WIESENTHAL to Run at Broward Stage Door Theatre, 1/22-3/16
Executive Producers Dee Wilson-Bunn of the Stage Door Theatre in South Florida today announced an addition to the company's 2013-2014 Season - the award-winning pre-New York engagement of WIESENTHAL, written by and starring Tom Dugan. Produced by Tony Award-winner Normand Kurtz, who brought Broward audiences the record-breaking hit Too Jewish, WIESENTHAL tells the remarkable story of the life of Simon Wiesenthal, sometimes referred to as "The Jewish James Bond." Told with hope, humanity and humor, the play follows Wiesenthal as he addresses a group of visitors on his last day at the Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna. As he reflects on his life and work, Wiesenthal recounts how he faced Hitler's SS; how he endured the loss of family and friends; how he escaped a concentration camp only to be recaptured; and how, after liberation day, he began a remarkable journey for justice.
Directed by Jenny Sullivan, WIESENTHAL opens Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at the Broward Stage Door, 8036 W. Sample Road in Coral Springs. For tickets, call (954) 344-7765 or visit the company website at www.stagedoortheatre.com.
WIESENTHAL marks Stage Door's second collaboration with Kurtz, whose production of Too Jewish ran for 14-months. Kurtz won the Tony Award for the original production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood, and his production of Solitary Confinement with Stacy Keach broke the house record at the Kennedy Center and the Pasadena Playhouse. Also a highly respected music producer, Kurtz has been associated with recording superstars Billy Joel, David Bowie, Jethro Tull, The Jets, Lena Horne, Rupert Holmes, and Christina Aguilera, whom he discovered and co-managed. Kurtz produced Accomplice with Jason Alexander, and The Best is Yet to Come Off-Broadway with fellow WIESENTHAL producer Karyl Lynn Burns (Drama Desk Award). WIESENTHAL is also produced in association with Rubicon Theatre in California and The Phoenix Theatre in Arizona.
Says Wilson-Bunn, "When Normand first approached us and we read the script and watched the video, we were struck by how absolutely engaging and entertaining this piece is! It conveys events of historical importance, but it also transcends biography and is truly a play with an incredible dramatic arc. The universality makes it possible for audiences to hear and understand the significance. Dave [Torres] and I were completely drawn into the story. We knew we had to share this with our audiences."
"WIESENTHAL is an uplifting testament to the future," says Kurtz, "a triumphant story of hope. Simon Wiesenthal went through a dark night of the soul - he had every reason imaginable to mistrust his fellow man. But as we travel with him on his journey, we experience an intelligent, flawed, funny and noble man who chooses action over self-pity, justice over revenge and who make perhaps the most difficult choice of all...to place his trust in us and in the future."
Dugan, who was raised Irish Catholic, was inspired to write WIESENTHAL by his father, a war hero and liberator who received the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service in World War II.
WIESENTHAL has receiving standing ovations and cheers at performances across the United States, with long runs at Rubicon Theatre in Ventura, California and Theatre 40 in Los Angeles, where the production won the L.A. Drama Critics' Circle Award and was nominated for three Ovation Awards ("Best Actor", "Best Director" and "Best Play"). The show was a Critic's Choice in the L.A. Times and was praised for the "righteous stories here that you will not forget." The Times described Dugan as "authoritative and engaging." The Ventura County Star reviewer called Dugan's performance "remarkable...drawn in unforgettable strokes," and wrote that the play "gives equal weight to the heroic wisdom and wit with which Wiesenthal lived his long and purposeful life." The show was also a Critic's Pick in Backstage, where Dugan's work was called "masterful" and the writing "superlative".