Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen — attention, please!
The play Paradise Hotel must be preceded by an announcement that may well prove disturbing to certain members of our audience.
But while no one desires to offend, this risk must be taken. All audiences must now be informed that this play, Paradise Hotel is not, in fact, Paradise Hotel, but is, in truth, a much more disturbing, and possibly illegal, play entitled Hotel Fuck.
We do apologize, ladies and gentlemen – but rather than being disturbed at this revelation, we urge you, please, redirect your understandable distress — towards an even more potent threat — posed — by yet a third — much LESS provocatively titled play, entitled Hotel Beautiful Roses.
This third play threatens to replace, in the near future, the much more provocatively titled Hotel Fuck— which is now filling the stage in front of your eyes — trying desperately to hold on to its proper and genuine self — in the face of such terrible adversity — forever and forever and forever —
Cast & Personnel
Assistant Stage Manager
The Catastrophic Theatre is pleased to announce the Houston premiere of Richard Foreman’s Paradise Hotel: a frank, experimental play about the nature of physical and emotional satisfaction and the bipolar nature of American sexuality.
The play is set in a sexual purgatory. Everyone wants to have sex, but no one is actually having sex because they haven’t reached their destination – Hotel Fuck. The dead-eyed, slack-jawed desire for physical pleasure is at odds with an invading threat of dewy sentimentality — a placed called Hotel Beautiful Roses.
“Watching it will be like sitting in on someone’s dream; like an hallucinogenic trip,” co-director Greg Dean says. “Foreman’s plays are largely unknown outside of New York and the theater world. They’re a lot of fun: funny, sad, mind-expanding.” He describes Foreman’s work as “metaphysical vaudeville or philosophical burlesque”: combining low elements with intellectual themes.
If you’ve never witnessed one, expect a wild ride from a Foreman play. Paradise Hotel is not driven by a familiar narrative pattern, but by a series of situations that are constantly being interrupted. Like watching the Three Stooges try to accomplish a series of tasks, the entertainment value is not in watching the characters succeed, it’s in watching them flounder.
Paradise Hotel is like nothing you’ve seen on stage before.
"I want to make art that gives me the environment I would rather be living in. For as long as I can remember, I've profoundly felt that something's wrong with the world. Something's wrong with me. Something's wrong with everything. And all of my plays are paradise."- Richard Foreman (from an interview with The Village Voice)
Since its premiere under the playwright’s direction over ten years ago, Catastrophic company members Greg Dean and Troy Schulze have been planning a production of Paradise Hotel. The only question was who would direct? Both had extensive, successful histories with Richard Foreman’s notoriously singular approach to play-making, so the answer was simple – they would do something new and direct together. All things Foreman are experiments so why not one more? The results, as when either of these artists directs a play alone, speak for themselves.
Greg and Troy, who have starred in many Catastrophic productions, are well known and beloved stage actors for their work with The Catastrophic Theatre, Infernal Bridegroom Productions, Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company (link is external), Horse Head Theatre (link is external), and others. But they have also directed some of this city’s most stunning and bewildering productions.
Though they go about it in entirely different ways, Greg and Troy are magical directors because they, like Foreman, make their chief concern the creation of entirely new worlds. Their work never reflects the world we live in as much as the world as they imagine it. And, as with Foreman, intuition is their only guide. And so the worlds they create are products of the unconscious mind – they are dream worlds, full of mysterious symbols and associations. The results, as their characters turn on a dime from angst to enlightenment, are confusing, then hysterical, then heartbreaking.
Paradise Hotel is like nothing you’ve seen on stage before. In fact, it’s unlike anything you’ve seen anywhere. It will make you laugh, it will make you dream, it will tickle the funny bone of your secret, private, hidden hearts and minds. It will play jacks with your fears and upset your stomach. It is an imagination machine… an anti-sensical romp through the unconscious mind… a cartoon playground for the id.
Greg and Troy have each explored Foreman’s work before. Greg directed Samuel’s Major Problems and Eddie Goes to Poetry City (featuring Emmy Award winner Jim Parsons) for IBP in the 1990’s and Troy co-directed the critically acclaimed 2004 production of Symphony of Rats, also for IBP.
In addition to Greg’s productions of Foreman’s plays, he directed Chekhov’s Cherry Orchard, Mac Wellman’s Harm’s Way and Heiner Müller’s Quartett for IBP and many of the most thrilling plays produced by Mildred’s Umbrella (where he is also an ensemble member) and co-directed the storefront production of The Caretaker with Matt Carter for Stagger Lee Productions. Greg was last seen on stage, along with Troy, in Catastrophic’s Bluefinger. His most recent directing gig was another team effort, Christopher Durang’s The Marriage of Bette and Boo, with Mildred’s Umbrella artistic director Jennifer Decker sharing the reins.
Troy, whose original works The Splasher, Me-sci-ah, Jerry’s World and Actual Air took found material and transformed them into magical worlds of their own, also directed Bernard-Marie Koltès’ Roberto Zucco and Night Just Before the Forests. Like Greg, Troy has chosen only to direct the juiciest, most challenging plays he could find. And in each case audiences have thrilled at his unique vision.
This production, like Catastrophic’s recent hits Bluefinger, The Designated Mourner and Our Late Night, has been years in the making. We can’t wait to share this play, this new world, so dear to our hearts, crafted by instinct by the strange minds of these two special artists (along with a stellar cast and design team) with you, our audience.
RICHARD FOREMAN founded the Ontological-Hysteric Theater in New York City in 1968. The avant-garde playwright has won multiple Obie awards, a MacArthur Fellowship, and a Lifetime achievement award from the National endowment for the Arts. Foreman's dramatic works are driven by the notion of a constant reawakening of the audience; he is one of the major artists creating substantial works in the avant garde performance movement.
Richard Foreman has been described as, one of the most original minds ever to grace the American Theatre. Instead of focusing on conflict to shape his theatrical structure, Foreman's work draws on design, text and the live performance of actors equally, to create a different focus and relationship between the stage and audience. He describes his works as "total theater". In addition to many plays, he has written books and operas. Foreman has gained acclaim as director for such productions as Bertolt Brecht's The Threepenny Opera at Lincoln Center and the premiere of Suzan-Lori Parks's Venus at the Public Theater. The New York Times calls him “the reigning philosopher vaudevillian of the New York avant-garde...creating fractured dreamscapes in which life is the banana cream pie that keeps hitting you in the face.”