LORD ARTHUR SAVILE'S CRIME Opens 8/16 at Peninsula Players Theatre
Lord Arthur, a pillar of Victorian society, is about to marry the lovely Sybil Merton, his childhood sweetheart, and is deliriously happy at the start of Peninsula Players Theatre's forthcoming comedy, "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime," by Constance Cox, based on a story by Oscar Wilde. Laughter will fill the theater-in-a-garden August 16 through September 3 while Lord Arthur takes the stage with his muddled murder attempts.
Things turn topsy-turvy for Lord Arthur when Podgers, a professional palm-reader, sees murder written into the lines of the young man's hand. The dapper, gentlemanly Arthur sincerely
believes the prediction that he will kill someone and, to protect Sybil, decides he must commit this murder before their wedding day. The utterly inexperienced Arthur seeks aid from Baines, his Jeeves-like personal gentleman's gentleman. Together they launch several unsuccessful murder attempts on some of Arthur's family members. Together they learn that committing murder is much more difficult than they imagined."Baines is a surrogate father to Lord Arthur, but hierarchy and station require the distance of formality," says actor Karl Hamilton ("The Bridges of Madison County," "Peter and the Starcatcher") who portrays Baines, Lord Arthur's steadfast butler. When Lord Arthur learns of his forecasted future, he turns instinctively to Baines for guidance. "Propriety deems that Lord Arthur should get the deed completed as soon as possible before his impending marriage," Hamilton said. "Blind adherence to what is 'proper' leads to unlikely hijinks." Matt Holzfeind ("Lend Me a Tenor," "The Hollow") portrays Lord Arthur in the comedy. Holzfeind was introduced to Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of DorIan Gray" as a school assignment and has been a fan ever since. "I remember truly enjoying it," he said. "I have come back to it over the years, and it remains a favorite of mine. I love Wilde's use of language. It is so intelligent. But beyond his witty commentary on high society and his clever plot points, his work is just very, very funny. It's a blast to play." Cox, a British playwright and screen writer, is best known for her BBC adaptations of "Oliver Twist" and the 26-part series "The Forsyte Saga." She received the Television and Screenwriters Award for her 1964 adaptation of "Martin Chuzzlewit." Wilde's comedic plays "The Importance of Being Earnest" and "An Ideal Husband" are aimed to make people laugh at certain follies and/or vanities of others. Cox uses Wilde's style of sharp, short and witty dialogue to highlight the foibles and foolishness of the upper-crust characters in "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime." Peninsula Players Artistic Director Greg Vinkler directs veteran Peninsula Players performers in this comedy of manners. Several seasons ago Vinkler portrayed Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" and has directed many productions for the Players including "Chicago," "Sunday in the Park with George," "Lombardi," "The Full Monty" to name but a few.
Emma Rosenthal ("The Actuary," "Peter and the Starcatcher") as Sybil Merton, Arthur's beautiful fiancée; Penny Slusher ("Chapatti," "The Hollow") as Arthur's great aunt, the eccentric Lady Clementina Beauchamp; and Karen Janes Woditsch ("Always...Patsy Cline," "A Few Good Men") as Lady Windermere, Lord Arthur's astute aunt. Making his Peninsula Players debut is Derek Foret, a participant in the Peninsula Players internship program, as a diligent policeman.
The creative team crafting 1900s London for "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" includes regional and award-winning designers. The team includes scenic designer Jack Magaw, ("The Full Monty," "The Bridges of Madison County"); lighting designer Stephen Roy White ("The Actuary," "The Tin Woman"); costume designer Rachel Lambert ("The Mystery of Irma Vep," "The Hollow"); sound designer Christopher Kriz ("The 39 Steps," "Lend Me a Tenor") and properties designer Pauline Oleksy ("Alabama Story")."Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" is sponsored by Main Street Market. A pre-show seminar will be held in conjunction with "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" Friday, August 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the theater with Dr. Christopher Chan speaking on Oscar Wilde. "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" performs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. August 16 through September 3. The closing performance on September 3 is a matinee performance scheduled for 4 p.m. Discount tickets are available for groups of 15 or more. Individual ticket prices range from $38 to $44. For more information or to reserve tickets phone the Peninsula Players Box Office at 920-868-3287 or visit the website at www.peninsulaplayers.com.
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