David Hanbury's MRS. SMITH LIVE! to Play A.R.T.'s OBERON, 10/23 & 25
Actor and Boston native DAVID HANBURY, returns to A.R.T's OBERON with his original comic persona, MRS. SMITH.
MRS. SMITH has been searching for her beloved cat, Carlyle, for two-and-a-half years. To get over this "personal apocalypse", she's tried a variety of things: psychoanalysis, New Age therapies, and even appearing on America's Got Talent. In this latest attempt to exorcise her personal demons she has mounted a Broadway-style one-woman show where her bizarre life story is re-enacted in song and dance with the help of her dapper Broadway Boys! Along the way, Smith puts her indelibly surreal stamp on Great White Way favorites such as "Cabaret", "One Night in Bangkok", "The Cat That Got Away" and "The Ladies Who Lunch." Hanbury's alter-ego combines deftly executed character comedy with razor-sharp improvisational skills that have audiences laughing through tears.
The production, directed and choreographed by frequent collaborator, Andrew Rasmussen incorporates puppetry, video flashbacks, slideshows, live singing, tap dancing, virtuosic electric guitar playing and more props than you can shake a stick at. When Smithy sings favorites by Streisand, Garland, and Minnelli in their original keys you will find audiences leaping to their feet and cheering.
Hanbury, who cut his teeth with Ryan Landry's critically acclaimed Gold Dust Orphans says the show "draws inspiration from the redemptive autobiographical, one-woman shows of Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli and Lily Tomlin and Great White Way camp favorites like Sandra Bernhard's Without You I'm Nothing and Elaine Stritch at Liberty." The production blends ridiculous comedy with authentic diva stylings and also delivers surprising poignancy.
Hanbury has developed the character over the course of several years in countless cabarets, nightclubs, benefits and in several full-length plays and spectaculars in Minneapolis, moving on to national stints at Ars Nova in New York and A.R.T.'s own OBERON with Mrs. Smith Presents.... He and collaborator Rasmussen have recently returned from Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor residency, where they have created an original rock musical for children (and hip-minded adults), titled, Mrs. Smith & Carlyle: To Mars and Back Again!
The team is also currently developing a children's television series based off of the character and her repertoire. "The Broadway one-woman show is a perfect comedic container for Mrs. Smith's overblown and ridiculous life tale," continued Hanbury. "It allows for both comedy and pathos, which has always been a hallmark of my work as Smith." Mrs. Smith promises, "I will finally tell the whole story. Even if it kills me. And it might. I definitely have mixed feelings about the fact that we're selling tickets to what might end up being my 'live on stage' bodily death!"
Mrs. Smith (and her famous Broadway Boys) in a razzle-dazzle Broadway spectacular in the vein of the classic divas titled, MRS. SMITH: LIVE! is set for OCTOBER 23 and 25th, 7:00pm at A.R. T. / OBERON, 2 Arrow St Cambridge, MA 02138. For Tickets and reservations, visit: www.americanrepertorytheater.org.
DAVID HANBURY (Mrs. Smith, Creator & Writer) is a Needham, MA native (born and raised) actor, musician, and playwright who has worked professionally across the U.S. including: THE GUTHRIE THEATER, Trinity Repertory Company, WORKHAUS COLLECTIVE, AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER and ACTORS THEATER OF LOUISVILLE. He first appeared as Mrs. Smith in the Twin Cities in early 2009 and workshopped the character through performances at cabarets, fund raisers, and night club appearances. These appearances led to four full-length productions built around the character including Mrs. Smith's Halloween Spooktacular, Pussy Pen: Death-Row Dykes and Luscious Ladies in Lockup!, Mrs. Smith LIVE! and Mrs. Smith Presents... which was presented at THE SOUTHERN THEATER and toured to AMERICAN REPERTORY THEATER/OBERON in Cambridge, Mass, and Ars Nova in New York City. Last season, Mrs. Smith was a contestant on NBC's hit reality talent competition, America's Got Talent! and is developing a new children's musical titled, Mrs. Smith & Carlyle: To Mars and Back Again! Hanbury is also the artistic director of The Sisters Boil Theatrical Society who have been the recipients of two Metropolitan Regional Arts Council grants to produce this work. He holds his MFA in Acting from Trinity Rep / Brown University.
MRS. SMITH is a noted New England philanthropist, cat lover and mega-star of stage and screen who has become a household superstar amongst Americans and their affiliates. Two-and-a-half years ago last Tuesday, her beloved cat Carlyle went missing and Mrs. Smith began performing to raise awareness about his disappearance and also as a means of channeling the "grief and rage of life without him". If any of you has any idea as to the whereabouts of Carlyle - ANY idea at all, please contact Mrs. Smith IMMEDIATELY.
Andrew Rasmussen (Director & Co-Collaborator) is best known for producing and directing innovative, immersive theatrical projects under Cardinal Theatricals. Credits include: The Wild Party at the Fitzgerald Theater, RENT at The Lab Theater and the most recent production of The Rocky Horror Show LIVE! - Starring Don Shelby, which WCCO dubbed "The Show of the Year!". Additional collaborations include Jamecia Bennett and the Sounds of Blackness, Avi Hoffman, Lenny Windsor and David Hanbury's legendary Mrs. Smith. He has provided creative direction for Norwegian Cruise Line and recently returned from Tokyo, where he was the Associate Director for Joseph...Dreamcoat tour, as well as the Ordway Center's production in St. Paul. As an actor he has been seen Off Broadway, on national tour, Radio City Music Hall - in addition to numerous regional theatres ranging from Florida Stage (Carbonell Award Nominee) to the Ordway Center, Chanhassen and State Theatre. Andrew received his BFA in Drama from New York University/Tisch School of the Arts.www.cardinaltheatricals.com