Marie Corelli was the pen name of the British writer Mary Mackay, a major literary success (and object of critical and intellectual loathing) from the 1880s until World War I. She wrote in rather florid terms about romance, mysticism, and decadence (all the good stuff, in other words) and outsold contemporaries such as Kipling and H.G. Wells (and had there been movie deals at the time, she would have really skunked them). Hardcover Theater adapts her lurid story of Paris in 1890; the unfortunate Gaston sees his fortunes go south, and subsequently turns to absinthe, which tended to make its adherents extremely high and prone to all sorts of groovy hallucinations. Steve Schroer adapts and directs.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 7 p.m.; Thu., May 13, 10 p.m.; May 20-21, 10 p.m. Starts: May 6. Continues through May 15, 2010