CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Opens at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, 7/21

Tennessee Williams' favorite among his own plays, the Pulitzer prize-winning Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, opens Saturday, July 21st on the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival main stage, in rep with Much Ado About Nothing.

Featuring daytime television star Tom Degnan as Brick Pollitt and Eleanor Handley as Maggie, Cat previews July 19 and 20 and runs through August 5.

Degnan's credits include Young Harry in the film Handsome Harry, with Jamey Sheridan and Steven Buscemi; Adam Munson in As the World Turns; and Joey Buchanan in the series One Life to Live. He has also made appearances on Law and Order, The Good Wife, and White Collar.

Eleanor Handley recently appeared as Maria in Twelfth Night, which was filmed and broadcast on PBS. She has also had roles on As the World Turns and Royal Pains. Handley was seen last season at PSF in The Comedy of Errors as Adriana and in The Two Noble Kinsman as Emilia.

Maggie "the Cat" still burns hot for her ex-football star husband, but Brick only has eyes for the bottom of a whiskey bottle. When his father, Big Daddy, returns home from a cancer clinic thinking he's got a clean bill of health, the family swarms for slice of the inheritance pie. Emotional shockwaves intensify as truths are finally told.

Directed by Thomas Ouellette, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof features Joe Vincent as Big Daddy, and Jo Twiss plays his wife, Big Mama. Carey Van Driest and Rob Kahn play Mae Flynn and Gooper, while Anthony Reimer and Larry Bull play Reverend Tooker and Doctor Baugh, respectively.

Bob Phillips has designed the Pollitt's Mississippi estate where the play takes place. Lisa Zinni has designed the costumes, and the lighting is designed by Thom Weaver. PSF's resident designer Matthew Given designed sound and Hannah Woodward serves as stage manager. Dudley Knight is the dialect coach.

Performances: Tuesday July 31 at 7pm; Wednesday July 25 at 8pm; Thursday July 19 & August 2 at 8pm; Friday July 20, 27 & August 3 at 8pm; Saturday July 21 & August 4 at 8pm; Saturday July 28 at 2pm; Sunday July 22 & 29 at 7:30pm; Sunday August 5 at 2pm.

Tickets: $25-$52; $10 student rush 30 minutes prior to curtain, subject to availability. Tickets to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are available at www.pashakespeare.org and by contacting the Box Office at 610.282.WILL [9455].

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof will play in repertory with William Shakespeare's romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, featuring the same cast. The productions alternate performances, and on July 21, 28 and 29 and August 4 and 5, patrons can see both productions on the same day.

Much Ado About Nothing continues through August 5. The 2012 season also includes two other plays by Shakespeare, The Tempest (which closed July 15th), and King John (July 25th-August 5th). The Festival also features the children's shows Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (through August 4) and Shakespeare for Kids (July 25-August 4).

PRINCIPAL ARTISTS' BIOGRAPHIES

Larry Bull, Doc Baugh, also Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing. Broadway: Lincoln Center (The Coast of Utopia). New York: 78th St. (Kenneth – What is the Frequency?). Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geva Theatre, Denver Center, Shakespeare Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Trinity Rep, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Alabama Shakespeare and others.

Tom Degnan, Brick, also Don John in Much Ado About Nothing. Credits include Pride and Prejudice (Cleveland Play House), Anna Christie, A Midsummer Night's Dream, You Can't Take it With You (Monomoy Theatre). Film/TV credits: Handsome Harry, Magic City, The Good Wife, White Color, Law and Order, As the World Turns, and One Life to Live. Born in nearby Yardley, Pa.




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