Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage Presents Terrence McNally's MASTER CLASS in Westport
Music Theatre of Connecticut MainStage, Fairfield County's award-winning professional theatre company, kicks off their 2013/2014 Season with the Tony Award winning play "Master Class", by Terrance McNally. Performances are November 1-17, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, with matinees Saturdays at 4pm and Sundays at 2pm, at MTC MainStage Studio Theatre, 246 Post Road East (ColoniAl Green/Lower Level) in downtown Westport, CT. Tickets range from $25-$45 ($5 discount for seniors/students) and are available by calling 203.454.3883 or visiting www.musictheatreofct.com
In "Master Class", legendary opera diva Maria Callas takes us to one of her famous master classes where, late in her own career, she dares the next generation to make the same sacrifices and rise to the same heights that made her the most celebrated, the most reviled and the most controversial singer of her time. She's glamorous, commanding, larger than life-and drop-dead funny.
Maria Callas was born in 1923, just months after her parents arrived in New York after moving from Greece. Callas loved opera music even as a youngster, listening to the many opera records in her family's collection. When Callas graduated from the eighth grade in 1937, her mother decided to return to Greece to receive voice training in the classical tradition. After World War II, her music coach, Elvira de Hidalgo, encouraged Callas to move to Italy to establish her career. Her 1947 Italian debut was in "La Gioconda," and she sang the title role in Bellini's "Norma," her most popular role, for the first time in Florence in 1948. Critics took note, and her career began to soar. Callas's United States debut was at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1954. In 1956, she debuted at the New York Metropolitan Opera in "Norma." During the late 1950s the stresses of jet-set living and strain she had put on her voice throughout her career began to take their toll. A series of high-profile cancellations continued her downward spiral. Although she returned briefly to perform at the Met in 1964-65, she never resurfaced as the great talent of her youth. Callas died unexpectedly in Paris, France, on September 16, 1977, shortly before her fifty-fifth birthday.
Terrence McNally's 1995 play "Master Class" was inspired by the now legendary master classes Callas gave during the 1971-72 academic year at the Juilliard School. There were 23 two-hour sessions in all, and Callas worked with 25 students whom she had selected after listening to some 300 young singers in auditions.
Leading the cast of "Master Class" as Maria Callas is Irene Glezos, who has performed in theatres both regionally and Off-Broadway as Lady in "Orpheus Descending," Gertrude in Jane Bowles' "In the Summerhouse," Joyce/Isabella in "Top Girls," Fairouz in "In the Heart of America" directed by Tony Kushner, Anna in Shauna Kanter's "The Gift," Collette in "Four Dogs and a Bone" and Marilyn in her solo play, "Y." Television credits include "Law and Order," "Sex and the City" and "Third Watch," and films include Woody Allen's "Celebrity"
and the upcoming "Louder Than Words." John Flaherty appeared last season in MTC's "Ancestral Voices," and other credits include "Othello" with The Shakespeare Theatre Company, "A Christmas Carol" at Ford's Theatre and "The Philadelphia Story" at Hartford Stage Company. Charlotte Munson was most recently seen Off-Broadway as a finalist in NYMF's "Next Broadway Sensation" at New World Stages. Charlotte won the Boston Lotta Award, Lyric Theatre Award, and the New Horizon's Playwright's Award in LA for her play "Look at Me." Other roles include Rapunzel in "Into the Woods," Edith in "The Pirates of Penzance," Pennywise in "Urinetown" and Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet" with NE Shakespeare Ensemble. Andrew Ragone recently played Raoul in "The Phantom of The Opera" directed by the legendary Hal Prince. He also appeared as Magaldi on the 25th Anniversary National Tour of "Evita", and the National Tour of the Tony Award winning "The Light in The Piazza". Emma Rosenthal has appeared in the NYC productions of "The Threepenny Opera," "Night Games" and "Liberty: A Monumental New Musical." Regional credits include Mary Zimmerman's "Candide" at The Goodman Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company of DC and Huntington Theatre Company, "The Tempest" at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, "The Fantasticks" at Porchlight Music Theatre and "Mommy Says I'm Pretty on the Insides" at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Kevin B. Winebold's New York credits include the Broadway concerts of "Oliver," "Camelot," "Something Wonderful" and "Broadway Backwards" and the off-Broadway productions of "The Irish...and How They Got That Way," "The Threepenny Opera" and "Tin Pan Alley." He has also performed six concerts at Carnegie Hall, at the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting on NBC, and on the national tours of "The Wedding Singer," "Footloose" and "All Shook Up."
"Master Class" is directed by award-winning director Kevin Connors, who serves as Executive Artistic Director and co-founder of MTC. Lighting is designed by Christal R. Boyd, with costumes designed by Diane Vanderkroef. The production is stage managed by Jim Schilling.
MTC is proud to partner again this season with Rizzuto's Wood-Fired Kitchen and Bar of Westport, offering a special discount to "Master Class" ticket holders. See the MTC website for details. Each performance is followed by a wine and cheese reception where the audience is invited to meet the actors and production team.
The 2013/2014 MTC MainStage Season continues with the Broadway comedy "God of Carnage," running January 31-February 16, 2014; and the world's longest-running musical "The Fantasticks," running April 11-May 4, 2014. Season subscriptions and single tickets for each production are now on sale by by calling 203.454.3883 or visit www.musictheatreofct.com