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THE FANTASTICKS to Kick Off Long Wharf's 2009-10 Season Oct 7 - Nov 1

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THE FANTASTICKS to Kick Off Long Wharf's 2009-10 Season Oct 7 - Nov 1

Long Wharf Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Managing Director Ray Cullom, will present the beloved musical The Fantasticks, directed by Amanda Dehnert, from October 7 through November 1, 2009, on the Mainstage.

Press night is Wednesday, October 14 at 7:30 p.m. Curtain times are Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Wednesdays at 2 and 7 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3p.m. and 8p.m., and Sundays at 2p.m. and 7p.m. Tickets are $30-$70.

"I have loved The Fantasticks since I was a little kid," said Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein. "This will be so much fun for the entire family."

This hit musical with book and lyrics by Tom Jones and music by Harvey Schmidt, the longest running Off-Broadway musical in history, tells the story of Luisa and Matt, a pair entering the bloom of their youth. Their fathers, scheming to encourage their budding love, hire the trickster El Gallo to "thwart" their romance. By moonlight, Matt and Luisa fall hard for each other. However, can their romance survive the sunlight? "In order to know what it is to be in love you have to know what it is to lose something," said director Amanda Dehnert.

Dehnert and Tony Award-winning set designer EuGene Lee have a new take on the production. They've chosen to set the play in an abandoned amusement park on the New England sea coast featuring honky-tonk magic tricks. "What I am after is capturing a place that we think of as a place of innocence, joy and simple fun. Simple pleasures. It is a place that we've really left behind as a culture," Dehnert said.

The use of magic in the play - El Gallo, the play's narrator, is cast as a traveling illusionist - is yet one more metaphor Dehnert plans to explore in this production. "It is a journey to seeing what you think is there to seeing what is actually there," Dehnert said. "I love believing that magic can really be possible."

The show's original off-Broadway incarnation ran for 42 years and 17,162 performances, making it the world's longest running musical and launching the career of Jerry Orbach, among many others.

The cast includes Ray DeMattis (Bellomy), Jessica Grove (Luisa), William Parry (The Old Actor), David Nathan Perlow (Matt), Dan Sharkey (Hucklebee), Michael Sharon (El Gallo), Jonathan Randell Silver (The Mute), and Joseph Tisa (Mortimer).

The creative team is comprised of EuGene Lee (sets), Jessica Ford (costumes), Nancy Schertler (lighting), David Budries (sound), ShaRon Jenkins (choreographer), Bill Corcoran (musical director), and Lori Lundquist (stage manager).

Long Wharf Theatre is located on 222 Sargent Drive, in New Haven. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the box office at (203) 787-4282 or visit the theatre's website at www.longwharf.org.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt

Book and Lyrics & Music

Tom and Harvey wrote The Fantasticks for a summer theatre at Barnard College. After its Off-Broadway opening in May 1960, it went on to become the longest-running production in the history of the American stage and one of the most frequently produced musicals in the world. Their first Broadway show, 110 in the Shade, was revived on Broadway in a new production starring Audra MacDonald. I Do! I Do!, their two-character musical starring Mary Martin and Robert Preston, was a success on Broadway and is frequently done around the country. For several years Jones and Schmidt worked privately at their theatre workshop, concentrating on small-scale musicals in new and often untried forms. The most notable of these efforts were Celebration, which moved to Broadway, and Philemon, which won an Outer Critics Circle Award. They contributed incidental music and lyrics to the Off-Broadway play Colette starring Zoe Caldwell, then later did a full-scale musical version under the title Colette Collage. The Show Goes On, a musical revue featuring their theatre songs and starring Jones and Schmidt, was presented at the York Theatre, and Mirette, their musical based on the award-winning children's book, was premiered at the Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut. In addition to an Obie Award and the 1992 Special Tony Award for The Fantasticks, Jones and Schmidt were inducted into the Broadway Hall of Fame at the Gershwin Theatre, and on May 3, 1999 their "stars" were added to the Off-Broadway Walk of Fame outside the Lucille Lortel Theatre.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

Amanda Dehnert

Director

Ms. Dehnert is a resident director with the Trinity Repertory Company, and she is an Assistant Professor at Northwestern University. Recent projects include Cabaret for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Romeo and Juliet for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Man of La Mancha for the Cleveland Playhouse and Virginia Stage Co., The Fantasticks for Trinity Repertory, and the new musical Asphalt Beach (music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa, book by T.C. Smith and Peter Spears) for the American Musical Theatre Project at Northwestern University. Ms. Dehnert held various positions with Trinity Repertory since 1996, culminating in her serving as the Acting Artistic Director for the 2005-2006 season. Past productions for Trinity include Cyrano de Bergerac; Henry IV parts I and II; West Side Story; A Moon for the Misbegotten; Annie; The Skin of Our Teeth; Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up; Noises Off; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; My Fair Lady; Othello; Saint Joan; We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!; and A Christmas Carol. She also directed Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Richard III for the Trinity Summer Shakespeare Project. Ms. Dehnert is also a composer and musical director and has written scores and original songs for many of her productions. Upcoming work includes All's Well That Ends Well for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, My Fair Lady for the Virginia Stage Company, and the new musical Unlock'd in a reading at Ravinia Stage.

ABOUT THE CAST

Ray DeMattis

Bellomy

Mr. DeMattis, a Hamden native, began his career at Long Wharf Theatre 42 years ago. He has enjoyed a busy and varied career as an actor, director, acting coach, and founding Artistic Director of the National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped. His Broadway credits include: the original Grease, City of Angels, and Little Shop of Horrors. Off Broadway, he appeared in Enter Laughing - The Musical, Eric Bogosian's TalkRadio, Tamara, Flora the Red Menace, and others. Television credits include "The Sopranos," eight appearances on the "Law and Order" series, and all three of Bill Cosby's shows. He appeared in the films Father Hood, with Patrick Swayze, It Runs in the Family, with Kirk and Michael Douglas, Family Business, and the soon to be released Untitled. He toured nationally in Beauty and the Beast, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, and Fiddler on the Roof. Among his regional theatre affiliations are The Actors' Theatre of Louisville, Penn Centre Stage, Geva, Philadelphia Drama Guild, and The Whole Theatre.

Jessica Grové

Luisa

Ms. Grové has been rehearsing this role since she was 13 years old! In the meantime, she has appeared on Broadway in Sunday in the Park with George (Celeste #2) at Studio 54, Thoroughly Modern Millie (Miss Dorothy), Les Misérables (Eponine), and starred as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at Madison Square Garden, as well as on the national tour with Mickey Rooney and Eartha Kitt. Jessica also toured as Polly Browne in The Boy Friend (directed by Julie Andrews). Off-Broadway: Anne of Green Gables (Diana), Illyria (Viola). Regional: Michael John LaChiusa's Giant (Lil' Luz) at The Signature Theatre, Oklahoma! (Laurey) at Pittsburgh CLO, Evita (Eva Peron) at The Encore Musical Theatre Company. Please visit www.jessicagrove.com.

William Parry

Henry

Mr. Parry originated roles in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Sunday in the Park with George and Passion, both of which were filmed for PBS, Into the Light, The Leaf People, Agamemnon at Lincoln Center, Sgt. Pepper's..., the original Jesus Christ Superstar, and Rockabye Hamlet, directed by Gower Champion. He understudied Richard Burton and Richard Harris in Camelot on Broadway, the national tour and a televised special for HBO. Also on Broadway: Gypsy with Bernadette Peters. His other NY credits include Assassins, Take Me Along at Irish Rep., Dessa Rose at Lincoln Center; and The Knife, Cymbeline, Dispatches, and Road Show by Weidman and Sondheim, all at the Public Theater. National tours include A Few Good Men and Titanic (as Capt. E.J. Smith.) Among some 35 regional productions, favorites include Saint Joan, Biloxi Blues, Arturo Ui, The Rainmaker, Time and Again, The Gig, Pure Confidence, and Adventures in the Skin Trade at Long Wharf Theatre. Film and television credits include In & Out, Domestic Disturbance, "The Pretender", and "Law and Order;" and two seasons on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion."

David Nathan Perlow

Matt

Mr. Perlow's regional credits include principal roles at North Shore Music Theater, La Jolla Playhouse (dir. Michael Grief), NYMF, New York Theater Workshop, the most recent pre-Broadway workshop of Clueless: The Musical, directed by Tina Landau, and most recently the pre-Broadway production of White Noise at the Le Petit Theater in New Orleans, directed by Donald Byrd. He is a proud 2007 graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and member of Actors' Equity Association.

Dan Sharkey

Huckebee

Mr. Sharkey has been seen on Broadway in The Music Man (dir., Susan Stroman), on the West End in Showboat (dir., Harold Prince), and the first national tours of Will Rogers Follies and Grand Hotel (both directed by Tommy Tune). He has also toured nationally with The Sound of Music and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. His Off-Broadway credits include Golden Boy of the Blud Ridge, Illyria, Lone Star Love, Captains Courageous, The Prince and the Pauper, Great Big Radio Show and Plain and Fancy. Regionally, Mr. Sharkey has appeared at the Guthrie Theatre, Walnut Street Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Portland Center Stage, San Jose Repertory, Lyric Theatre, Northern Stage, Arvada Center for the Arts, North Shore Music Theatre, Missoula Childrens Theatre, and Westchester Broadway. His television work includes "As The World Turns."

Michael Sharon

El Gallo

Mr. Sharon is a graduate of the University of Southern California, and received classical training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Most recently, Michael played "He" in the critically acclaimed production of Eminene as part of this summer's New York Fringe Festival. Other NY credits include Josephine's Song at The York, and The Most Happy Fella at NYCity Opera. His work in Shakespeare includes title roles in Macbeth (Los Angeles Theatre Center) and Pericles (Connecticut Repertory Theatre), Leontes in The Winter's Tale (Shaw Theatre, London), Marc Antony in Julius Caesar (Portland Stage Company), Oberon in Shakespeare In Hollywood (Wilma Theater, Philadelphia) as well as multiple seasons at the Oregon, Alabama and Utah Shakespearean Festivals, and the Shakespeare Theatre of Washington DC (Helen Hayes Nomination, Twelfth Night). Contemporary and musical theatre credits include Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse, St. LouisRep, The Group Theatre, and Goodspeed Opera House.

Jonathan Randell Silver

The Mute

Mr. Silver is quietly thrilled to be in The Fantasticks at Long Wharf Theatre. Regional theater credits include: Charlotte's Web (TheatreWorks USA); Under Milk Wood, Threepenny Opera (Williamstown); Peter Pan & Wendy (A.R.T.); Marvin's Room (Co-op Theater); Film: Keeping the Faith, (dir. Edward Norton); Jack, (dir. Francis Ford Coppola.) As a magician, Jonathan has performed card and close-up magic around the country. He has a BA in Theatre Arts & Art History from Drew University and a certificate of higher education from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). Jonathan thanks his family for their love and support.

Joseph Tisa

Mortimer

Mr. Tisa's regional credits include appearances in Stones in His Pockets, Beau Jest, and The Dresser at the Old Lyric Repertory Company in Utah and in productions of The Birthday Party and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui in Seattle theaters. Other credits include John in Oleanna, Ned in Derby Day by Samuel Brett Williams, and Mr. Van Daan in The Diary of Anne Frank, directed by Amy Saltz. Mr. Tisa is a graduate of the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

Bill Corcoran

Music Director

Regional Theatre: Musical Director/Conductor, Singin' In The Rain (Music Theatre Louisville ), Music Supervisor, Piano I, My Fair Lady (Virginia Stage Company), Musical Director, Man of La Mancha (Cleveland Play House), My Fair Lady (Actors Theatre, Louisville KY and CPH), Musical Director (Actors Theatre's Swingtime Canteen), Resident Musial Director - 65 productions (Derby Dinner Playhouse, Clarksville IN), Musical Director (Stage One, Louisville KY), Conductor /Pianist for Winmack Productions theatres in Colorado, Arizona and Indiana. Mr. Corcoran has composed fourteen original musicals (Eddie, UFO, Mysterioso, Halfway To Heaven, Snow Queen, The Legend of Daniel Boone, Out of the Habit, It's A Wonderful Life, Twain's Tale of Huck and Tom, Through York's Eyes, Sex After Sixty?, David and Bathsheba, Little Bear of the Miami and Mark Twain on the River). He has also arranged numerous revues, penned six novels and taught music theory and piano at colleges and universities in the Midwest. He holds both undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

ShaRon Jenkins

Choreographer

The Fantasticks is Ms. Jenkins first production at Long Wharf. She's been a choreographer and director at Trinity Rep for over 35 years, where she worked with artistic directors Adrian Hall, Richard Jenkins, Amanda Dehnert, Oskar Eustis, and Curt Columbus. Ms. Jenkins spent 20 years as the dance director at Hope Arts Magnet School in Providence, RI, 15 years as a dance specialist with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, 10 years as a dancer with RI Dance Rep, and continues as choreographer for The Arabella Project. This is her sixth collaboration with Amanda Dehnert, others including The Music Man, Annie, West Side Story, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and The Fantasticks at Trinity Rep and Arena Stage. Ms. Jenkins was choreographer for Paramount Pictures feature School Ties, and is married to Academy Award nominated actor Richard Jenkins.

EuGene Lee

Set Design

Mr. Lee holds BFA degrees from the Art Institute of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon, an MFA from Yale and three honorary doctorates. He has been the production designer at "Saturday Night Live" since 1974.

He has received the Tony Award, the American Theatre Wing's Design Award, Outer Critics' Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Elliott Norton Prize for Sustained Achievement, and the Pell Award. He is currently represented on Broadway by the musical Wicked, and was recently inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in New York. Previous Long Wharf credits include The Price, Hughie, and last season's Coming Home. Other recent work includes Wally Shawn's Grasses of a Thousand Colors, at the Royal Court, and Will Ferrell's You're Welcome, America, a Final Night with George W. Bush, on Broadway. Films include Coppola's Hammett, Huston's Mr. North, and Malle's Vanya on 42nd Street. He lives with his wife Brooke and their dog George in Providence, where they raised their two sons.

Jessica Ford

Costume Design
Jessica is pleased to return to Long Wharf Theatre where she designed costumes for last season's Coming Home, The Price and sets for The Santaland Diaries in 2006. Other regional theatre credits include Shakespeare and Co., Two River Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Milwaukee Shakespeare, Yale Rep, Barrington Stage, Hangar Theatre, and Actor's Theatre of Louisville. In New York she has worked with The Play Company, Second Stage, Rattlestick Playwright's Theatre, Pearl Theatre, and the Summer Play Festival to name a few. Jessica received her MFA from Yale School of Drama and is a recipient of the 2007-09 NEA/TCG fellowship for early career designers.

Nancy Schertler

Lighting Design

Ms. Schertler designed the Broadway productions of Fool Moon and Bill Irwin's Largely/New York for which she received a Tony® Award nomination. Off-Broadway productions include Hilda, The Regard Evening, Texts for Nothing, A Flea in Her Ear and Falsettoland. Ms. Schertler has collaborated on several new plays at regional theatres across the country, including After the War, The Gamester, and Levee James for ACT in San Francisco, The Sisters Matsumotto for Seattle Rep, A Christmas Carol at the Milwaukee Rep, and Tom Walker, among others at Washington's Arena Stage, where she is an Affiliated Artist. Opera credits include productions commissioned by the University of Maryland School or Music; Clara, based of the life of Clara Schumann, and Later the Same Evening, an opera inspired by five paintings of Edward Hopper, a joint project of the University's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and The National Gallery of Art.

David Budries

Sound Design

Mr. Budries' previous Long Wharf Theatre credits include Let Me Down Easy and The Glass Menagerie. He has created numerous sound designs for Broadway, Off-Broadway, and American regional theatres, including Hartford Stage, Center Stage, McCarter Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Dallas Theater Center , La Jolla Playhouse, Ford's Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Trinity Rep, Alliance Theatre and Yale Repertory Theatre. He is the owner of Sound Situation, an independent music production studio specializing in the creation of sound scores and music for the performing arts, including numerous CDs, radio broadcasts, and museum installations. He chairs the Sound Design Department for the Yale School of Drama. Mr. Budries' work has been recognized with three Connecticut Critics Circle Awards, three Los Angeles Drama-Logue Awards and a nomination for the LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards for his work on Souvenir at the Brentwood Theatre, LA.

Lori Lundquist

Stage Manager

Ms. Lundquist grew up in Minnesota but has been based in New York City for 25 years. This is her third show for Long Wharf, having previously stage managed A Civil War Christmas and Rag and Bone here. She has worked on Broadway with Fosse, toured with The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Will Rogers Follies (with Larry Gatlin) and Fosse. She has also worked in NYC on The Two Gentlemen Of Verona, The Musical in Central Park, Holiday at Circle In The Square, THE GOOD TIMES ARE KILLING ME for Second Stage at The Minetta Lane and shows for New York Stage And Film, The Roundabout Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, WPA Theatre and New York City Opera among others. She has worked extensively in regional theatre at Hartford Stage, Trinity Repertory Company, The Alley Theatre and Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Lori is a proud to be a member of AEA.

Amy Patricia Stern

Assistant Stage Manager

Amy Stern's Production Stage Manager credits include Mary Stuart (Pearl Theatre Company); Adam Baum and the Jew Movie and The Pitchfork Disney (Blue Light Theatre); Waiting For Godot, Therese Raquin and Another Part of the House (Classic Stage Company); and The Dying Gaul (Vineyard Theatre). Her Assistant Stage Manager credits include The Glass Menagerie, The Old Man and the Sea, Coming Home, A Civil War Christmas, Carousel, The Bluest Eye, Let Me Down Easy, The Price, Uncle Vanya, Man of La Mancha, The Cocktail Hour, Rocket to the Moon, and Travesties (Long Wharf Theatre); A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Intimate Apparel and The Foreigner (Roundabout Theatre Company); Sorrows and Rejoicings, Crimes of the Heart and Tiny Alice (Second Stage); The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (Manhattan Theatre Club); Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Amphitryon and Endgame (Classic Stage Company); The Waiting Room (Vineyard Theatre); and Golden Boy (Blue Light Theatre Company).

CALLERI CASTING (James Calleri, Paul Davis, Erica Jensen) Theater: Many seasons for Long Wharf Theatre. Broadway includes 33 Variations with Jane Fonda also A Raisin in the Sun, Chicago, James Joyce's The Dead. Also Fuerza Bruta (from the creators of De La Guarda). Other: Playwrights Horizons (10 seasons), CSC Rep including the recent Uncle Vanya and Seagull. Also The Flea, Soho Rep, stageFARM, The Culture Project, Naked Angels, New Georges, Epic, Clubbed Thumb, and almost every major regional theatre in the country, many seasons of SPF (Summer Play Festival) and NY Stage & Film Co. TV: Lipstick Jungle, Z Rock on IFC, the critically acclaimed A Raisin in the Sun on ABC, also "Ed," "Hope & Faith," "Monk." Film: Merchant Ivory's upcoming The City of Your Final Destination, also Heights, The White Countess, Lisa Picard is Famous, The Jimmy Show, Ready? OK!, and Trouble Every Day. Upcoming film: Peter & Vandy (Sundance 09). Awarded five Artios Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Casting. Member CSA.

FAST FACTS

The Fantasticks, book and lyrics by Tom Jones, music by Harvey Schmidt

* October 7-November 1, 2009
* Mainstage
* Press Night: Wednesday, October 14, at 7:30 p.m.
* Tickets: $30-$70
* Performance Schedule: Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Wednesdays, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
* Box office phone number: 203-787-4282
* Website: www.longwharf.org.

 

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