stage. Benjamin Sutton, THE L MAGAZINE

Exuberantly aberrant… 30 actors, dancers, circus performers, professional bodybuilders, and porn stars proceed to sing, dance, wrestle, murder, and float gracefully through the air in “Caligula Maximus,” the circus/musical/extravaganza at La MaMa.

If you like your theater to argue like a grad-school paper, have a pathological dread of being pulled on stage, or look at naked actors and wonder if they ever eat, you will not appreciate this production. But if you like your theater gamy and a bit rough around the edges, “Caligula Maximus” will thoroughly satisfy your desires.
Clifford Lee Johnson III, BACKSTAGE.COM

Caligula Maximus is blessed with some terrific performances, perfectly capable of working within a place where spectacle meets message…after spending time with their wonderfully crafted, outlandish characters, chances are you’ll agree that it truly is better to “laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.”…

As the title character, Ryan Knowles is perfect…a Jagger-Hedwig hybrid. At times we’re enthralled and at other times disgusted, but always interested. Never before have I seen such a mix of people at one performance (an audience that actually looks like our city), all engaging one another with the sense of excitement and anticipation normally reserved for live concerts. It is, for me, more than a refreshing change from the “oh so serious” world of New York theatre…
Matt Roberson, NYTHEATRE.COM

“Caligula Maximus” is one big, punk rock smackdown answer to sissy hippie “Hair.” Rocky Horror Picture Show meets Coney Island Sideshow is how best to describe writer/director Alfred Preisser and writer Randy Weiner’s “Caligula Maximus,” a loveably scruffy and ragged extravaganza set on the last night of the debauched dictator’s life…
Lauren Wissot, THEATERONLINE.COM

Playing the titular, self-created deity Caligula with a cheeky, pervy, party-boy hauteur not unlike Cabaret’s furtive emcee, the brave, highly attention-catching Ryan Knowles lords over a most unruly evening…This is down-and-dirty downtown theater of the crudest kind, which is highly commendable in this era of prefab junk-food theater.
Jason Clark, SLANTMAGAZINE.COM

Caligula Maximus, Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s raunchy circus extravaganza about the infamous Roman emperor…Caligula (Ryan Knowles), enters riding a giant golden phallus and takes control of the stage.
Dan Bacalzo, THEATERMANIA

Peppy and perverse celebration…The flippant fun of the clever text is matched with energetic efforts from the winning and exceedingly attractive cast. Caligula Maximus boils its message down to the lustful, self-serving basics: “You can’t fight a war while you’re having an orgasm!”
Michael Dale, BROADWAYWORLD.COM

A dirty-minded extravaganza
VILLAGE VOICE

Rounding out the cast in multiple roles are Alexandra Bernard, Greg Bornstein, Angela Buccinni, Claire Buckingham, Alicia Giangrisostomi, Jeff Goldfisher, Raheem Green, Sarah Hassan, Naima Yetunde Ince, Bill Johnson, David King, Jessica Krueger, Andrews Landsman, Elinor Lerner, Channing McKindra, Alexandra Petrova, Charletta Rozell, Alicia St. Louis, Tricia Storie, Aaron Strand, Miriam Tabb, Jenny Weinbloom and Elian Zach.

CALIGULA MAXIMUS has sets and rigging by Evan Collier, costumes by Laura Clarke, lighting by Christopher McElroen, musical direction and lead guitar by Joe Shavel, musicians Kareem Clarke (bass), Jeremy O’Brien (drum/mayhem), Brendan Scharen (rhythm guitar), Joel Siegel (drums/conga), whip consulting by Chris McDaniel, stage management by Mike Yrigoyen, and press by Lia Chang.

Presented by La MaMa, e.t.c., CALIGULA MAXIMUS is a project with Hammerstein & Weiner, LLC, Christopher McElroen, Alfred Preisser and Kingsize, USA.

Performances for CALIGULA MAXIMUS, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St., are on Thursday and Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm and 10pm, through April 17th. Tickets are $30, $25 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at http://www.lamama.org or by calling the box office at 212.475.7710. Tickets must be picked up at the box office which is located at 74A E. 4th St. For more information, visit www.caligulamaximus.com.

Click here for the CALIGULA MAXIMUS Articles Archive.


Wicked Local Dover-Sherborn
Posted Apr 07, 2010 @ 01:43 PM
Dover-Sherborn —
Bornstein makes off-Broadway debut

Gregory Bornstein of Dover makes his off-Broadway debut in “Caligula Maximus” at the Ellen Stuart Theater in New York City. Bornstein graduated Dover-Sherborn High School in 2007 and is currently a third-year student at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. This is his first professional role.

Click here for the full article.

Greg Bornstein as gladiator Judea in Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS at the Ellen Stewart Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Greg Bornstein as gladiator Judea in Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS at the Ellen Stewart Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang


Bornstein has performed at the Stella Adler Studio, and first worked with Alfred Preisser as Banquo/Old Siward in his production of Macbeth this past winter.

Bornstein on working in CALIGULA MAXIMUS
“I am so excited to take part in CALIGULA MAXIMUS because this is the kind of theater I want to see. This is the type of theater I believe in. When I worked with Alfred as Banquo in his Macbeth at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting this winter, his physically ambitious and theatrically stunning Pictish vision of the Scottish play shook my preconceptions of what great theater could be. I am truly grateful that Alfred has allowed me to take part in this fantastically original off-Broadway production that stimulates my heart, my intellect, and my desire for the greatness of sheer spectacle. Alfred and Randy have created, along with the nicest and most talented cast and crew I could have possibly worked with, a fantasy that I wish would never end. Thank you everyone involved with CALIGULA MAXIMUS, and thank you Alfred. It’s a true honor.”

Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s outrageous circus themed theatrical extravaganza CALIGULA MAXIMUS is currently playing at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St. in New York, and has been extended through April 17th.

Co-written by Alfred Preisser (Co-Founder, Classical Theatre of Harlem) and Randy Weiner (owner of the notorious night spot, The Box) and directed by Preisser, CALIGULA MAXIMUS is set on the last night of the infamous dictator’s life.

Ryan Knowles stars as Caligula, adult film star and Penthouse Pet Justine Joli as his wife Caesonia, Lady Circus troupe aerialist Anya Sapozhnikova as his sister Druscilla, Luqman Brown as Sulla, the peanut vendor, JerZ Short as circus master Helicon, and the show features award-winning competitive bodybuilders Myra Adams and Roxanne Edwards, Coney Island Sideshow tattooed muscleman Tim Dax and an outrageous collection of over two-dozen circus performers, wrestlers, showgirls and freaks.

Rounding out the cast in multiple roles are Alexandra Bernard, Angela Buccinni, Claire Buckingham, Alicia Giangrisostomi, Jeff Goldfisher, Raheem Green, Sarah Hassan, Naima Yetunde Ince, Bill Johnson, David King, Jessica Krueger, Andrews Landsman, Elinor Lerner, Channing McKindra, Alexandra Petrova, Charletta Rozell, Alicia St. Louis, Tricia Storie, Aaron Strand, Miriam Tabb, Jenny Weinbloom and Elian Zach.

Performances for CALIGULA MAXIMUS, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St., are on Thursday and Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm and 10pm, through April 17th. Tickets are $30, $25 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at http://www.lamama.org or by calling the box office at 212.475.7710. Tickets must be picked up at the box office which is located at 74A E. 4th St. For more information, visit www.caligulamaximus.com.

Presented by La MaMa, e.t.c., CALIGULA MAXIMUS is a project with Hammerstein & Weiner, LLC, Christopher McElroen, Alfred Preisser and Kingsize, USA.

Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 E. 4th St. (btwn 2nd Ave & The Bowery)
Tickets are $30, $25 for students and seniors


CALIGULA MAXIMUS at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre Completes Extended Run on April 17th
Wednesday, April 7, 2010; Posted: 04:04 PM – by BWW News Desk

Justine Joli as Caesonia in Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St. in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Justine Joli as Caesonia in Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St. in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Celebrate with Penthouse and the cast of CALIGULA MAXIMUS, Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s outrageous circus themed theatrical extravaganza currently playing at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St in New York, when the show completes its extended run on April 17th.

The party will take place on the set when the curtain comes down. Penthouse is donating complimentary issues of the magazines while supplies last, V2 vodka is the beverage sponsor of the night.

Co-written by Alfred Preisser (Co-Founder, Classical Theatre of Harlem) and Randy Weiner (owner of the notorious night spot, The Box) and directed by Preisser, CALIGULA MAXIMUS is set on the last night of the infamous dictator’s life.

Ryan Knowles stars as Caligula, adult film star and Penthouse Pet Justine Joli as his wife Caesonia, Lady Circus troupe aerialist Anya Sapozhnikova as his sister Drusilla, Luqman Brown as Sulla, the peanut vendor and JerZ Short as circus master Helicon. The show features award-winning competitive bodybuilders Myra Adams and Roxanne Edwards, Coney Island Sideshow tattooed muscleman Tim DAX and an outrageous collection of over two-dozen circus performers, wrestlers, showgirls and freaks.

The Cast of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS. Photo by Lia Chang

The Cast of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS. Photo by Lia Chang


Check out what the critics are saying about CALIGULA MAXIMUS.

…a rock musical to make “Hair” pale by comparison, replete with nudity, sex, every form of perversion and violence …a probing, provocative and profound piece of theater.

This cast is the hardest-working ensemble of diverse talents with vastly varied backgrounds that could be assembled. Each plays many parts and the energy level could light up Manhattan. In addition to well-trained experienced actors, singers and dancers, there are actual circus performers, strippers, muscle men and body builders. Heading it all is the utterly astonishing Ryan Knowles, as beautiful a young man as the historical Caligula, an actor of range, sensitivity, colossal endurance, and a solid singer.

Presented by La MaMa, e.t.c., CALIGULA MAXIMUS is a project with Hammerstein & Weiner, LLC, Christopher McElroen, Alfred Preisser and Kingsize, USA.

Performances for CALIGULA MAXIMUS, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St., are on Thursday and Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm and 10pm, through April 17th. Tickets are $30, $25 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at http://www.lamama.org or by calling the box office at 212.475.7710. Tickets must be picked up at the box office which is located at 74A E. 4th St. For more information, visit www.caligulamaximus.com.

Click here for the full article at broadwayworld.com.

Click here for the CALIGULA MAXIMUS Articles Archive.


“Caligula Maximus”: Circus Maximus
By Beatrice Williams-Rude

Ryan Knowles (center) stars as Caligula, with the cast of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s CALIGULA MAXIMUS, directed by Alfred Preisser, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St. in New York through April 17. Photo by Lia Chang

Ryan Knowles (center) stars as Caligula, with the cast of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s CALIGULA MAXIMUS, directed by Alfred Preisser, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St. in New York through April 17. Photo by Lia Chang

Think not Camus, but Fellini to the next dimension. This “circus” is definitely not for children.

In fact, for those who look without listening, who are so riveted/repelled by the spectacle, it may seem sensationalist, a rock musical to make “Hair” pale by comparison, replete with nudity, sex, every form of perversion (simulated), violence (simulated) as well as audience participation.

But for those who listen, this circus is a metaphor for the mad world in which Caligula then, and we now, live. It is a probing, provocative and profound piece of theater. There is not a group – from Ireland to India – or a religion that is not skewered. And with the logic of its own creed. Caligula notes the “cruel” god of the Hebrews and goes on to say he’s “had more children than a prelate.” He points to the savagery in the theology of various religions

There is a debate about what constitutes sanity. Is war sane? Are those who perpetrate it sane?

When Caligula defends his own sanity after making his horse a Roman senator he points to the horrors men have committed that no horse ever did. “No horse ever strapped explosives to his flank and blew up a city bus.” The men who do such things are insane; the rulers who praise such actions are insane. The horse never did. Therefore the horse is sane, and worthy of ruling. An anachronism, yes, But that’s the point. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

As is intended, this Caligula exemplifies Lord Acton’s observation that “All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” When Caligula indulges in monstrous behavior because he “just wants to have fun” the point is made that to the victim, whether the pain is inflicted for a prince’s pleasure or a priest’s conviction, matters little.

The question is raised as to why so many more people know of Caligula than of most of those who built Western civilization. Caligula posits that there is more of him in us than we like to admit. The Hyde inside of Jekyll. “Who will save us from ourselves?” he asks.

This is a thinking person’s piece; it questions assumptions and bedrock convictions. This is Alfred Preisser’s way, pin pricks, pithy one liners, the audience isn’t told what to believe, it’s prompted to think. Preisser, who wrote this opus with Randy Weiner, and directed it, previously wrote a brilliant and devastating version of “The Trojan Women,” which he also directed. His direction of Macbeth produced the best production this reviewer has ever seen; voodoo Macbeth with a crackling undercurrent of sexuality. Christopher McElroen, who produced this “Caligula” is also a director; his work with Chekhov plays is extraordinary. He brought out all the poignancy of “The Cherry Orchard” and the myriad facets of “The Three Sisters.”

This cast is the hardest-working ensemble of diverse talents with vastly varied backgrounds that could be assembled. Each plays many parts and the energy level could light up Manhattan. In addition to well-trained experienced actors, singers and dancers, there are actual circus performers, strippers, muscle men and body builders., Heading it all is the utterly astonishing Ryan Knowles, as beautiful a young man as the historical Caligula, an actor of range, sensitivity, colossal endurance, and a solid singer.

An interesting and pointed bit of casting has the actor portraying the ethereal, tender, loving Jesus (Aaron Strand) looking like an identical twin of Caligula.

The dazzling aerialist Anya Sapozhnikova plays Drusilla, Caligula’s beloved sister, the relationship with whom leads to quoting the Oscar Wilde line “Each man kills the thing he loves.” [" the brave man with a sword, the coward (Judas) with a kiss." ]

At the beginning of the performance, as part of the circus atmosphere, a “peanut vendor” exhorts the audience to buy his wares. The “peanut vendor” is God (Lugman Brown), in the form of everyman. It is this character who foretells ‘Caligula’s doom. The thought is presented that ultimately sadistic decadence destroys itself.

When “Marat/Sade” opened on Broadway, this reviewer, then a very young actress, refused to go because the subject matter was so offensive. She was admonished by the great drama critic Richard Watts, Jr., who said, “If you’re serious about the theater, you’ll see it.” Now it’s this reviewer’s turn to say, “If you’re serious about the theater (world, street, experimental, theater in all its forms), politics, history, philosophy and/or theology, you’ll go to the Ellen Stewart Theatre (La MaMa) and witness “Caligula Maximus.” It’s run has been extended to April 17.

Click here for the full article at broadwayafterdark.com.

Click here for the CALIGULA MAXIMUS Articles Archive.

Justine Joli and Jade Vixen after a performance of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS at the Ellen Stewart Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Justine Joli and Jade Vixen after a performance of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS at the Ellen Stewart Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang


March 2010 Penthouse Centerfold Jade Vixen and HedonOnline.com’s Lola Bastinado came to see Justine Joli make her stage debut as Caligula’s wife Caesonia, in Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s CALIGULA MAXIMUS, which is currently playing at the Ellen Stewart Theatre in New York through April 17, 2010.

Co-written by Alfred Preisser (Co-Founder, Classical Theatre of Harlem) and Randy Weiner (owner of the notorious night spot, The Box) and directed by Preisser, CALIGULA MAXIMUS is set on the last night of the infamous dictator’s life.

Lola Bastinado, Jade Vixen and CALIGULA MAXIMUS castmember Raheem Green after the show. Photo by Lia Chang

Lola Bastinado, Jade Vixen and CALIGULA MAXIMUS castmember Raheem Green after the show. Photo by Lia Chang


Ryan Knowles stars as Caligula, adult film star and Penthouse Pet Justine Joli as his wife Caesonia, Lady Circus troupe aerialist Anya Sapozhnikova as his sister Druscilla, Luqman Brown as Sulla, the peanut vendor, JerZ Short as circus master Helicon, and the show features award-winning competitive bodybuilders Myra Adams and Roxanne Edwards, Coney Island Sideshow tattooed muscleman Tim Dax and an outrageous collection of over two-dozen circus performers, wrestlers, showgirls and freaks.
CALIGULA MAXIMUS castmembers Justine Joli and Roxanne Green with March 2010 Penthouse Centerfold Jade Vixen after the show. Photo by Lia Chang

CALIGULA MAXIMUS castmembers Justine Joli and Roxanne Green with March 2010 Penthouse Centerfold Jade Vixen after the show. Photo by Lia Chang


Rounding out the cast in multiple roles are Angela Buccinni, Claire Buckingham, Alicia Giangrisostomi, Jeff Goldfisher, Raheem Green, Sarah Hassan, Naima Yetunde Ince, Bill Johnson, David King, Jessica Krueger, Andrews Landsman, Elinor Lerner, Channing McKindra, Alexandra Petrova, Charletta Rozell, Alicia St. Louis, Tricia Storie, Aaron Strand, Miriam Tabb, Jenny Weinbloom and Elian Zach.
CALIGULA MAXIMUS has sets and rigging by Evan Collier, costumes by Laura Clarke, lighting by Christopher McElroen, musical direction and lead guitar by Joe Shavel, musicians Kareem Clarke (bass), Jeremy O’Brien (drum/mayhem), Brendan Scharen (rhythm guitar), Joel Siegel (drums/conga), whip consulting by Chris McDaniel, stage management by Mike Yrigoyen, and press by Lia Chang.

Presented by La MaMa, e.t.c., CALIGULA MAXIMUS is a project with Hammerstein & Weiner, LLC, Christopher McElroen, Alfred Preisser and Kingsize, USA.

Performances for CALIGULA MAXIMUS, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St., are on Thursday and Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm and 10pm, through April 17th. Tickets are $30, $25 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at http://www.lamama.org or by calling the box office at 212.475.7710. Tickets must be picked up at the box office which is located at 74A E. 4th St. For more information, visit www.caligulamaximus.wordpress.com.

Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 E. 4th St. (btwn 2nd Ave & The Bowery)
Tickets are $30, $25 for students and seniors

Click here for the CALIGULA MAXIMUS Articles Archive.

Alexandra Bernard in Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS. Photo by Lia Chang

Alexandra Bernard in Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS. Photo by Lia Chang


Alexandra Bernard’s raises the roof with her glorious voice as the “Voice of the Empire,” in Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s outrageous circus themed theatrical extravaganza CALIGULA MAXIMUS, currently playing at the Ellen Stewart Theatre through April 17th.

Since receiving her Bachelors degree from The City College of New York, Alexandra has been performing workshops of new musicals, and revivals of old plays and musicals: J.E. Franklin’s Black Girl, whose legacy includes actresses Ruby Dee and Angela Bassett, and a production of Yip Harburg’s lesser known gem Flahooley. A proud member of the Harlem Repertory Theatre since its inception in 2004, Alexandra has performed in over 14 productions and is a two-time AUDELCO Award nominee for her work with the company. Past roles include Asaka in Once On This Island and Effie in Dreamgirls. She was recently featured in maneandchic.com.

Alexandra Bernard (The Voice of the Empire) and Ryan Knowles (Caligula) sing The Nitty Gritty with the cast of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre. Photo by Lia Chang

Alexandra Bernard (The Voice of the Empire) and Ryan Knowles (Caligula) sing The Nitty Gritty with the cast of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS at the Ellen Stewart Theatre. Photo by Lia Chang

What will you take away from your experience with CALIGULA MAXIMUS?
The first production I saw of Alfred’s was Ain’t Supposed to Die A Natural Death in a nightclub. I was under the drinking age, and I got in with a fake ID. It was a musical piece that had great singing and dancing, but at the same time there was this air of danger; it was so gritty. That show made me an instant fan of Alfred’s. I feel so fortunate that I finally got to work with him on this show. CALIGULA MAXIMUS puts me right back at that cabaret table – it gives me that same feeling of pure wonder. Now, I’m actually a part of it!

I was amazed everyday by the people around me in rehearsals. Everyone in this cast is so special and unique, and we were able to come together so easily. I looked forward to coming to rehearsal everyday. I loved the fact that this show was challenging for me. If there was one thing I can say I took away from this experience, was to not limit myself. Maybe it was the right combination of people, because Alfred and this cast really made me feel like I can do anything. I think we created something really special with our production of CALIGULA MAXIMUS, and I’m coming out of this show a lot more receptive, open minded, and confident.

CALIGULA MAXIMUS director and co-writer Alfred Preisser says of Bernard’s performance, “I think she’s great, every time she opens her mouth, the show gets better.”

CALIGULA MAXIMUS castmembers Miriam Tabb and Alexandra Bernard celebrate their opening night performance with André De Shields at the Ellen Stewart Theatre on March 19, 2010. Photo by Lia Chang

CALIGULA MAXIMUS castmembers Miriam Tabb and Alexandra Bernard celebrate their opening night performance with André De Shields at the Ellen Stewart Theatre in New York on March 19, 2010. Photo by Lia Chang

Set on the last night of the infamous dictator’s life, Ryan Knowles stars as Caligula, adult film star and Penthouse Pet Justine Joli as his wife Caesonia, Lady Circus troupe aerialist Anya Sapozhnikova as his sister Druscilla, Luqman Brown as Sulla, the peanut vendor, JerZ Short as circus master Helicon, and the show features award-winning competitive bodybuilders Myra Adams and Roxanne Edwards, Coney Island Sideshow tattooed muscleman Tim Dax and an outrageous collection of over two-dozen circus performers, wrestlers, showgirls and freaks.

Rounding out the cast in multiple roles are Angela Buccinni, Claire Buckingham, Alicia Giangrisostomi, Jeff Goldfisher, Raheem Green, Sarah Hassan, Naima Yetunde Ince, Bill Johnson, David King, Jessica Krueger, Andrews Landsman, Elinor Lerner, Channing McKindra, Alexandra Petrova, Charletta Rozell, Alicia St. Louis, Tricia Storie, Aaron Strand, Miriam Tabb, Jenny Weinbloom and Elian Zach.

CALIGULA MAXIMUS has sets and rigging by Evan Collier, costumes by Laura Clarke, lighting by Christopher McElroen, musical direction and lead guitar by Joe Shavel, musicians Kareem Clarke (bass), Jeremy O’Brien (drum/mayhem), Brendan Scharen (rhythm guitar), Joel Siegel (drums/conga), whip consulting by Chris McDaniel, stage management by Mike Yrigoyen, and press by Lia Chang.

Presented by La MaMa, e.t.c., CALIGULA MAXIMUS is a project with Hammerstein & Weiner, LLC, Christopher McElroen, Alfred Preisser and Kingsize, USA.

Performances for CALIGULA MAXIMUS, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St., are on Thursday and Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm and 10pm, through April 17th. Tickets are $30, $25 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at http://www.lamama.org or by calling the box office at 212.475.7710. Tickets must be picked up at the box office which is located at 74A E. 4th St. For more information, visit www.caligulamaximus.wordpress.com.

Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 E. 4th St. (btwn 2nd Ave & The Bowery)
Tickets are $30, $25 for students and seniors

Click here for the CALIGULA MAXIMUS Articles Archive.


broadwayworld.com: CALIGULA MAXIMUS Audiences Going Nude, Show Runs through 4/17
Tuesday, March 30, 2010; Posted: 03:03 PM – by BWW News Desk

The Cosmic Pool of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS. Photo by Lia Chang

The Cosmic Pool of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner's CALIGULA MAXIMUS. Photo by Lia Chang


Audience’s are taking a cue from hedonistic Roman emperor and shedding their clothes in the final Cosmic Pool scene at CALIGULA MAXIMUS, Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s outrageous circus themed theatrical extravaganza, currently playing at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St in New York through April 17th.

“We take it as the highest compliment that our show is working, and the message of the play and spirit of our incredibly talented cast is being successfully communicated to our audiences,” says co-writer Randy Weiner.

Weiner continues, “In our exploration of the character of Caligula, we always knew we would need to have performers who were naked, but we never contemplated audiences joining in. After the first incidence of audience nudity, we thought this was an aberration by an exceptionally exuberant audience member. But now it appears to be a fairly consistent occurrence at our show.”

Co-written by Alfred Preisser (Co-Founder, Classical Theatre of Harlem) and Randy Weiner (owner of the notorious night spot, The Box) and directed by Preisser, CALIGULA MAXIMUS is set on the last night of the infamous dictator’s life.

Ryan Knowles stars as Caligula, adult film star and Penthouse Pet Justine Joli as his wife Caesonia, Lady Circus troupe aerialist Anya Sapozhnikova as his sister Drusilla, Luqman Brown as Sulla, the peanut vendor and JerZ Short as circus master Helicon. The show features award-winning competitive bodybuilders Myra Adams and Roxanne Edwards, Coney Island Sideshow tattooed muscleman Tim DAX and an outrageous collection of over two-dozen circus performers, wrestlers, showgirls and freaks.

Rounding out the cast in multiple roles are Alexandra Bernard, Angela Buccinni, Claire Buckingham, Alicia Giangrisostomi, Jeff Goldfisher, Raheem Green, Sarah Hassan, Naima Yetunde Ince, Bill Johnson, David King, Jessica Krueger, Andrews Landsman, Elinor Lerner, Channing McKindra, Alexandra Petrova, Charletta Rozell, Alicia St. Louis, Tricia Storie, Aaron Strand, Miriam Tabb, Jenny Weinbloom and Elian Zach.

CALIGULA MAXIMUS has sets and rigging by Evan Collier, costumes by Laura Clarke, lighting by Christopher McElroen, musical direction and lead guitar by Joe Shavel, musicians Kareem Clarke (bass), Jeremy O’Brien (drum/mayhem), Brendan Scharen (rhythm guitar), Joel Siegel (drums/conga), whip consulting by Chris McDaniel, stage management by Mike Yrigoyen, and press by Lia Chang.

Presented by La MaMa, e.t.c., CALIGULA MAXIMUS is a project with Hammerstein & Weiner, LLC, Christopher McElroen, Alfred Preisser and Kingsize, USA.

Performances for CALIGULA MAXIMUS, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St., are on Thursday and Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8pm and 10pm, through April 17th. Tickets are $30, $25 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at http://www.lamama.org or by calling the box office at 212.475.7710. Tickets must be picked up at the box office which is located at 74A E. 4th St. For more information, visit www.caligulamaximus.wordpress.com.

Click here for the full article at broadwayworld.com.

Click here for the CALIGULA MAXIMUS Articles Archive.


Caligula Maximus: The Emperor Joneses
Posted on: Monday, March 29, 2010 @ 01:12 AM Posted by: Michael Dale

4-#6-92 Ryan Knowles (center) stars as Caligula, with the cast of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s CALIGULA MAXIMUS, directed by Alfred Preisser. Photo by Lia Chang

Ryan Knowles (center) stars as Caligula, with the cast of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s CALIGULA MAXIMUS, directed by Alfred Preisser, at the Ellen Stewart Theatre, 66 E. 4th St. in New York through April 17. Photo by Lia Chang


“Bertolt Brecht achieved the impossible; making me forgettable!”

In Alfred Preisser (playwright/director) and Randy Weiner’s (playwright) peppy and perverse celebration, Caligula Maximus, the title character, (played with heavy doses of playful charisma by Ryan Knowles) is more than a little peeved at how popular culture has depicted his reign as Roman Emperor (“Gore Vidal, you don’t get me. Bob Guccione, you don’t know me. Camus turned me into a term paper!”) but is happy to let the masses (that’s us) experience the joy of being like him.

“You’ve traded wonder for science,” he scolds, but for seventy-five impish minutes Caligula Maximus invites us to kick back and enjoy some trashy fun, some elegant erotica, a bit of pro wresting (steel chairs included) and maybe even a lesson or two about the political power of charm.
Click on the link below to read the full article:
Broadwayworld.com Review: Caligula Maximus: The Emperor Joneses by Michael Dale

Click here for the CALIGULA MAXIMUS Articles Archive.

Rick Macker/Globe Photos: Off-Off Broadway Opening Night of Alfred Preisser and Randy Weiner’s CALIGULA MAXIMUS Finale and Party at the Ellen Stewart Theatre

Click here for the CALIGULA MAXIMUS Articles Archive.

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