Judy Kuhn, John Glover Star in LOVE, NOEL at Lovelace Studio Theater, 2/14-23
The Wallis has announced that Tony nominee Judy Kuhn (She Loves Me, Chess and LES MISERABLES) and Tony winner and five-time Emmy nominee John Glover (Love! Valour! Compassion!, "Smallville") will star in Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward, devised and written by Coward authority Barry Day, and directed by Jeanie Hackett, who over saw The Antaeus Theatre production of Noël Coward's Tonight at 8:30 and the three-year development of the Antaeus production of Coward's Peace in Our Time. The musical direction and piano accompaniment is by David O. Due to popular demand, additional performances have been added and Love, Noël will now be performed February 14 through 23 in the Lovelace Studio Theater.
Based on Day's book The Letters of Noël Coward, Love, Noël, an intimate nightclub entertainment, interweaves the music of Coward and witty letters between his famous friends across the years. Coward's career as a playwright, composer, director, actor and singer spanned six decades. Known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise," his works remain as universal and relevant as ever and continue to influence pop culture today.
Love, Noël is presented concurrently with the UK's Kneehigh Theatre acclaimed production of Noël Coward's Brief Encounter in the Bram Goldsmith Theater at The Wallis February 15 to March 23, 2014 (press opening February 19). The production, which The New York Times has hailed as "The most enchanting work of stagecraft ever inspired by a movie" ... switches seamlessly between theater and film using a combination of Noël Coward's original stage play Still Life and Coward's screenplay of the classic 1945 British film directed by David Lean. It takes the audience back to a bygone age of romance and the silver screen. The production for The Wallis features the original Broadway cast headed by Hannah Yelland and Tristan Sturrock.
Remembered as one of the most haunting love stories ever told, the action of Brief Encounter is centered on a suburban housewife who discovers passion and falls madly in love with a married stranger in a railway station tearoom over a series of stolen afternoons. The film was based on Coward's 1936 one-act play Still Life and memorably featured in the score Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Piano Concerto #2." In this new production, the ingenious international theater company Kneehigh cleverly uses film and music to provide a highly theatrical setting for this classic, timeless tale of illicit lovers.
Judy Kuhn has been nominated for three Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards for her Broadway work in the Roundabout's revival of She Loves Me, the American premiers of Chess, and LES MISERABLES, and Rags. She also appeared on Broadway in Two Shakespearean Actors (Lincoln Center Theatre), Alan Menken & Tim Rice's King David, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (NYSF). She also appeared in the recent Fun Home by Jeannine Tesori and Lisa Kron directed by Sam Gold (Public Theatre); Fosca in the critically acclaimed production of Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine's Passion directed by John Doyle (Classic Stage Company/Drama League Award Nomination), the U.S. premiere of Sunset Boulevard at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles, Chekhov's Three Sisters adapted by Craig Lucas directed by Bart Sher (Intiman Theatre), Eli's Comin' (Vineyard Theatre/Obie Award), the title role in The Ballad of Little Jo (Steppenwolf Theatre Co./Jeff Award Nomination), Dream True (Vineyard Theatre), As Thousand's Cheer (Drama Dept.), Strike Up the Band (Encores!), The Glass Menagerie (McCarter Theatre), Ricky Ian Gordon's Sycamore Trees (Signature Theatre), and Martha Clarke's Endangered Species (BAM).
Film and television appearances include: Disney's Pocahontas & Pocahontas II: Journey To A New World (title role), Enchanted, "Elementary" (CBS), "Hope & Faith" (ABC), "Law & Order" (NBC), "My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies" (PBS), "The Kennedy Center Honors" (CBS), The LES MISERABLES 10th Anniversary Concert (PBS), and "In Performance At The White House" (PBS). Judy has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Royal Albert Hall and with Peter Nero and the Philly Pops Orchestra. She can be heard on numerous cast albums as well as her solo CD's All This Happiness, Serious Playground:The Songs of Laura Nyro, and Just In Time: Judy Kuhn Sings Jule Styne.
John Glover performed on Broadway in Death of a Salesman, The Royal Family, Waiting for Godot (Tony nomination), The Drowsy Chaperone, Love! Valour! Compassion! (Tony Award), The Great God Brown (Drama Desk Award), The Selling of the President, Frankenstein; and at Lincoln Center Theatre in Nikolai and the Others. His Off-Broadway work includes The Marriage of Bette and Boo and The Paris Letter (Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Drama League nominations). His films include Payback, Batman & Robin, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Gremlins 2, Scrooged, 52 Pick-Up, White Nights, Annie Hall, Julia. Television work includes as a series regular on "Smallville," and has received five Primetime Emmy Nominations for Guest Actor in a Comedy Series "Frasier"; Guest Actor in a Drama Series "Crime and Punishment," "L.A. Law"; Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special "Nutcracker: Money & Murder," "An Early Frost."
Barry Day (writer) In 2004, Queen Elizabeth awarded Day the O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire) for "services to British culture in the US." Since 1980, he has been literary advisor to the Noël Coward Estate and written extensively on 'The Master' - including the books The Complete Lyrics, The Complete Verse, Coward on Film, The Coward Reader, The Letters and Star Quality. He prepared concert versions of Coward's Bitter Sweet, Pacific 1860, Conversation Piece, After the Ball and Long Island Sound, as well as writing and producing some thirty 'entertainments' based on the work of Oscar Wilde, P.G.Wodehouse, Dorothy Parker, Johnny Mercer and Raymond Chandler - "people who had a way with words'. In the 1970s, Day was media advisor and a principal speechwriter for British Prime Ministers, Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher. In the 1980s he was Communications Director for Sam Wanamaker's team that rebuilt Shakespeare's Globe playhouse on London's Bankside - a project that has become London's most successful commercial theatre. Concurrently with these activities, Day had a high profile career in international advertising; he retired from that profession in 2000 to write full time.
Jeanie Hackett (Director) Most recently Jeanie directed a workshop of Jeffrey Hatcher's Cousin Bette at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Kindertransport for LA Theatre Works. As Artistic Director of The Antaeus Company, Jeanie directed scores of readings and workshops and the multiple-award winning world premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher's Cousin Bette for which she won the Backstage Garland Award for Best Direction. From 2004-2011 she provided artistic oversight for Antaeus artistic and administrative growth producing and overseeing productions including Noel Coward's Tonight at 8:30 and the three-year develop of Coward's Peace in Our Time, garnering multiple LA theater awards.
Hackett directed Faust with Jessica Hecht at Classical Theater Lab; The Constant Wife with Kate Burton for LA Theater Works; and was assistant director for The Greeks while playing Clytemnestra. At Williamstown, she was assistant director and part of the team responsible for creating Tennessee Williams, A Celebration, a six-hour, two-part collage of his work. As an actress, on Broadway she played Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire and Belle in Ah Wilderness. Her Los Angeles credits include leading roles in Arms and the Man, How the Other Half Loves and Present Laughter at Pasadena Playhouse; Old Times at South Coast Repertory; The Cherry Orchard at Center Theatre Group; Black Box at the Odyssey Theatre; Phaedra at Getty Villa; Kate Crackernuts at 24th Street Theater; Light and Pera Palas at Boston Court; The Autumn Garden and Chekhov x 5 at Antaeus Theatre; On the Spectrum at Fountain Theatre. Her films include The Words (Bradley Cooper), Take Me Home Tonight (Topher Grace), King of California (Michael Douglas), Post Grad (Carol Burnett). Her television work includes Lie to Me, Lincoln Heights, Medium, Criminal Minds, The 'L' Word, Judging Amy (recurring), The West Wing, and as Queen Margaret from Shakespeare's Henry VI. She is the author of two books - The Actor's Chekhov and Toward Mastery, most based on the work of Nikos Psacharopoulos. She teaches acting at the Sag Conservatory, Williamstown, and at The Workroom, her space for all things acting, creative process and theatre art. Later this year she will direct Jane Kaczmarek in The Cherry Orchard for the New Immersion Theater in Hollywood.
David O (Musical Direction & Pianist) David O's work as a Musical Director and Composer has ranged from LA's 99-seat theatre scene to the theaters and concert halls of the Music Center, and beyond to major theaters across the U.S. and around the world. Musical Direction credits include the world premiere productions of Sleepless in Seattle: the Musical (Pasadena Playhouse), Jason Robert Brown's 13 (Mark Taper Form), and Toy Story: the Musical (Disney Creative Entertainment). Other recent productions include The Cradle Will Rock (Blank Theatre) and Animal Crackers (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Many kids (and their parents) know David best for his six years of musically directing and performing as "The Professor" in Summersounds at the Hollywood Bowl, the LA Philharmonic's long-running summer world music program for families.
David's work as a Composer includes A Map of Los Angeles, commissioned and performed by the LA Master Chorale at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Fanfare for Grand Park, written to commemorate the opening of Grand Park in Downtown LA, and the score for the documentary Bronies: the Completely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony. He has received Ovation Awards, LA Weekly and LA Drama Critics Circle Awards, and Backstage West Garland Awards, and is the most recent recipient of the LA Drama Critics Circle Joel Hirschhorn Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre.
Photo by Jennifer Broski