Photo Flash: TALK RADIO Opens At TheatreWorks New Milford
TheatreWorks New Milford is proud to christen its 44th Season of live theatre in New Milford with the darkly comic, terse, and off-beat TALK RADIO by Eric Bogosian. The play opens February 25 at 8pm for a four-week run.
It's 1987 and Barry Champlain (Bob Lussier, Danbury), Cleveland's controversial radio show host, is on the air doing what he does best: insulting the pathetic souls who call in the middle of the night to sound off. The most frightening thing is that his callers love it. In fact, Barry's show is so popular it's about to go into national syndication, and his producer fears that Barry will say something that will offend the sponsors. This, of course, makes Barry even more outrageous, throwing the predictability of the evening, literally, "up in the air."
"TALK RADIO is an intense, funny, and cynical character study with Barry Champlain, a 1980s shock-jock, at its center," said director Susan Abrams of Warren. "The beauty of this play is that while Barry berates his late-night callers with reckless abandon, we can still sympathize with his flaws. He is anything but evil incarnate, and it's to the credit of [playwright Eric] Bogosian that we see why Barry has attracted such a strong and devoted following. I'm so proud we were able to mount such a bold and edgy piece in New Milford, because it's not something you'll have the
pleasure of seeing often and everywhere."
"When people hear the term 'talk radio' today, they equate it with the conservative talk radio genre...and that's not what this show is about," said TheatreWorks' President Glenn R. Couture. "This funny, moving, and off-beat production harkens back to a time in the 80s when folks would
call up their DJ for some late night, no-holds-barred chit-chat. And guys like Barry Champlain, portrayed brilliantly by Bob [Lussier], were virtual stars in their own right. That "shock radio" entertainment translates so well to the stage in this production that audiences will be blown out of
their seats with laughter, tension, sadness, and fear...it's an all-out attack on the senses."
Besides Lussier, TALK RADIO features some of the region's finest actors: Laura Gilbert (West Cornwall), Marilyn Hart (Brookfield), James Hipp, Jacky Saulnier, and Tom Libonate (all Danbury), Maxwell Alexander, Alex Echevarria, and Beth Bonnabeau (all New Milford).
Besides director Abrams, who also designed the set, the crew includes lighting designer, Richard Pettibone and sound designers, Tom Libonate and Scott Wyshynski.
TALK RADIO made its world premiere at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival on May 12, 1987, and made its Broadway debut at The Longacre Theatre on March 11, 2007 - earning two Tony Award nominations. The play was adapted in to a critically-acclaimed film by director Oliver Stone in 1988. New York Newsday called the play "A compelling work that draws you straight into the heart of its fringe world. It makes the call in show a metaphor for America's lost souls."
TALK RADIO runs February 25,26 March 4,5 11,12,13 18,19. Curtain time is 8:00 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays, with a 2:00 p.m. Sunday matinee on March 13. Tickets for all shows are $20 for reserved seating.
PLEASE NOTE: TALK RADIO IS RECOMMENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.
On Thursday, February 24, senior citizens are invited to a free dress rehearsal at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at 8:00 p.m. is TheatreWorks' Pay-What-You-Want night. At this performance, you name the price for your ticket.
Reservations can be made online at WWW.THEATREWORKS.US or by calling the box
office at (860) 350-6863. TheatreWorks is an award-winning, regional theatre company
located on 5 Brookside Avenue, just off Route 202 (next to the CVS), in New Milford, Conn.
Photos: Richard Pettibone
Bob Lussier and Marilyn Hart