Making love and ‘War’: Cosmic comics play is set in Gowanus

Natural redhead: This Demon, drawn by Dean Haspiel, is a character in the comics-theater piece “The War of Woo.”

Update: this show has been postponed to a later date due to health concerns over spreading the novel coronavirus. 


Brooklyn serves as the battleground between angels and devils in a romantic new theater piece opening in Manhattan on March 19. “The War of Woo,” written by Carroll Gardens cartoonist Dean Haspiel, will have extra resonance for those who have read his graphic novel series “The Red Hook,” set in a sentient Kings County that secedes from the United States

“My passion for sequential art and the stage finally hit an apex when I realized I’d written a theatrical prequel to my comics series — which makes sense, since ‘The War of Woo’ is a play about the unholy merge between the kind and the profane,” said Haspiel. 

The artist-turned-playwright has created several supernatural stage shows, but this is his first production intimately tied to his home borough. “The War of Woo” is set in Gowanus, a cosmic crossroads in the play, just as it is a link between neighborhoods in the real world, said the show’s creator.  

“Gowanus has served as my creative space since 2007 when I joined a studio of cartoonists. Gowanus also serves as the bridge between my home in Carroll Gardens and Red Hook,” said Haspiel. “My new play … is about an unholy gentrification between Hollywood, Heaven, and Hell, beginning at Smith and Ninth Street.”

“The War of Woo” at the Gene Frankel Theatre (24 Bond St. between Lafayette Street and Bowery in Manhattan, at warofwoo.brownpapertickets.com). March 19–April 4; Wed–Sat at 8 pm, Sun at 3pm. $25.

Pitching woo: Director Philip Cruise talks to actress Stoya, who stars in “The War of Woo.”Photo by Scott Pilutik