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Barrington Stage's John Rando-Helmed THE SUICIDE Will Feature Tom Hewitt, Jackie Hoffman, Christine Bokhour and More

By: Aug. 24, 2012
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Barrington Stage Company, the award-winning theatre in downtown Pittsfield, MA, under the leadership of Julianne Boyd, Artistic Director, and TriStan Wilson, Managing Director, will present a staged reading of The Suicide: A Musical Comedy, Sunday, August 26 and Monday, August 27 at 7pm at the St. Germain Stage (formerly Stage 2) at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. Tickets are $15 (reserved seating).

Tony winner John Rando (BSC's Guys and Dolls) directs The Suicide: A Musical Comedy with music by Simon Gray, lyrics by Raymond Bokhour, and book by David Bridel, adapted from a play by Nikolai Erdman.

The Suicide features Christine Bokhour (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) as Masha, Tom Hewitt (Jesus Christ, Superstar/Chicago) as Aristarch, Jackie Hoffman (The Addams Family/Hairspray) as Serafima, Michael Thomas Holmes (BSC's Guys and Dolls) as Semyon, James Ludwig (Spamalot) as Burkin/Dream Stalin, Max Perlman (Pugachov), Lyn Philistine (A Christmas Story, the Musical) as Cleopatra, Zachary Prince (On A Clear Day You Can See Forever) as Victor, and Gordon Stanley (BSC's Guys and Dolls) as Fedya/Elpidi. Fred Lassen (Broadway's South Pacific and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) is music director. Christopher Donovan is stage manager.

The Suicide is a wacky original musical comedy set in Stalin's brutal Soviet Union. Semyon, an unemployed grumbler, becomes convinced that suicide is his ticket to fame and glory. Before long, friends and neighbors are plotting to exploit his impending death for fun and profit, and while they're at it, topple an entire regime.

When Nikolai Erdman's play premiered in 1928, Stalin hated it, banned it, and sent its author to a Siberian labor camp for twenty years.

David Bridel (Book) David is a playwright, director, choreographer, actor and educator. David's work has been seen at the Mark Taper Forum, Ford Amphitheatre, Broad Stage, TEDxUSC and LA Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles; Shakespeare & Company in MA; the Roy HArt Theatre in Malerargues, France; in opera houses in Los Angeles, Paris, Vienna, Munich, Mexico City, Guanuajato and Santiago; on screen (PBS Great Performances and Dancing With The Stars); and at festivals and theatres in the USA, UK, Israel, China, Hong Kong and Brazil.

Simon Gray (Music) wrote music for Daisy in Disguise (Vital Theatre) and contributed original songs for Everything About A Famliy (Almost) (TADA!), Dick Whittington (Eye Theatre, Suffolk, UK), Peter Pan (Horsham Arts, UK), 2Gether (Six Figures' Artists of Tomorrow), On War (Young Vic). As music director, he worked on the first UK productions of Bill Russell's Pageant (West End, London), Michael John LaChiusa's Lucky Nurse (Finborough), Adam Guettel's Myths and Hymns (Edinburgh Fringe) and Bless The Bride directed by Martin Charnin (King's Head). Piano/keyboards, UK: Hello Again (Bridewell), Jesus Christ Superstar (UK tour), Wonderful Town (Grange Park Opera). BMI Harrington Award-winner.

Raymond Bokhour (Lyrics) has appeared on Broadway as Mr. Cellophane in Chicago (Helen Hayes nom) and regionally as Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Studio, DC); Kemp in Vigil (Geva); and the title role in Rameau's Nephew (Portland Stage). Also a composer with music recorded by the London Symphony and Warsaw Philharmonic orchestras. His plays Fly South and American Mouth received productions in New York, Boston and Edinburgh. Ray is a 2008 recipient of BMI's Harrington Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement.

John Rando (Director) At BSC: Guys and Dolls. John is the Tony Award and Outer Critic's Circle Award-winning director of Urinetown, The Musical. Other Broadway credits include: The Wedding Singer, A Thousand Clowns, and Neil Simon's The Dinner Party. With City Center Encores!, he directed On the Town, Damn Yankees, Face the Music, Of Thee I Sing, Pajama Game, Do Re Mi, and Strike Up The Band. His many Off-Broadway credits include the 2009 Outer Critic's Circle Award Best Musical: The Toxic Avenger. He has extensive regional credits including The Guardsman at The Berkshire Theatre Festival and A Flea in her Ear at Williamstown Theatre Festival.

The Musical Theatre Lab is sponsored in part by Elayne Bernstein and Sol Schwartz.