Colony Theatre Opens West Coast Premiere of BLAME IT ON BECKETT Tonight, 8/11

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The Colony Theatre presents the second production of its "Season of Premieres" with the West Coast Premiere Premiere of BLAME IT ON BECKETT, written by John Morogiello and directed by Andrew Barnicle. BLAME IT ON BECKETT opens tonight, Saturday, August 11 at 8:00pm and continues through Sunday, September 2 at The Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) adjacent to the Burbank Town Center.

What really goes on behind the scenes in non-profit theatre? Meet Jim Foley, a jaded, cynical Literary Manager with a penchant for caffeine and chaos. Into Jim's derelict lair steps Heidi Bishop, a bright-eyed, newly minted MBA who hopes to make the leap from box office to back office. At first she seems like Mary Poppins, but it turns out Eve Harrington would be more like it, as Heidi manipulates everyone around her to get what she wants. A wonderful comedy with heart and a message, the play asks the question how far are we willing to sacrifice our soul to get ahead? And once we do, was it worth it?

The award-winning Colony Theatre Company was founded in 1975 as a 99-seat Equity-waiver theatre in Silver Lake. Over the years the company was so successful artistically, and built such a large subscriber base, that in 2000 it was able to move into a 270-seat theatre created for it by the City of Burbank, becoming one of only 5 mid-size professional theatres in the LA area that produce a year-round season of plays and musicals, and that employ actors under contract with Actors' Equity Association. Its current season features two Los Angeles premieres, three West Coast premieres, and a World Premiere musical.

John Morogiello (Playwright) is a Playwright in Residence at the Maryland State Arts Council and a member of The Dramatists Guild. His plays include Engaging Shaw (English Theatre of Vienna, Austria, Old Globe in San Diego, Abingdon Theatre in Manhattan, New Jersey Rep, Oldcastle Theatre), Blame It On Beckett (Abingdon), Stonewall's Bust (Mountain Playhouse), Irish Authors Held Hostage (Greenwich Street Theatre, Warehouse Theater, Bedlam Theatre in Edinburgh), Men and Parts (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Shadowbox Cabaret), Gianni Schicchi (Rep Stage), and The Matchmaker's Guide to Controlling the Elements (2Co's Cabaret, Alleyway Theatre). Happy Hour, a film adaptation of Men and Parts, was named Best Short Comedy at the 2003 New York Independent Film and Video Festival and distributed in Europe by Britshorts. John is a regular contributor to Flagpole Radio Cafe in Connecticut. His articles have been published in The Washington Independent Review of Books, American Theatre, and Dramatics. Other publications include Blame It On Beckett (Samuel French); Jack The Ticket Ripper, Larry's Resolution, The Periodontal Blues, and The Little Farmer (One Act Play Depot); and in various anthologies published by Smith and Kraus.

Andrew Barnicle (Director) has now directed five plays at The Colony, the others being Moonlight and Magnolias, Celadine, Gunmetal Blues, and Rounding Third. He recently directed Martin Casella's The Irish Curse at the Odyssey Theatre. As artistic director of The Laguna Play­house from 1991 through 2010, he produced over 100 Playhouse shows and directed over 40 of them, including many World, U.S., West Coast and Southern California premieres. Recent directing projects at Laguna include Willy Russell's Shirley Valentine, Noel Coward's Private Lives, and Ron Hutchinson's Moonlight and Magnolias, which also played the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts as a co-production with McCoy/Rigby Entertainment. Andrew previously served as Head of Theatre at United States International University's School of Performing and Visual Arts in San Diego, and was the Associate Artistic Director at North Coast Repertory Theatre,where he has directed eight plays, including the recent production of James Goldman's The Lion In Winter. He has also directed at San Diego's Theatre at Old Town, Michigan's LORT Meadow Brook Theatre, and The Foreigner at the San Jose Repertory Theatre. As an actor, he has appeared numerous times Off-Broadway and in major roles in eighteen LORT productions across the country, including Meadow Brook Theatre, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, San Diego Rep, the Alaska Rep, and five roles at The Laguna Playhouse, including The Actor in Enter The Guardsman, Sam Galahad in both the production and on the cast album CD of Gunmetal Blues, and most recently as Lawrence in David Rambo's The Ice-Breaker at the Laguna Playhouse and King Henry in Henry IV, Part One, at North Coast Rep.

Blythe Auffarth (Heidi Bishop) began her career in NY, appearing in A Bad Friend (Lincoln Center Theater – dir. Jerry Zaks), Hollywood Arms (Roundabout Theatre Company – dir. Harold Prince), Summer (York Theatre – dir. Leonard Foglia), and Cottage Terpsechorea (Playwrights Horizons). Other favorite productions: the World Premiere Jane Eyre (Paper Mill Playhouse – dir. Robert Johanson), Yes, Please and Thank You (O'Neill Playwrights Conference – dir. Daniel Fish), The Diary of Anne Frank (Queen City Stage Company), The Miracle Worker (QCSC), and Eleemosynary (River Valley Rep). Since moving to LA, Blythe has appeared in Speed the Plow (Geffen Playhouse – dir. Randall Arney), The Lawn (Ojai Playwrights Conference – dir. Robert Egan), The Bog Lacuna (Ojai Playwrights Conference – dir. Michael John Garcés), The Malcontent (Antaeus – dir. Liz Swain), The Matchmaker (Antaeus's ClassicsFest – dir. William Ludel), and The Skin of Our Teeth (Antaeus's ClassicsFest – dir. Cameron Watson). Film credits include An Invisible Sign of My Own, The American Mall, Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door, and Keeping the Faith (dir. Edward Norton). TV guest-star credits: N.C.I.S, The Hard Times of RJ Berger, King of Queens, The Suite Life, Law & Order Criminal Intent, Veronica Mars, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order, and Sex and the City. She attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and is a proud member of The Antaeus Company.

PEGGY GOSS (Tina Fike) is delighted to be making her debut at The Colony Theatre. Her Los Angeles theater credits include Susan, in the West Coast Premiere of Chris Thorpes's Safety for which she received an Ovation Nomination for Best Featured Actress in a play. Other favorite L.A. stage roles include Jean in Kristine Thatcher's Emma's Child (Odyssey Theater), The Wife in Julia Cameron's Love In The DMZ (Actor's Workout Studio), Kitty in Last Summer at Bluefish Cove (Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Producers, 2005 GLAAD Award Nomination), and Det. Sergeant Caroline Patterson in the American premiere of Gary Mitchell's Force of Change. Television credits include Medium, Alias, The Gilmore Girls, Judging Amy and the HBO series Tell Me You Love Me. Film: Go For It (winner of the 2010 Audience Award at the L.A. Latino Film Festival), Redemption Maddie, The Rat Thing, and the title role in the short film Norma Grace. Peggy co-produced and starred in The Road To Ruin, which was nominated for Best Sci-Fi Short at the 2010 Beverly Hills Short Film Festival. She is a member of The New Phoenix Theatre Company and a founding member of Closet Space Theater and No Title Productions.

Brian Ibsen (Mike Braschi) appeared on Broadway in The Rainmaker and The Lion in Winter. His regional theatre credits include the World Premiere of Loves and Hours directed by Tony-winner Jack O'Brien, The Taming of the Shrew directed by Tony-winner John Rando, The Drawer Boy at Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Glass Menagerie at Arizona Theatre Company, Twelfth Night and An Infinite Ache at The Old Globe Theatre, and Lucky Duck at South Coast Repertory. TV/Film credits include Crimes of the Past starring Eric Roberts and Elizabeth Rohm, Criminal Minds, CSI Miami, and Men of a Certain Age. Brian received his BFA in Acting from SUNY Purchase and his MFA in Acting from The Old Globe Theatres, USD.

LOUIS LOTORTO (Jim Foley) is thrilled to be collaborating with Andrew Barnicle again after playing Charlie in The Foreigner under his direction at San Jose Repertory Theatre in 2008. Previous Colony appearances include multiple characters in Almost, Maine, Simon in I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda, Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, Dr. Watson in Sherlock's Last Case, and Worms in The Ladies of the Camellias. Other Southern California credits include the recent held-over hit,

The 39 Steps, at Ensemble Theatre in Santa Barbara, the Royal National Theatre production of An Enemy of the People with Sir Ian McKellen at the Ahmanson; South Coast Repertory, Odyssey Theatre, International City Theatre, six seasons at A Noise Within most recently earning an Ovation Nomination for his portrayal of Camille in A Flea in Her Ear, as well as appearing as Berowne in Love's Labour's Lost, the title role in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, both Dromios in The Comedy of Errors, and Vince in Buried Child (Garland Award), among others. Regional credits include two seasons in Ashland at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a season at The Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C. (Helen Hayes Award Nominee), four seasons at the California Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Portland Repertory Theatre (Drama Critics Award), Artists' Repertory Theatre (Drama Critics Award), C.A.T.F., and ACT in Seattle.

BLAME IT ON BECKETT has assembled an award-winning design team. The Scenic Design is by Stephen Gifford (LA WEEKLY Award - Lady). The Lighting Design is by Paulie Jenkins (Angstrom Award for Career Achievement) and Ilya Mindlin (PRT - Thanksgiving). The Costume Design is by Kate Bergh (Reprise! – Cabaret). The Sound Design is by Drew Dalzell (Ovation Award – Songs for a New World). Props design and set dressing is by Colony Theatre resident designers MacAndMe.

BLAME IT ON BECKETT will open tonight, August 11 at 8:00pm and continue through Sunday, September 2. Performances for BLAME IT ON BECKETT are Thursdays & Fridays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 3:00pm & 8:00pm; and Sundays at 2:00pm. Ticket prices range from $20.00 - $42.00 (student, senior, and group discounts are available). BLAME IT ON BECKETT will preview on Wednesday, August 8; Thursday, August 9; and Friday, August 10 at 8:00pm at The Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) adjacent to the Burbank Town Center Mall.

Opening night performance with reception - all tickets $50.00. There are question-and-answer talkbacks after the performances on Friday, August 17 and Thursday, August 30. For tickets, call the Colony Theatre Box Office at 818/558-7000 ext. 15 or online at www.ColonyTheatre.Org.

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