Get Ready to Guffaw! Meet the Full Company of PRESENT LAUGHTER, Opening Tonight on Broadway
Present Laughter, starring Academy Award- and two-time Tony Award-winner Kevin Kline in his triumphant return to Broadway, opens tonight, April 5th, at the St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street). Directed by Tony Award nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel, Present Laughter will play through Sunday, July 2nd. Scroll down to learn more about the company and watch interviews with the cast!
Present Laughter stars Academy Award- and two-time Tony Award-winner Kevin Kline as Garry Essendine, Tony and Emmy Award nominee Kate Burton as Liz Essendine, Tony Award nominee Kristine Nielsen as Monica Reed, and stage and screen star Cobie Smuldersas Joanna Lyppiatt, in her Broadway debut; joined by Bhavesh Patel of Broadway's War Horse as Roland Maule, Tony Award nominee Reg Rogers as Morris Dixon, Matt Bittner as Fred, Ellen Harvey as Miss Erikson, Obie Award winner Peter Francis James as Henry Lyppiatt, The Wolves breakout Tedra Millan as Daphne Stillington, and Sandra Shipley as Lady Saltburn, with Kelley Curran, Rachel Pickup, James Riordan, and David L. Townsend.
Present Laughter follows a self-obsessed actor in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Juggling his considerable talent, ego and libido, the theater's favorite leading man suddenly finds himself caught between fawning ingénues, crazed playwrights, secret trysts and unexpected twists.
Kevin Kline (GARRY ESSENDINE)
Broadway: Henry IV, The Pirates Of Penzance, Ivanov, Arms And The Man, Loose Ends, On The Twentieth Century, The Three Sisters (The Acting Company) Off B'way: Hamlet (also dir.), The Seagull, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, Henry V, Romeo And Juliet, Peer Gynt, The Lost Cavalier. Film: Sophie's Choice, Dave, A Fish Called Wanda, In And Out, The Big Chill, Silverado, I Love You To Death, French Kiss, Grand Canyon, Darling Companion, The Ice Storm, Soapdish, As You Like It, The Emperor's Club, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Queen To Play, Life As A House, DeLovely, My Old Lady, Last Vegas, The Extra Man. TV: "Saturday Night Live," "The New Show."
Kate Burton (LIZ ESSENDINE)
Broadway: Present Laughter (George C. Scott), Alice in Wonderland, Doonesbury, Wild Honey, Jake's Women, Some Americans Abroad, Company, An American Daughter, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Spring Awakening, Tony Nominations for Hedda Gabler, The Elephant Man (Billy Crudup) and The Constant Wife. Off Broadway: Cymbeline and The Dead 1904. Some TV/Film: "Scandal," "Veep," "Grimm," "Grey's Anatomy," "Rescue Me," "Empire Falls" and Big Trouble in Little China, The Ice Storm, Unfaithful, 2 Days in NY, Liberal Arts, 127 Hours. Graduate: Brown and Yale. Daughter: Sybil and Richard. Mother: Charlotte and Morgan. Wife: Michael Ritchie. Present Laughter PSM 1982. For Jean Guest.
Kristine Nielsen (MONICA REED)
Broadway: You Can't Take It With You, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony nomination, Outer Critics Circle Award). Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, Spring Awakening, The Greenbird, Jackie, The Iceman Cometh. Off-Broadway: Hir, Why Torture Is Wrong And The People Who Love Them, How I Spent Last Summer, Omnium Gatherum, Our Leading Lady, Betty's Summer Vacation (Obie Award), Dog Opera (Obie Award). Recent Regional: FINGERSMITH at A.R.T. Film and TV: Theresa Rebeck's Trouble, "Happyish," "Elementary," Morning Glory, The Savages, Small Time Crooks, "Political Animals," NBC's "Sound of Music Live!," Amazon's "Zelda." Graduate of Northwestern and the Yale School of Drama.
Cobie Smulders (JOANNA LYPPIATT)
is making her Broadway debut with Present Laughter. Off-Broadway: Love, Loss, and What I Wore. Films include: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Lego Movie, The Intervention, Unexpected, Results, Delivery Man, They Came Together, Safe Haven. Television: "How I Met Your Mother," "A Series of Unfortunate Events," "The L-Word". Upcoming films: Literally, Right Before Aaron; Why We're Killing Gunther; Songbird. Upcoming television: "Friends From College". A huge thank you to my family for loving and supporting me.
Bhavesh Patel (ROLAND MAULE)
Lincoln Center: War Horse; Roundabout: Indian Ink; BAM: RadioLoveFest; Other: Second Stage, CSC, Red Bull, Guthrie, St. Louis Rep; TV: "Mysteries of Laura," "The Good Wife," "Elementary," "Blue Bloods," "White Collar;" Film: Gold, Wilding, James White, Two Days in NY. MFA: NYU Grad Acting. Thanks to my team and incredible wife!
Reg Rogers (MORRIS DIXON)
was most recently seen in the Broadway revival of You Can't Take It With You and off-Broadway in the critically acclaimed Privacy. He received a Tony nomination for his work in Holiday. Television credits include AMC's "Hell On Wheels," "The Americans," "Boardwalk Empire," and "The Knick".
Matt Bittner (FRED)
is an actor, composer, and sound designer. Select acting credits: Up Here (La Jolla), Much Ado About Nothing (The Public), As You Like It (Two River), All Is Calm(Hudson Valley Shakes), and Sweeney Todd (Pennsylvania Shakes). He is also developing/composing a new musical based on true events from the war in Kosovo called Little Krushe. Training: MFA, Rutgers University.
Ellen Harvey (MISS ERIKSON)
Broadway: How To Succeed in Business..., Phantom Of The Opera, The Music Man, Thou Shalt Not. Off-Broadway: Big Love. Shakespeare in the Park: Into The Woods. National Tours: Mary Poppins, Disney's High School Musical, Mamma Mia! and Sunset Boulevard. Regional favorites: Williamstown Theater Festival, Bay Street Theater, Two Rivers, Huntington Theatre. TV: "House of Cards," "Gotham," "Younger".
Peter Francis James (HENRY LYPPIATT)
Broadway: The Merchant of Venice, On Golden Pond, Drowning Crow, Judgment at Nuremberg. Public: Stuff Happens (OBIE & Lucille Lortel Awards), Horatio in Kevin Kline's HAMLET. U.K: The Lady From Dubuque (w/ Maggie Smith). CSC: The Maids(OBIE Award). Signature: The Lady From Dubuque (Lortel Nomination). Film/TV: The Humbling, The Losers, The Messenger/"Bull," "Boardwalk Empire," "Oz". Training: RADA.
Tedra Millan (DAPHNE STILLINGTON)
makes her Broadway debut in the role that was her first professional acting gig. She recently played "#46" in The Wolves (NYSAF/The Duke on 42nd) and understudied "Rose" in The Flick (Barrow Street). MA: LAMDA, BFA: University of Michigan. Thanks to family, Saamer, friends and team for helping her laugh.
Sandra Shipley (LADY SALTBURN)
Broadway: Importance of Being Earnest, Blithe Spirit, Equus, Pygmalion, Retreat From Moscow, Vincent In Brixton, Indiscretions. Off Broadway: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Encores), Suddenly Last Summer, Deep Blue Sea, Kindertransport (MTC), Stuff Happens, Venus (Public). National Tour: Blithe Spirit, Anything Goes. Extensive U.S. Regional credits. U.K. Royal Shakespeare Co, Royal Court, West End.
Kelley Curran (U/S DAPHNE STILLINGTON, JOANNA LYPPIATT, MISS ERIKSON, MONICA REED, LADY SALTBURN)
Broadway: Debut. Off-Broadway: Bedlam, Signature, LAByrinth, New Victory, The Pearl, The Public, Red Bull, 59E59. Regional: Shakespeare Theatre of DC, Guthrie, Shakespeare & Co, Portland Center Stage. Film: Dear Santa; Honors: Callaway Award, Drama League & Princess Grace Award Nominations.
Rachel Pickup (U/S LIZ ESSENDINE, MONICA REED, LADY SALTBURN)
Training - RADA. Recent: Portia opposite Jonathan Pryce's Shylock, world tour and film; NYC / London theatre: MTC; TFANA; Irish Rep; Shakespeare's Globe; RSC; Old Vic; Rose Theatre, (Best Actress award Time And The Conways, nomination Miss Julie); Film: Wonder Woman; Schadenfreude; Chronic, (Winner Cannes 2015). Member The Actors' Centre.
James Riordan (U/S HENRY LYPPIATT, MORRIS DIXON)
Broadway: Jerusalem, The Elephant Man, Noises Off, Dance of Death. Off-Broadway: Lovers, Our Leading Lady, The Countess. Television: "Limitless," "Person of Interest," "Public Morals," "The Blacklist," "Boardwalk Empire," multiple "Law & Orders," "Damages," "White Collar." Soaps: "ATWT," AMC. Film: The Hoax, Choose.
David L. Townsend (U/S ROLAND MAULE, FRED, HENRY LYPPIATT, MORRIS DIXON)
Bway: Debut. Off-Bway: The Library (Public Theatre), Hamlet, Twelfth Night, The Constant Couple (Pearl), Jewtopia. Regional: FROST/NIXON (Portland Center Stage), Titus Andronicus, Hamlet (Shakespeare Theatre, DC). TV: "The Americans," "The Knick," "Daredevil," "Boardwalk Empire." Training: Juilliard. Love to Liza and Juno.