Enter Laughing opens in just one week, Friday September 24 at 8:00 PM, and Off-Book will be profiling cast members and crew over the next weeks to give a behind-the-scenes look at who’s who!
WCT is so very pleased to have as noted director, actor and set designer Will Jeffries at the helm! We are of the opinion there is nothing Will can’t do… and audiences are in for a treat. The production is excellent – he has truly gotten some amazing performances from his actors, and the show achieves that rare blend of heartwarming emotional comedy and laugh-out-loud funny comedy. In a little twist of irony, Will is playing the director of the play-within-the-play at the heart of the plot of “Enter Laughing” – his performance as Marlowe is superbly memorable. And his set design, not an easy task as the play takes place in a variety of settings ranging from a machine shop to a theatre to a cemetery… is ingenious!
A little about Will, who is well known to Connecticut audiences for his work on stage and behind-the-scenes:
Officially retired after 25 years in the professional ranks in N.Y. & L.A., his acting on stage includes – off-Broadway as JFK in Kennedy At Colonus, originating the role of Arnold’s lover Ed in two segments of Torch Song Trilogy by and with Harvey Fierstein, as IRA commander Keeney in the American Premiere of Brian Friel’s Volunteers, and for director Marshall W. Mason, he had the privilege of co-starring in Shaw’s Don Juan In Hell, (with Ricardo Montalban, Lynn Redgrave, and Stewart Granger ), in films (Iron Eagle, Remo Williams, Refuge), dozens of TV series (ER, Newhart, Valerie, and a bunch of Matlock’s), soaps (as the evil Damon on General Hospital), and in your living room in hundreds of commercials. Over the years, he has directed productions of A Streetcar Named Desire, That Championship Season, Purlie Victorious, Black Comedy, Henry Fielding’s Tom Thumb, and others, and has designed sets for Agatha Christie’s The Hollow, Jesus Christ Superstar, and That Championship Season.
Will has returned to his native New England, and has found a true community of theatre people with whom to collaborate. In recent seasons, he has directed Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, the premiere production of Leonardo, and The House of Blue Leaves. Set design credits include Three Tall Women, Sleuth, Camelot, Beyond Therapy, and The Memory of Water. As an actor, he has appeared in leading roles in The Cocktail Hour, Sleuth, The Rimers of Eldritch, My Side of The Story, Romantic Comedy, Love Letters, Camelot, and Beyond Therapy. At WCT, he appeared as Mr. Lockhart in the acclaimed Bare Bones/WCT staged reading of The Seafarer last year.
It’s hard to believe, but at Westport Community Theatre we’re about to open our 55th Anniversary season Friday night, September 24, at 8:00 PM! This upcoming season promises to be one of – if not the – most memorable seasons with a crowd-pleasing mix of shows. We couldn’t be more proud to kick the season off with a critically acclaimed comedic gem from the second half of the 20th century, “Enter Laughing” by Joseph Stein, directed by noted actor and director Will Jeffries.
The heartfelt, uproarious, enthusiastically praised comedy is based on the semi-autobiographical novel of the early life of comedian Carl Reiner. We know that Off Book readers span multiple generations – and decades of Carl Reiner’s work has touched every one of you. We’ve put together the following “word cloud” to help to jog your memory and define Carl Reiner’s career; see how many of these references you recognize:
Writer… Caesar’s Hour… The
Dinah Shore Chevy Show… A Date with Debbie… The Thrill of it All (with Larry Gelbart of MASH fame)… The Dick Van Dyke Show… The Comic… The 2000 Year-Old Man (comedy routine with a guy called Mel Brooks)
Director… Good Morning, World (ouch if you know that one)… The Dick Van Dyke Show… The One and Only… The Jerk… Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid… The Man With Two Brains… All of Me… Summer Rental… Bert Rigby, You’re a Fool… Sibling Rivalry… Fatal Instinct… That Old Feeling
Comedian… Cavalcade of Stars… The Name’s the Same… Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall… To Tell the Truth… I’ve Got a Secret… The George Gobel Show… This Is Your Life… The Ed Sullivan Show… The New Steve Allen Show… The Jerry Lewis Show… The Judy Garland Show… The Jack Paar Program… The Andy Williams Show… The Hollywood Palace… The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour… That Girl… Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In… The David Frost Show… The Julie Andrews Hour… Password All-Stars… The Hollywood Squares… The Carol Burnett Show… The Merv Griffin Show… The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson… and Jay Leno… and every talk show through 2010… Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color… It’s Garry Shandling’s Show
Actor… let’s go the other way through time… Hot in Cleveland… Two and a Half Men… House M.D…. Ocean’s Thirteen, Ocean’s Twelve, Ocean’s Eleven… Boston Legal… Ally McBeal… Crossing Jordan… King of the Hill… Mad about You… Frasier… Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid… The Jerk… Oh, God… Night Gallery… The Comic… A Guide for the Married Man… The Dick Van Dyke Show… The Russians are Coming the Russians are Coming… Linus! The Lion Hearted… John Goldfarb, Please Come Home… Burke’s Law… It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World… Gidget Goes Hawaiian… Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse… The Sid Caesar Show… Playhouse 90… Your Show of Shows…
And did we mention “The Dick Van Dyke Show”???! Writer, Director, Comedian, Actor, Producer Carl Reiner’s early days, as he got his start in what would become an 8-decade career in show business, were a treasure trove of material, much of which you’ll see in the plot of “Enter Laughing.” From his days as a machinist to his first breaks in show business to his perpetually endearing faux pas to his fond family recollections, young Carl Reiner’s life becomes coming of age tale about David Kolowitz, a stage-struck, woman-struck teenager from the Bronx in 1930s New York City.
Tomorrow… get to know director Will Jeffries.
“Enter Laughing” runs September 24 – October 10, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm, and Thursday, September 30 at 8:00 pm. Westport Community Theatre at Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport. Tickets are $14 – $20; for reservations and information go to (203) 226-1983 or go to westportcommunitytheatre.com for directions.
WESTPORT COMMUNITY THEATRE
Announces AUDITIONS for
by Joseph Stein adapted from the novel by Carl Reiner
Directed by Lester Colodny
Auditions will be held on:
Sunday, July 11 at 7:00 PM
at Westport Community Theatre
Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT
Enter Laughing is the semi-autobiographical coming of age story based on the novel written by Carl Reiner. Taking place in 1938, it tells the hilarious story of a stage-struck, woman-struck young Jewish kid from the Bronx named David Kolowitz. David is a delivery boy in a sewing machine factory. His boss, Mr. Foreman wants to train him to take over the business. His quintessential loving but domineering mother and overwhelmed father want him to become a druggist, but David has other ideas – he dreams of being an actor despite his obvious lack of acting experience. At his friend Marvin’s suggestion, David tries out for a part in a play, and gets it even though he’s not that good. Although discouraged by his parents and boss, he leaves their dreams and his devoted girlfriend Wanda behind and is soon enlisted (and paying for) a slot as the “leading man” in a third-rate theatrical company while being seduced by the resident less-than leading lady, the daughter of the hammy “artistic director”. His baptism of fire is a hilarious first performance where everything that can go wrong, does.
“Joyously funny.”-New York Daily News
“Marvelously funny…Doesn’t provide enough rest periods between side splitting laughs.”-The New York Times
Performances Dates are September 24 – October 10, 2010
Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Familiarity with the play is suggested.
DAVID: Tall, good looking, should pass for seventeen…outgoing, but shy in sexual encounters…one of those delightful boy wonders of the twenties and thirties who is going to make something of himself.
MARVIN: Short, same age as DAVID…a shnook.
MR FOREMAN: Older, at least fiftyish, an old fashioned manufacturer, nosy
WANDA: DAVID’s love, sweet young thing, pretty, about 17.
MARLOWE: An older theatrical impresario…one would think of him as a Shakespearean mandarin instead of a teacher in a third rate theater… father of Angela.
ANGELA: About twenty… Marlowe’s daughter… a would be sexy actress…. poetic, dumb as they come.
PIKE (male or female) Older, Marlowe’s asst, stuffy second banana.
MS B: About twenty five… gay, outgoing, exhilarating sex symbol.
FATHER and MOTHER: David’s pop… late forties or fifties… put-upon, tired… and typical Jewish mother , ruler of the roost.
WOMAN (MAYBE): Saleswoman, Jewish
ROGER: Thirties… the unwilling bachelor friend of Miss B who is about to roped into marriage.
YOUNG MEN: Two, about the same age as DAVID.
For further information, please call the Westport Community Theatre box office at (203) 226-1983 or contact the director at firstname.lastname@example.org – visit www.westportcommunitytheatre.com for directions.