Theatre  has slowly rolled out its original serial play about magic and Louisville, “The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn,” every first Friday since June, one fifteen-minute episode at a time. Ludlow Quinn is a fictional magician plying his mediocre craft in Louisville in the early 1900s when he meets a mysterious stranger who helps him unlock the secrets of great magic. The play travels back and forth in time between Quinn’s life and that of Bonnie Burke, a contemporary teenager who finds a mysterious, powerful book in her great-grandmother’s Old Louisville attic.
To catch the audience up, the play’s first five episodes will receive a staged reading on Halloween, 7 p.m. at the Baron’s Theatre in Whiskey Row Lofts next to the Second Street Bridge.
Commissioned playwrights Diana Grisanti (a Louisville native) and Steve Moulds have been writing as they go, working with the ensemble on the script throughout the performance year. So far, the play has featured illusions aplenty and some fine acting work from local performers, including Theatre  regulars Eli Keel (Quinn) and Leah Roberts (the Stranger), Douglas Scott Sorenson as the maybe-sinister proprietor of a local magic shop (seen recently in Stage One productions of “Charlotte’s Web” and “The House at Pooh Corner”), Becca Willenbrink as Bonnie Burke and Scott Anthony as a silent, mysterious piano player with a very thin mustache.
“The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn” is fairly family-friendly, and Thursday’s show will include costume contests for kids and for adults.
The staged reading is followed on Friday by chapter six of “The Stranger and Ludlow Quinn.” The project is part of Theatre ‘s Small Batch Series of theatrical experiments and collaborations, which also includes the upcoming production of Will Eno’s “Thom Paine (based on nothing)” in the Slant Culture Theatre Festival next month.