Andy Murray is the Devil!
Yep. That's right. Andy Murray is playing the Devil, Lucifer, Old Scratch himself in our production of"Man and Superman." Now how's that for casting? Purrrfect, no?
Andy is also playing Mendoza, the lovesick leader of the brigands encountered by the play's hero Jack Tanner (played by Elijah Alexander), and his chauffer Straker (played by Dan Hiatt) in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Spain. Mendoza is a Shakespeare-quoting, poetry writing, lovesick, would-be revolutionary who pines for his family's former cook, Louisa. Louisa just happens to be Straker's sister in a funny and silly bit of Shavian plot twisting that rivals some of Shakespeare's famously weird plot coincidences.
Mendoza is a little reminiscent of Orlando in As You Like It. He writes absolutely dreadful love poetry about Louisa that rivals the terrible versified drivel Orlando composes about Rosalind in "As You Like It". Like Orlando, Mendoza also carves the name of his beloved into trees. Now for those of you who saw As You Like It last season at Cal Shakes, this should be fairly hysterical. After all, Andy Murray as "Mendoza" -- our love-sick, tree-abusing author of wretchedly embarrassing verse in Man and Superman is the same actor who played Jaques in last season's "As You Like It." Jaques is the chronically malcontent renegade soldier who publicly scorns Orlando's poetry, derides Orlando for acting foolish over love, and rails at him for carving Rosalind's name in the trees. In our production, he even took a giant pair of scissors and cut down the large banner dedicated to Rosalind that Orlando hung from the trees. So, I get quite a kick out of watching Andy now play a Shavian semi-version of Shakespeare's Orlando after watching him play the foil to the love-sick fool last season. (It is a sad-but-true fact that dramaturgs are often geeky and get their thrills this way. We need to get out more, or so my mother frequently tells me.)
But I digress. Back to Andy as the Devil.
He's pretty much everything you'd expect from an Andy Murray devil. I don't want to spoil it too much, you will simply have to buy a ticket and come see for yourself, gentle reader, but let me give you a few tantalizing clues: hell is carpeted in white, shaggy animal fur, it features Satan's minions in satin pajama pants, Peter Callender in full leather regalia, Elijah Alexander (Loveless in last season's "Restoration Comedy,") as Don Juan, and pelvic gyrations from Lucifer, whose costumes resembles the "Hef." Ladies, it's an eye-candy extravaganza. Helen Gurley Brown would be pleased.
It is a hell you don't want to miss and you won't want to leave. Hell is simply heaven. And Andy Murray really is the devil.