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Foster to Star in Guthrie's 'The Government Inspector'


The Guthrie today announced casting for THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR, a bitingly hilarious political comedy by famed local playwright and screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher. This timely and spirited world premiere, adapted from Nikolai Gogol's masterpiece, takes to the stage under the direction of Joe Dowling, and begins previews July 5. THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR opens July 11 and runs through August 24 on the Wurtele Thrust Stage. Single tickets are priced from $24 to $59, with opening night prices ranging from $49 to $69. Tickets are on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE and online at

One of the most famous comedies ever written, THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR offers nonstop hilarity, as news of a surprise visit from an undercover government inspector sends a small provincial Russian town spiraling into a world of panic and greed. Fearing such a visit will expose the extent of their corruption, local officials set off in a flurry of activity to cover up their various misdeeds, only to discover that a stranger from the capital has been staying at the local inn for the past week. An unfortunate case of mistaken identity ensues as the officials, thinking the feared inspector is disguised as this impoverished young civil servant, literally fall over themselves with fists full of rubles to bribe the stranger.

Guthrie veteran Peter Michael Goetz (Mayor Anton Antonovich) returns to Minneapolis for another summer blockbuster, leading a cast of crooked officials – Raye Birk (the School Principal), Wayne A. Evenson (the Judge), Jim Lichtscheidl (the Postmaster), Stephen Pelinski (the Police Chief) and Stephen Yoakam (the Hospital Director) – alongside self-proclaimed Guthrie ingénue Sally Wingert, as his spittingly-hilarious wife Anna Andreyevna, and Maggie Chestovich, as his deadpan daughter Marya Antonovna.

Last seen at the Guthrie in Martin Guerre, Broadway regular Hunter Foster (The Producers, Little Shop of Horrors and Urinetown) makes the most of the town's misconception as Hlestakov, weaving elaborate tales of his life as a high-ranking government official, while real-life brothers Lee Mark Nelson and Kris L. Nelson fuel the town's frenzy with their bumbling gossip as the waddling Dobchinsky and Bobchinsky.

The ensemble cast of Guthrie favorites also includes Matthew Amendt (Adbullin / Constable), Kate Eifrig (the Inn Keeper's Wife / the Corporal's Widow), Hugh Kennedy (Pentelaeyev / Constable), Bill McCallum (Chernaeyev / Constable), Barbara June Patterson (Grusha, the Mayor's Maid), Randy Reyes (the Doctor), Luverne Seifert (Osip, Hlestakov's Servant) and Phyllis Wright (the Waitress / the Locksmith's Wife).

The artistic team includes John Arnone (Set Designer), Ann Hould-Ward (Costume Designer), Christopher Akerlind (Lighting Designer), Adam Wernick (Composer), Reid Rejsa (Sound Designer), Jo Holcomb (Dramaturgy), Lucinda Holshue (Voice and Dialect Coach), Chris A. Code (Stage Manager), Jason Clusman (Assistant Stage Manager) and Suzy Messerole (Assistant Director).

The Guthrie Theater, founded in 1963, is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Guthrie is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Led by Director Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie opened their new three-theater home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis in June 2006.

The Guthrie is located at 818 South 2nd Street (at Chicago Avenue), in downtown Minneapolis. To purchase tickets or season subscriptions call the Guthrie Box Office between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily at 612.377.2224 or toll-free 877.44.STAGE. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit

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