Mar 18, 2024

Experiments: HIGH PRIEST

Written by Paul Iacono
Reading Directed by Rachel Klein

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HIGH PRIEST tells the story of Warhol Superstar Ondine (Robert Olivo) and his role in the rise and fall of the Silver Factory (Warhol's legendary 1960s studio). Ondine, a brilliant young gay performance artist, also known as The Pope of the amphetamine people, comes to the Big Apple with one goal in mind: to become a star. He's eventually discovered by Andy Warhol, who makes his dream come true when he turns Ondine into a Superstar and the reigning high priest of his Factory. But at what price? The story also features an ensemble of some of Andy Warhol's most outlandish and fascinating Superstars like Edie Sedgwick, Billy Name, Brigid Polk, Gerard Malanga, Paul Morrissey, Lou Reed, Nico, Viva, Valerie Solanas, and more. HIGH PRIEST is an epic rollercoaster through the Silver Sixties and beyond.

Paul Iacono, an actor, writer, producer, and NYC nightlife host, is thrilled to present the first public reading of his new Warholian play, HIGH PRIEST, and make his stage debut at La MaMa. A graduate of Manhattan’s Professional Performing Arts High School, Iacono is best known for portraying the title character on MTV’s “The Hard Times of RJ Berger.” Paul was first featured on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” at age eight, after she discovered his unique talents for impersonating Frank Sinatra and Ethel Merman. Favorite stage credits include Mercury Fur (The New Group), Bridget Everett’s Rock Bottom (Joe’s Pub), Noël Coward’s Sail Away with Elaine Stritch (Carnegie Hall), and John Guare’s Landscape of the Body with Lili Taylor and Sherie Rene Scott (Signature Theater). Favorite film credits include MGM’s remake of FAME, Darren Stein’s G.B.F., and Dating My Mother with Kathy Najimy. Iacono’s play Prince/Elizabeth premiered at The Teatro LATEA Theater co-starring Sofia Black D’Elia and Peter Vack, and The Last Great Dame (loosely inspired by his relationship with Elaine Stritch) at Jane Friedman’s HOWL! Happening Gallery. His cabaret “Where’s The F*cking Kid?” premiered at 54 Below, with “Psychedelic Hedonism” following at Joe’s Pub (New York Magazine “Critic’s Pick”), and “Psychedelic Playhouse” and most recently "Paul Iacono, Unfiltered" at The Green Room 42. He was named one of OUT 100’s most influential after coming out in Michael Musto’s Village Voice column in 2011. Iacono has six shows in development including his Andy Warhol Silver Factory epic, High Priest.

Experiments Play Reading Series


For the 23rd season of La MaMa Experiments we will focus on theatrical works in progress addressing mental health issues. No one is more familiar with the need to create greater access to mental healthcare than our New York audience, who come face to face with this crisis on a daily basis. After 3 years of a global pandemic, all of us are feeling the upsurge of anxiety and depression, but these trends have been on the rise long before Covid-19. The works this season shed light on important, personal stories and deal with this subject matter in many different and unique ways. From tongue in cheek comedies to absurdist tragedies, Experiments hopes to create a season that will destigmaify, enlighten and, yes, even entertain.

Special Event