Thursday, August 14, 2008

Anaïs Nin Goes to Hell Follows The Age-Old Tradition of The Show Must Go On

August 13, 2008, New York, NY--MAIEUTIC THEATRE WORKS’ (MTWorks) production of David Stallings’ Anaïs Nin Goes to Hell, received horrific news on Sunday, 4 hours prior to the performance. After premiering their latest work on Friday, to a sold-out house, Maggie Benedict, who played Cleopatra, lost her father; she was to fly out to South Africa immediately to be with her family and would not be able to continue with the run. MTWorks sympathies were with the family and their immediate response was to cancel the show.

This type of sudden predicament happens in the theater world, and the answer has always been “The Show Must Go On”, but for a small and fresh theater company that has only been around for three years, this was a first. Fortunately Kristina Kohl, a company actress, and David Stallings’ original inspiration for the role of Cleopatra, jumped right in, grabbed a script, scribbled down stage directions and saved the night.

Duncan Pfaster of Broadway World who was in the audience said, “on the night I attended, Ms. Benedict had a death in the family, and Kristina Kohl, another actress from Maieutic Theatre Works, took over her role with 4 hours notice, on book, and gave a fine performance.

MTWorks, the cast and crew of Anaïs Nin Goes to Hell would like to dedicate the remaining 3 performances to Maggie Benedict and the memory of her father.
“When Maggie told us that she lost her father and had to go back to South Africa, I was devastated. Devastated for her loss of her father so suddenly-I can't imagine the pain of that and I feel terrible that she has to go through that. I was also devastated to lose her in the show. She played the role of Cleopatra so beautifully and brought so much fire and individuality to the part that I knew that losing her would change the effect of the play. I of course understood the situation and agreed there was no question about her having to leave and take care of her family. She will be missed.” Said Cristina Alicea, director of Anais Nin Goes to Hell.

Kristina Kohl running lines moments before her performance.

Kristina Kohl will be finishing out the run starring as Cleopatra in the final three performances of ANAÏS NIN GOES TO HELL. This limited engagement is part of the 12th annual New York International Fringe Festival-FringeNYC at The Connelly Theater (Venue # 17; 220 East 4th Street-between Avenue A & Avenue B).

Stallings immediately thought of Kohl as the replacement because she was the actress who had told him Cleopatra belonged in the play. Even with their history, Stallings was amazed at her ability to step into the role. He remarked, “When we lost Maggie, Kristina did not hesitate to save us--she has nerves of steel. It was a blessing for us to find an actress who implicitly understood the character and was able to walk seamlessly in her shoes. I have never met an actress with the ability to enter stage with not even a full day rehearsal, with a script in hand, and then wink at me when it was over.”

What reviewers are saying about ANAÏS NIN GOES TO HELL:

For a play about woman, but written by a man, it tapped into the greater female psyche…” -NY Press

[Shelly] Feldman is a gleeful delight as Nin- owning every moment she's onstage with stylish grace and power- one really believes her as the catalyst for all the change her character inspires.” –Broadway World

It's nice to see a play that relies on strong women.” –NY

Cristina Alicea's direction is wonderful- she brings the most out of the talented cast.” –Broadway World

Anaïs Nin Goes to Hell only has 3 performances remaining in FringeNYC:
Sunday, August 17th at 7:15 pm
Thursday, August 21st at 5:15 pm
Sunday, August 24th at 2:45 pm

Running time is 2 hours with an intermission.

Tickets are $15.00. $10 senior citizens (65 years or older), and for those who purchase groups of 20 or more tickets to a single performance. Tickets can be purchased at or 866.468.7619. Tickets may also be purchased in person at FringeCENTRAL, the main box office for the Festival, up until 24 hours before the actual performance. On the day of the performance, tickets must be purchased at the venue where the show is playing. Venue box office opens 15 minutes before the performance. (Cash only.)

Please check and for updates.

Photos are available HERE.

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