Posts Tagged Andrea Garmun

“Sabrina Fair” brings a smile to the audience – and cheers!

"Sabrina Fair' at Westport Community Theatre, June 3 – 19, 2011

Cast of "Sabrina Fair"

The news today is all good news about our current production, Sabrina Fair – an absolutely charming play with memorable performances from actors who are cast to perfection! The audiences for the first weekend of performances gave the most amazing feedback – in a nutshell, they loved it. And the actors. And the set. And did we mention the play? Tom Rushen is applauded for his excellent directorial eye.

Make no mistake about it, this is what we call an “ensemble” play as no matter the size of the role, every performance is excellent. We’ll start in this posting with three of the principal characters. Actors are always challenged when assuming roles that are widely identified with famous celebrities – it is inevitable that an audience member will remember a favorite film. And we’re proud to say that WCT has overcome that challenge three times this season with our productions of Enter Laughing, Angel Street (“Gaslight”) and now Sabrina Fair.

For Sabrina Fair, the challenge is even greater as it means two films etched into memory over five decades – and a very successful Broadway run. The character of Sabrina Fairchild was beloved, made memorable in film by Audrey Hepburn in the 1950s and then again in the 1990s by Julia Ormond – and yet on Broadway it was Margaret Sullavan’s performance that brought the attention of the world to a new play destined to be a hit.

We are so, so lucky to have Debra Hanusick create this wonderful role in the Westport Community Theatre production – audiences this first weekend have absolutely fallen in love with her. To quote an overused phrase, she has “made it her own” – she is beguiling and sweet, feisty and smart, impetuous and patient, in-depth and frivolous – and absolutely charming. If for no other reason, everyone should see this production to see Debra’s wonderful performance in her WCT debut.

Sabrina Fair, Westport Community Theatre, June 3 – 19, 2011

Sabrina Fairchild (Debra Hanusick) and Linus Larrabee (Jeff Pliskin) – sparks fly...

We are so pleased to have Jeff Pliskin return to WCT in the role of Linus Larrabee after a string of hit roles at Curtain Call Theatre in Stamford. His challenge was having no less than Humphrey Bogart and Harrison Ford precede him on film – and Jeff’s superb talent has brought Linus Larrabee to life so convincingly, so intelligently, so sophisticated, so debonair… Linus is a terribly complex role that requires the actor to assume a rich “inner life” and take the audience with him in this endearing story. Jeff has the audience from his first line to his last, and we heard audience members wishing there was more when the play ended. We  looked up the definition of “heartthrob”… and…

In this story there are two Larrabee brothers, Linus and David – and they are effectively polar opposites. David is somewhat of a ladies-man. He’s funny. Somewhat care-free. Maybe somewhat care-less… He’s sure of himself, in control and easily infatuated. We are very pleased to welcome Terry LaPolice to the WCT stage as David – an amazing actor who captures the heart and soul of David Larrabee, creating a different version of the character than William Holden or Greg Kinnear played. He shines in his scenes with Sabrina, goes head to head with Linus, is a sympathetic confidant of elder Larrabee family members – and is the epitome of the suave sophistication that the 1950s is so well known for. We looked up the definition of “playboy”… and…

"Sabrina Fair" at Westport Community Theatre, June 3 – 19, 2011

Sabrina Fairchild (Debra Hanusick) and David Larrabee (Terry LaPolice) – a childhood crush is revisited...

There is much more to follow this week – as previously mentioned, this is a cast of 14 equally talented actors. Based on the reaction to this first weekend, we encourage you to make your reservations early – performances are Thursday, June 9 at 8:00 PM (great after-work outing!), Fridays and Saturdays June 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 8:00 PM, and matinees Sundays June 12 and 19 at 2:00 PM. WCT Box Office is (203) 226-1983.

The cast includes Michelle Blau, Jessica Denes, Andrea Garmun, Debra Hanusick, Terry LaPolice, Manny Lieberman, Andrew Morris, Sue O’Hara, Jeff Pliskin, Brendan Quinn, Tara Reuter, Catherine Samose, Nik Shpilberg and Fred Tisch.

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Enter Laughing opens September 24… Profiling Director Will Jeffries

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:

"Enter Laughing" at Westport Community Theatre, September 24 – October 10

Will Jeffries as "Marlowe" and Tim Cronin as "Pike" in "Enter Laughing"

"Enter Laughing," Westport Community Theatre, September 24 - October 10 2010

Will Jeffries – Director, Set Designer and appearing as "Marlowe" in "Enter Laughing"

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.

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“Enter Laughing” – two weeks until opening night September 24!

Westport Community Theatre, September 24 - October 10

Carl Reiner from "The Dick Van Dyke Show"

Carl Reiner, semi-autobiographical source of "Enter Laughing"

Carl Reiner, semi-autobiographical source of "Enter Laughing"

Westport Community Theatre's 55th Anniversary season

Carl Reiner

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.

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“The Women” opens Friday, June 4 at 8:00 PM!

Director Richard Mancini is looking forward to opening night for “The Women” –

We’re really excited about The Women opening at WCT this Friday, and I believe our audiences will be too! Our immensely talented cast of nearly 20 lovely ladies – resplendent in their vintage finery – and an absolutely knockout crew have worked pretty much around the clock to bring Clare Boothe Luce’s wonderfully catty 1930s society women and their crackling dialogue vividly to life on the WCT stage. It’s been a wild ride… and we can’t wait for subscribers, friends, family and everyone else to join in the fun!”

Performances this weekend on Friday June 4 and Saturday June 5 at 8:00 PM, Sunday June 6 at 2:00 PM, and the following two weekends – Thursday June 10 at 8:00 PM; Fridays and Saturdays 11, 12, 18, 19 at 8:00 PM, Sundays June 13, 20 at 2:00 PM. Call the Box Office at (203) 226-1983 to reserve seats – tickets range from $12 to $18!

"The Women"

Director and cast of "The Women" opening Friday, June 4 at 8:00 PM

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