Maggie Lacey, Jenn Gambatese, et al. Set for WCP'S TEETH APART, 7/12-30

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Westport Country Playhouse will stage Terrence McNally's summer sizzler, "Lips Together, Teeth Apart," directed by Playhouse artistic director Mark Lamos, playing July 12 - 30. The third production in The Playhouse's 80th birthday year, "Lips Together, Teeth Apart" is a perceptive comedy with powerful dramatic conflicts about two straight couples spending a July weekend on Fire Island.

"I'm thrilled and honored to be able to direct and present Terrence McNally's now-classic depiction of four people dealing with the reality of illness and renewal, connection and separation, and the constantly surprising upheavals of life as we think we know it," said Lamos.

"Two years ago, I wanted to direct this play for Westport Country Playhouse," Lamos noted, "but New York's Roundabout Theatre Company had just acquired the rights and was planning a Broadway revival. We couldn't get a hold of it. When the production was canceled, the rights became available again, and we snapped them up."

In a Fire Island beach house, a brother and sister and their respective spouses gather to celebrate the Fourth of July. With food, cocktails, fireworks and stinging barbs, they fortify themselves against their individual anxieties---and their gay neighbors partying in the houses on either side. The New York Times called the play "a work with real teeth and equally penetrating compassion." The play contains adult content and language.

The cast includes Chris Henry Coffey ("Resurrection Blues," directed by Mark Lamos; "The Front Page" at Long Wharf Theatre) as John Haddock; John Ellison Conlee (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for Broadway's "The Full Monty") as Sam Truman; Jenn Gambatese (Broadway's "Is He Dead?," "Tarzan," "All Shook Up," "Hairspray," "A Year with Frog and Toad," "Footloose") as Chloe Haddock; and Maggie Lacey (Westport Country Playhouse's "Our Town"; Broadway's "Dividing the Estate," "Inherit the Wind," "Our Town") as Sally Truman.

Playwright Terrence McNally won Tony Awards for best play for "Love! Valour! Compassion!" and "Master Class." In addition, "Love! Valour! Compassion!" won the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and the New York Drama Critics' Circle awards for best play. McNally's other plays include "Corpus Christi," which was named one of the best plays of 1998 by Time magazine; "A Perfect Ganesh," a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; "The Lisbon Traviata"; and "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair De Lune." He has written a number of television scripts, including "Andre's Mother," for which he won an Emmy Award. McNally has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller grant, a Lucille Lortel Award and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Director Mark Lamos has collaborated with some of the most important contemporary writers, including Arthur Miller ("Resurrection Blues" - Old Globe Theater); Tony Kushner ("Dybbuk," a Lamos commission, as well as "The Illusion," both for Hartford Stage); A.R. Gurney ("The Grand Manner," "Black Tie," "Big Bill" and "Buffalo Gal" - Off-Broadway). He staged the premiere of Jon Robin Baitz's "The End of the Day" (Off-Broadway); directed Edward Albee's "Seascape" (Broadway) and "Tiny Alice" (Hartford and Off-Broadway - Lortel Award); Jeffrey Hatcher's "Compleat Female Stage Beauty"; David Edgar's "Pentecost," also at the Globe; U.S. premiere of Simon Gray's "Hidden Laughter" (Hartford Stage); "Love's Fire," short plays by Wendy Wasserstein, Eric Bogosian, Marsha Norman, Ntozake Shange, William Finn and Kushner (The Acting Company at The Public Theater; played on U.S. tour at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts). He made his Broadway directing debut with Timberlake Wertenbaker's "Our Country's Good" (Tony Award nomination) and has also staged Alfred Uhry's "Edgardo Mine" for the Guthrie Theater. He began his directing career with Athol Fugard's "Hello and Good-Bye" at the Guthrie Theater.

The design and production team includes Andrew Jackness (Broadway's 2010 revival of "Bye Bye Birdie," "The Little Foxes" starring Elizabeth Taylor), scenic design; Candice Donnelly (Broadway's "Our Country's Good," "Fences," "Hughie"), costume design; Robert Wierzel (Broadway's "Fela!" -Tony Award nomination), lighting design; John Gromada (Broadway's "Proof," "Dividing the Estate," "Twelve Angry Men"), sound design; Mark Silence, fight director; Matthew Melchiorre, production stage manager; Amanda Spooner, assistant stage manager; and Janet Foster, C.S.A., casting.
Board of trustees production sponsors are Johnna G. Torsone and John McKeon and Barbara and John Streiker. Corporate production partner is BNY Mellon Wealth Management. 2011 season sponsor is KPMG; 2011 media sponsors are Moffly Media and WSHU Public Radio Group.

Westport Country Playhouse's five-play 2011 season continues with "Suddenly Last Summer," the poetic, sensual and evocative drama, written by Tennessee Williams and directed by David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, August 23 - September 10; and "Twelfth Night, or What You Will," the beguiling comedy/romance, written by William Shakespeare and directed by Mark Lamos, October 11 - November 5.

Subscriptions to all three plays are available for preferred seating and discounts up to 45% off single ticket pricing. Students and educators are eligible for 50% discounts. All Friday evening performances are $25 for patrons aged 35 and under. Groups of 10 or more save up to 30%. For group sales information call (203) 227-5137, x120.

For more information or tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 at www.westportplayhouse.org. Stay connected to The Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse) or get an insider's peek on The Playhouse Blog (www.theplayhouseblog.org).

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