‘Shipwrecked’ Rollicks Along at Dreamcatcher Theatre


SUMMIT, NJ – You may be in for a high seas adventure if you visit “Shipwrecked! An Entertainment, The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (as Told by Himself).”

This 90-minute play by Donald Margulies has plenty to keep you entranced. Margulies has won just about every theatre award possible for such plays as “Time Stands Still” and “Dinner with Friends.”

Here he takes us on an astounding tale, beginning in 1860 and ending in 1898 or thereabouts.  Louis de Rougemont really did exist and he is played with enthusiasm and wit by Harry Patrick Christian. All the other players are performed by Nicole Callender and Scott McGowan. McGowan as Louie’s faithful dog when they are lost at sea is most entertaining. You’d swear he is really a canine as his startled looks detect every new incident and as he curls up against his master. Callender does a quick change job from Louie’s mother, who has entertained her sickly child with the Arabian Nights and other tales, to a magazine editor, an aborigine and more. She’s especially fine as captain of a pirate ship, bound for the Coral Sea to find pearls.  Both actors take on clever repartee in fancy hats, sipping tea and commenting on de Rougemont’s adventures, which have been written up in a Wonder World magazine. The action begins in England, on to Australia and deserted islands until our hero returns home and start recounting his adventures.   

Director Jack Tamburri has moved the play swiftly along, despite the limitations of the stage and setting.  Still, we have the sense of the ship’s sails, the threatening natives in the South Seas and other touches. The fast moving story takes us through the hero’s various adventures, the adoration and skepticism when he returns to London amid numerous twists and turns. There are heartbreaking moments, too, when Louis falls into the depths of despair.
Lily Guerin’s set design is a varied mix of ladders, curtains, trunks, a gramophone and more. Nathan Avakian’s lighting and Jeff Knapp’s sound add to the intensity.  According to program notes, the playwright wanted the sound effects to reflect the golden days or radio. We see, at the side of the stage, how thunder and other noises are created.   Margulies said he was inspired by the power of storytelling that the theatre can capture so well.  He said of the bare bones staging, “Part of the fun of it is seeing how so much can be conjured with so little.”
Shipwrecked!” continues through March 5 at Dreamcatcher Theatre, located in Oakes Center, 120 Morris Avenue in Summit. For tickets, call 800-838-3006 or visit DreamcatherRep.org.

Liz Keill reviews professional theatre in the New Jersey area, ranging from the McCarter Theatre in Princeton to Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. In addition to writing for Tapinto.net, she does theatre analysis for HometowneTV in Summit. She holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from Penn State and a Master's in Communication from Syracuse University. Liz is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, which holds seminars at regional theatres across the country as well as in New York City.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Very special "Annie, Jr." coming June 29-July 1 at Rahway High School

June 18, 2018

The CAU Community Players will be staging a very special production of "Annie, Jr." at the Rahway High School Center for Performing Arts on Friday, June 29, and Saturday, June 30, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 1, at 2:00 p.m.

The CAU Community Players is a troupe of actors both with and without developmental disabilities. Formed in 2012, the troupe empowers members with disabilities ...

Kessler Foundation Seeks Volunteers with Spinal Cord Injury for New Study!

Kessler Foundation is a research center in West Orange, NJ that specializes in disability research. We are currently seeking individuals with spinal cord injury to participate in a new research study:

Dr. John O'Neill, principal investigator in Spinal Cord Injury research seeks volunteers for a spinal cord injury study. The purpose of this study is to identify ways of enhancing the ...

Horse Care Workshops at Lord Stirling Start June 23

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. — Somerset County Park Commission Lord Stirling Stable is offering Horse Care Workshop 101 for adults and youth seeking to gain experience and confidence around horses through a combination of non-riding activities and hands-on practice.

Horse Care Workshop 101 will be held at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 South Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge, NJ beginning Saturday June ...

Watchung Borough Mayor and Council Approve Affordable Housing Settlement

June 9, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ -The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night  to settle its third round affordable housing obligation mandated by the state of New Jersey. Watchung Borough’s immunity from builder's remedy lawsuits  expires on June 30.

 Mayor Stephen Pote was forced to cast the deciding vote after the council deadlocked at 3-3.

Union County Freeholders Support LGBTQ Community with Historical Pride Flag Raising Ceremony

June 4, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The rainbow flag, a symbol of pride and independence fly’s high at the Union County Courthouse in recognition of June as LGBTQ Pride Month. 

This historic event by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, and the Office of LGBTQ Services, Department of Human Services and many others, brought dignitaries and people from all over New Jersey to the steps of the ...

Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith Attends Gun Safety Bills Signing Ceremony with Gov. Murphy in Trenton

June 14, 2018

TRENTON, NJ -- Mayor Al Smith attended a gun safety package bill signing ceremony at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton on Wednesday with Governor Phil Murphy. Mayor Smith joined a bipartisan group of local and state elected officials, as well as members of Moms Demand Action of Union County, at the event. 

“As a leader in Sandy Hook Promise, I was happy to accept the ...

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, June 18, 8:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness


Mon, June 18, 9:15 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Aroma Flow Vinyasa

Health & Wellness


Mon, June 18, 10:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness


Mon, June 18, 11:00 AM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Hatha Flow Yoga

Health & Wellness


Mon, June 18, 11:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Hath Yoga Flow

Health & Wellness


Mon, June 18, 4:00 PM

Chipotle, New Providence

Dine at Chipotle in New Providence June 18 in ...

Food & Drink Giving Back