Front Page, with Knight, Kind, Etc., Opens at Willamstown
The Front Page, by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, opens the Williamstown Theatre Festival Main Stage on July 4. Set in a Chicago newsroom in the late 1920's, this classic Broadway comedy about the nature of media in society is directed by Ron Daniels.
In The Front Page, "the court press room is full of poker-playing reporters, all waiting to cover the execution of radical leftist Earl Williams. Top reporter Hildy Johnson is engaged and planning to leave the life of chasing headlines and move to New York. When Williams escapes from the inept Sheriff, Hildy's scheming editor - Walter Burns - tempts Johnson to stay and write the story," as described in press notes.
The expert plotting and rapid-fire, street-wise dialogue of The Front Page have delighted audiences since it first hit the stage in 1928. Christopher Reeve and Kate Burton starred in the memorable 1980 production of The Front Page at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. The production also starred Celeste Holm, Zeljko Ivanek and Ed Herrmann.
The show stars Jason Butler Harner (The Coast of Utopia, film: The Good Shepherd) as Hildy Johnson, Richard Kind (The Producers, "Spin City") as Walter Burns and Wayne Knight (Sweet Charity, "Seinfeld") as Sherriff Hartman, with a cast that also includes Michael Braun, Tom Bloom, John Cariani, Amanda Leigh Cobb, Bill Cwikowski, Brian Hutchison, Ted Koch, Kathy McCafferty, Rod McLachlan, Anne O'Sullivan, Joe Plummer, Matthew Rauch, Sean Patrick Reilly, Robert Stanton and Kay Walbye.
Costume design is by Linda Cho. Lighting design is by Charles Foster. Scenic design is by Riccardo Hernandez. Sound design is by Nick Borisjuk. Directing the production is Ron Daniels, who is an Honorary Associate Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where he served as Artistic Director of The Other Place in Stratford.
Tickets are available at www.wtfestival.org, 413.597.3400 and the Festival box office. The Front Page runs July 4-15 with performances Tuesdays to Fridays at 8:00, Saturdays at 8:30 with matinees Thursdays at 3:00, Saturdays at 4:00 and Sundays at 2:00. Tickets are $48 to $58 depending on the performance. For the final performance of the show on Sunday, July 15, ticket prices include a $10 donation to fund next season's Christopher and Dana Reeve Apprenticeship.
Festival performances are held at the '62 Center for Theatre and Dance of Williams College at 1000 Main Street (Route 2) in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The theatre is wheelchair accessible. Assistive listening devices are available. Visit www.wtfestival.org for more information.
Photos - Jason Butler Harner, Richard Kind and Wayne Knight
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