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Vegas, improv and masks

Three performers take on 11 roles in “Don Juan in Vegas” showing Sunday Oct. 20 at Hobgoblin Music Loft.

Three actors take on 11 roles in a modern-day twist on a 17th century story.

“Don Juan in Las Vegas” features the traveling theater troupe of Matt Trucano, Jonathan Greene and Kyle Cadotte. They bring their show Sunday Oct. 20 to Hobgoblin Music Loft.

Three’s a charm

Known as the Bricklayers, the three took three translations of “Don Juan,” spent three months in a South Dakotan cabin and rewrote the piece.

Introcued in 1665 by French writer Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, also known as Moliere, “Don Juan” is the comedic tale of a greedy womanizer who “has no feeling for humanity.” Trucano said..

The piece, filled with extravagant characters, has several adaptations and has been made into a multiple films.

“Don Juan is really a bad one-percenter,” Trucano said. “He has no responsibilities, he has no ramifications for the things that he does.”

Their version of Don Juan is set in Las Vegas, a perfect backdrop for the misadventures of one a famous libertine and his pursuit of pleasure and power, they said.

“We took the idea of ‘Who are these characters in our society today?’ and ran with it,” he said.

Picture Don Juan a jet-setting, very rich, very irresponsible dude, Trucano added, whose dad cuts him off.

Greene plays Juan in the show, while Trucano and Cadotte cover the other 10 roles.

The Bricklayers’ version is done at breakneck speed, complete with colored costumes created by Sonya Berlovitz and masks by one of Europe’s premiere mask-maskers, Etienne Champion.

The theater company’s mission is to create a renewed place in the American theater scene for the physically demanding, social examining and humor expanding of the mask theater.

“With the masks we are able to really change,” Trucano said. “People are really surprised that there are really just three of us.”

Trucano says the masks are transformative of their faces, voices and bodies.

Trucano and Cadotte have been working together since 2007. Greene joined the collaboration this year and together the three have been coexisting and creating.

“It’s just the three of us who’ve done all the writing, directing and acting,” Trucano said. “Through improvisation, we found the meat of the text.”

So far the trio has brought the show to parts of South Dakota — to small towns with non-traditional-theater-going-audiences — where to the actors’ shock, people have been “really with us,” he said.

“There is generally a five-minute acclamation period, sort of like when you go see a Shakespeare piece and get to know how the language works,” he says. “The audience learns the rules of this play and the performance style. The idea of asking to people to get involved is paying off – we try to blend the text of our play with things that are really unique for each audience and it’s really a lot of fun.”

See “Don Juan in Las Vegas” at Hobgoblin Music Loft, 4 p.m. Sunday Oct. 20. Tickets are $10, cash only, at the door.

For more information about the Bricklayers Theater Company check out

Stacy Bengs-Silverberg

Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.

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