Connecticut Repertory Theatre's HIS GIRL FRIDAY Opens Today
Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) will present John Guare's adaptation of His Girl Friday, tonight, February 28 - March 10 in the Nafe Katter Theatre, Storrs. For tickets and information, call 860-486-2113 and visit www.crt.uconn.edu.
His Girl Friday is an all American rat-a-tat comedy adapted from the film to the stage by acclaimed playwright John Guare. It's August 1939 in the Press Room of the Criminal Courts Building in Chicago. On the world stage Hitler is about to invade Poland, but tonight Hildy Johnson just wants to bid farewell to her old pals, get married and leave the newspaper racket behind, which should go well unless she runs into her hard-boiled editor and ex-husband Walter Burns who wants to keep her on the beat and in his life. With rapid-fire dialogue and a crackling conflict, His Girl Friday remains one of our wildest, wittiest whirlwinds of American romantic comedy.
UConn alum Christopher Hirsh will return to the CRT stage to play Walter Burns, the fast talking editor of The Daily Record, who has learned that his ex-wife and former star reporter Hildegard "Hildy" Johnson is going to marry Bruce Baldwin, a bumbling insurance salesman played by Actors' Equity guest artist, Kevin Crouch. Burns pulls out all the stops to sabotage the wedding plans. Not only does he manage to get Bruce repeatedly arrested, Burns kidnaps Bruce's mother while enticing Hildy to cover one last story, the upcoming execution of convicted murderer Earl Holub. When Holub escapes from death row and falls right into Hildy's lap, the lure of the biggest scoop of her career so overwhelms her that she hardly realizes Bruce's plight. Guare's stage adaptation of the classic movie that stars Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell maintains the best of the traditional American screwball comedy form while adding sparkling theatricality and sharp political commentary for a brilliant and hysterically funny live theatre event.
Director Dale AJ Rose said, "John Guare has crafted a wonderfully funny and ruefully poignant evening in the theatre. Guare has taken two American Classics, the popular stage play The Front Page and the rambunctious comic film, His Girl Friday and stirred in spicy elements of his own invention to create a world on the verge of war, a city stifling under the politics of graft and corruption, journalists obsessed with getting the BIG STORY and an engrossing and charming battle of the sexes."
Artistic Director Vincent J. Cardinal said, "Romantic polarization is the engine of screwball comedy and playwright John Guare brings one of the great comic films to the stage with his new adaption of Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday. Guare's adaption sets this comic war of wills against the backdrop of a United States about to go to war, which adds gravitas to the prickliest, and funniest, romance since Shakespeare's Beatrice and Benedict."
John Guare is an American playwright best known for such plays as House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation, Landscape of the Body, and Four Baboons Adoring the Sun. Mr. Guare has received two Obie Awards, two New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards for Best American
Play and one for Best Musical, five Tony Awards, two Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Book of a Musical and Outstanding Lyrics, London's Olivier Award for Best Play, the New York State
Governor's Arts Award, the Award of Merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and received an Oscar nomination. In 1993, Guare was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame. In 2003, he received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a Master American Dramatist. John Guare's adaptation of His Girl Friday combines elements from the original stage play, the 1940 movie starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell and his own dark comedy stylings.
John Guare's His Girl Friday is a stage adaptation of the 1940 classic American screwball comedy of the same name directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, which was a film adaption of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's and 1928 stage play, The Front Page.
Pictured: Hildy Johnson (Olivia Saccomanno) taps out the headline while her fiancée Bruce Baldwin (Kevin Crouch) looks on disapprovingly at her ex-husband and editor Walter Burns (Christopher Hirsh) working over her shoulder. Photo by Bob Copley.