East Lynne Theater Company Presents IT PAYS TO ADVERTISE, 9/19-10/13
"Ninety-seven percent of the public believe what they're told, and what they're told is what the other chap's been told – and the fellow who told him read it somewhere," announces marketing maven Ambrose Peale to would-be businessman Rodney Martin in "It Pays to Advertise."
The Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company presents this screwball comedy from September 19 through October 13, with an 8:00 p.m. curtain. It is the usual Wednesday through Saturday schedule, except there is no show on Wednesday, October 3, and an added show on Sunday, October 7 at 7:30 p.m. On Wednesday, September 19 is an after-show opening night party at Aleathea's Restaurant at The Inn of Cape May, 7 Ocean Street, where patrons have the opportunity to mingle with actors and fellow theater lovers while indulging in complimentary hors d'oeuvres. There is an after-show Q&A with the cast and director on Friday, September 28, and on Friday, October 12, is an American Sign Language interpreted performance.
Written by Roi Cooper Megrue and Walter C. Hackett, "It Pays to Advertise" was a Broadway hit that was twice made into a movie: a silent in 1919, and in 1931 with Carole Lombard. The premise – and promise – that anything can be sold is at its core, but it also examines the very nature and romance of advertising. Decades before AMC's "Mad Men," it demonstrates that an ad campaign might be better than the product. All it takes is one adventurous young man to announce, "Advertising is responsible for everything!" and he and his two friends are off and running in this mad romp.
In the cast are five who have been in several ELTC productions: Tom Byrn, John Cameron Weber, Phil Pizzi, Thomas Raniszewski, and Gayle Stahlhuth, who also directs.
Tom plays Ambrose Peale, the fast-talking ad-man who convinces Rodney that "advertising is everything." Tom has worked with many theatres in Pennsylvania, and throughout the country, most recently in "God of Carnage" at River Valley Rep in Poughkeepsie, NY. For ELTC, he's performed in "The Ransom of Red Chief," "The Dictator," and "He and She." Also a published writer, he's been working on "Historical Spout-Offs" based on editorials from Cape May newspapers from 1870-1930. Last March, his acting class in Cape May was so well received, that ELTC is hosting another class on Monday, October 8.
John Cameron Weber portrays Cyrus Martin, a self-made millionaire in the soap business who wants his son, Rodney, to strike out on his own to make his own fortune. ELTC productions in which John has appeared include "The Butter and Egg Man," and "The World of Dorothy Parker." John played Michael Husted in CBS's "As the World Turns," and has worked in regional theaters throughout the country.
Phil Pizzi, whose voice is known to many who listen to 98.7 The Coast, takes on three roles:
an advertising man, a buyer for Marshall Field's, and one of Cyrus's business friends. He was in ELTC's "The New York Idea," "Why Marry?" and "Sherlock Holmes Adventure of the Copper Beeches."
Thomas Raniszewski has appeared in several ELTC shows including "Berkeley Square," ""Dulcy" and most recently "The Poe Mysteries." In May of this year he reprised his role as Warren in "The Twentieth Century Way" which made its Philadelphia premiere in 2011, receiving critical acclaim.
New to ELTC are Matt Baxter Luceno, Kate Shine, Maria Silverman, and Glen Corlin. Matt plays Cyrus's son, Rodney. Recently he performed in a new adaptation of H. G. Wells' "The Island of Doctor Moreau" in Brooklyn with Piper Theater Productions. He was in "King Lear" starring Stacy Keach, and made several appearances on CBS's "The Guiding Light." Kate portrays Mary Grayson, Martin senior's secretary and the young woman with whom Rodney falls in love. She recently performed in New York Avant Garde Festival's "My Past Girlfriends," which won Best Play at the Hudson Guild in NYC. Television credits include "30 Rock" and "Gossip Girl."
Enter Comtesse de Beaurien, speaking only French and in a hurry to make a business proposition, played by Maria Silverman who was in "A View from the Bridge" on Broadway and has performed with numerous NYC and regional companies.
Glen Corlin is Johnson, the always-ready butler in the Martin household. Glen has performed in Hawaii and Germany in productions ranging from "Oklahoma!" to "Crimes of the Heart."
Gayle Stahlhuth, whose work has been praised by reviewers for papers including "The Philadelphia Inquirer," and "The Wall Street Journal," marks "It Pays to Advertise" as her forty-third ELTC production that she has directed. She has produced over seventy for the company.
Playwrights Roi Cooper Megrue (1883-1927) and Walter C. Hackett (1876-1944) were well-known theater personalities. "Under Cover" (1914) was Megrue's first Broadway success, and "Seven Chances" (1916) was made into two films: in 1925 directed by and starring Buster Keaton, and in 1999, under the title "The Bachelor," starring Chris O'Donnell and Renee Zellweger. ELTC is showing the Keaton film on September 8 at 8:00p.m. with live organ accompaniment played by Wayne Zimmerman.
Megrue directed and co-produced Jesse Lynch Williams' "Why Marry?" in 1917; the first play to win the Pulitzer Prize. ELTC produced "Why Marry?" in 2006, bringing it back in 2007 due to its popularity. ELTC's production was the first time this comedy had been produced in eighty years.
Walter C. Hackett's (1876-1944) play "Regeneration," written with Owen Frawley, was made into a film in 1915, and in 2000, the film was selected for preservation by The Library of Congress. Hackett married Marion Lorne, and they moved to London where they built The Whitehall Theatre. From its opening in 1930 with "The Way to Treat a Woman," through 1934, most of the plays were written by Hackett, starring his wife. In 2004, the theater was redesigned and is now Trafalgar Studios.
The performances are at The First Presbyterian Church of Cape May, 500 Hughes St., where the company is in residence. Tickets for "It Pays to Advertise" are $30 for general admission; $25 for seniors (ages 62 and over); and $15 for full-time students. As always, to encourage whole families to attend, ages 12 and under are free. For information and reservations, call 884-5898 or go online to www.eastlynnetheater.org. ELTC partners with the following restaurants for further savings: Aleathea's, The Washington Inn, 410 Bank Street, and Frescos. If staying at The Henry Sawyer Inn or The Victorian Lace Inn, ELTC tickets may be purchased for $20.
East Lynne Theater Company's production season would not be possible without season sponsors Curran Investment Management and Aleathea's Restaurant; Show Sponsors La Mer Beachfront Inn, The Henry Sawyer Inn, and Exit Zero; The NJ Dept. of State, Division of Travel and Tourism; NJ State Council on the Arts/Dept. of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the generosity of many patrons.