FAPC Stages Noel Coward's NUDE WITH VIOLIN at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, Begin. Tonight
Noël Coward fans will get a rare opportunity in March to witness one of his less-often-revived comedies from the 1950s, "Nude With Violin," performed twice in New York - in a fully staged Equity Showcase production by the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church's Theatre Fellowship, and in a one-night-only benefit Salon Reading by the Acting Company.
"Violin," which ran for more than a year in its initial 1956 West End production (starring John Gielgud, who co-directed with Coward) and then played Broadway starring Coward in 1957, is a rollicking satire on modern art that slyly tweaks the fawning importance so often accorded to "important" works by "genius" artists. Hilarity is in the eye of the beholder when world-renowned painter Paul Sorodin passes away and his friends and family gather at his studio expecting a financial windfall, but nothing is quite what it seems and comic surprises lurk behind every canvas.
The FAPC production, in Jones Auditorium at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, 7 West 55th Street, 3rd Floor, runs tonight, March 6-9 and March 12-16 with evening performances at 7 pm and Sunday matinees at 2 pm.
Directed by Michael Collins, the production stars Peter Kingsley* (original cast Amadeus, national tour) as the enigmatic valet Sebastian (the Coward-Gielgud role), keeper of the famous painter's secrets. The cast also includes Isabella Knight*, Peter Levine*, Kevin-Michael Chu*, Dana Panepinto, Joscelyne Wilmouth, Phyllis Cox, Johnny Culver, Edward Fagan, Janet Luhrs, Sophia Canfield, Kathleen Emmens, Suzan S. Habachy and Justin Thomas. (* Member Actors' Equity Association)
The Actors Company Salon Reading, directed by Maria Aitken, features Michael Potts, Maureen Anderman and Paxton Whitehead, and will be performed Monday, March 24 at 7 pm at the Signature Theatre, 480 West 42nd Street. For tickets, priced $35 and $60, call (212) 258-3111.
The Theatre Fellowship of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church was organized in 1997 for people in the church and community to pursue their mutual interests and talents in the theatre. Past Equity Showcase productions have included The Man Who Came to Dinner, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Skin of Our Teeth (winner of an OOBR award for best Off-Off-Broadway production) and most recently, Agatha Christie's A Murder Is Announced.