Buffalo Theatre Ensemble Presents LEADING LADIES, Now thru 9/22
Buffalo Theatre Ensemble (BTE) presents the first work of its 2013 - 2014 Season, Ken Ludwig's "Leading Ladies," directed by BTE Ensemble member Kurt Naebig, in the Building K Theatre at the College of DuPage 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, Ill. tonight, Sept. 6 - 22. A preview will be held Thursday Sept. 5. Press opening is Friday, Sept. 6, 8 p.m. Single tickets go on sale Wednesday, August 14.
At the core of "Leading Ladies" are Jack and Leo, two down-on-their-luck Shakespearean actors. Overhearing that an old lady in York, PA is to leave her fortune to her long-lost nieces, they decide to use their acting skills to get the cash by pretending to be someone and something they aren't. Houston Press hails "Leading Ladies" as "...so funny, it will make sophisticated and reasonable men and women of the 21st century cackle 'till their faces hurt."
BTE Ensemble member and Lombard's own Kurt Naebig* + directs fellow BTE Ensemble members Bryan Burke* + of Glen Ellyn (Leo), Chicago'sRoBert Jordan Bailey * + (Jack) and Wheaton's Loretta Hauser* (Florence). They will be joined by a host of new and returning talent, including Highland Park's Rob Frankel (Doc), Chicago's Christina Gorman (Meg), Carol Stream's Melody Jeffries (Audry), Naperville's Grant Schumacher (Butch and Frank), and Arlington Heights' Gary Simmers(Duncan). The design team includes Aurora's Michael Moon* (scenic design), Glen Ellyn's Jon Gantt* (lighting design); and Chicago's Brad Sauper (properties design), Allison Greaves* (costume and make-up design) and Heath Hays (sound design). Fight choreography is by Geneva's John Tovar. Equity stage manager is Chicago's Jill Yetsky*; assistant stage manager is Naperville's Christopher Corrigan.
* Denotes BTE Ensemble member
+ Denotes Member of Actors Equity Association
"Ludwig is one of the best writers of farce in the last 30 years and these kinds of broadly humorous plays have the potential to provide the most wonderfully entertaining theater experiences for audiences," says director Naebig. "To hit that mark requires an extremely skilled team of actors and theater artists. Since this production has that and more, I know it will be a fantastic kick-off to BTE's most successful season yet."
"Ludwig is one of the best writers of farce in the last 30 years and these kinds of broadly humorous plays have the potential to provide the most wonderfully entertaining theater experiences for audiences," says director Naebig. "To hit that mark requires an extremely skilled team of actors andtheater artists. Since this production has that and more, I know it will be a fantastic kick-off to BTE's most successful season yet."
Director Kurt Naebig is a BTE Ensemble member and has performed in many BTE shows. A Juilliard Graduate, he has also studied at Moscow School of the Arts in Russia and has worked at Steppenwolf, Portland Stage, Milwaukee's Pabst Theatre, National Jewish Theater, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Favorite roles include Stanley in "Streetcar," Merrick in "The Elephant Man," Einstein in "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" and Joe in "Golden Boy." Film/TV roles include "Public Enemies," "The Express," "Witless Protection," "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer." He has appeared in "Chicago Fire," "The Chicago Code," "Detroit 1-8-7" and multiple episodes of "Prison Break" and "ER." Naebig directed BTE's productions of "The Drawer Boy," "Moonlight and Magnolias," "Italian American Reconciliation," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Nocturne," "Fuddy Meers," "Sylvia," "Lost in Yonkers," and most recently, "Trumbo: Red, White and Blacklisted." He is a former artistic director of The Theatre of Western Springs, and a teacher and acting coach at Acting Studio Chicago.
Playwright Ken Ludwig is an internationally acclaimed playwright whose six hits on Broadway, in conjunction with hits in London's West End and throughout the world, have made him one of the best known names in contemporary theater comedy. Some of his most well-known works include "Crazy For You," "Lend Me A Tenor," and "Moon Over Buffalo." Ludwig's honors include the Laurence Olivier Award, England's highesttheater honor; three Tony Award nominations and two Helen Hayes Awards. His plays have starred Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Lynn Redgrave, Mickey Rooney, HAl Holbrook, Dixie Carter, Tony Shalhoub, Anne Heche, Joan Collins, and Kristin Bell. His work has been commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company and has been performed in 30 countries and more than 20 languages.
BTE presents "Leading Ladies" tonight, Sept. 6 - 22 at the Building K Theatre on the College of DuPage Campus, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, Ill. A preview will be held Thursday Sept. 5. Press opening is Friday, Sept. 6, 8 p.m.There will be a pre-show discussion before the Thursday, Sept. 5 preview performance and a post-show discussion following the Friday, Sept. 13performance. Performances for "Leading Ladies" are Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets for BTE's 2013 - 2014 Season are currently on sale by subscription only; single tickets go on sale August 14. Single tickets are $28 to $36. $2 discounts are available for students, and seniors age 60 and over. For more information, call the MAC Ticket Office at 630-942-4000, or visit AtTheMAC.org.
Buffalo Theatre Ensemble (BTE), under the direction of artistic director Connie Canaday Howard and associate artistic director Amelia Barrett, is a professional Equity theater company in residence at the McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage. It is rooted in the idea that an actingensemble and company, who have a history of working together and have developed a sense of trust and community, can create better art. BTE's 2013 - 2014 season includes "Leading Ladies" by Ken Ludwig at the Building K Theatre (Sept. 6 - 22, 2013); "Gun-Shy" by Richard Dresser in the MAC's Studio Theatre (Jan. 31 - March 2, 2014; and "I Do! I Do!," book and lyrics by Tom Jones, music by Harvey Schmidt, based on "The Fourposter" by Jan De Hartog in the MAC's Playhouse (April 25 - May 18, 2014).
Established as a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit charitable organization in 1967, the College of DuPage Foundation raises monetary and in-kind gifts to increase access to education and to enhance cultural opportunities for the surrounding community. For more information about the College of DuPage Foundation and the Buffalo Theatre Ensemble Fund, visit. cod.edu/foundation or call 630-942-3008.
McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at College of DuPage is located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355, houses three performance spaces (the 800-seat proscenium Performance Hall, the 195-seat soft-thrust Playhouse space; and the versatile black box Studio Theatre), plus the Cleve Carney Art Gallery and classrooms for the college's academic programming. This unique facility has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and typically welcomes each season more than 75,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances.
The MAC began major renovations in fall 2012 to update its three major performance spaces, construct a new Cleve Carney Art Gallery and make improvement in Patron Service areas. Renovations will also address significant infrastructure needs, improve several academic program areas and include a one-story addition. Scheduled completion date is December 2013. The project will cost $35 million and is funded by the $168 million referendum that voters of District 502 passed in November 2010. Other College of DuPage projects covered by the referendum include the renovation of the Physical Education Center, Student Resource Center and Seaton Computing Center, and construction of the Campus Maintenance Center.
The mission of the MAC is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community. For more information about the MAC, visit AtTheMAC.org.