Gleason and Sarandon Join Love Poems Benefit in CT

Tony Award-winner Joanna Gleason and Oscar-nominee Chris Sarandon, new residents of Fairfield, have joined previously announced local cast members Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman of Westport, and Eartha Kitt and Charles Grodin, both of Weston, to read classic, contemporary and humorous love poems in "Come Be My Love….Love Spoken Here," on Saturday, February 10, 8 p.m., at Westport Country Playhouse.  The special Valentine to area theatergoers will support the Playhouse's educational programming.  A reception of champagne and desserts will follow the performance.

Among the authors whose love poems will be read are Maya Angelou, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot, e.e. cummings, Dorothy Parker, William Shakespeare, Robert Frost, Ogden Nash, Langston Hughes, Tennessee Williams and Noel Coward.

Gleason is the winner of numerous awards, including the 1988 Tony as Best Actress for her role as the Baker's Wife in Sondheim's Into the Woods, and a Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for the same performance. She received another Tony nomination and a Drama Desk nomination for her work in Joe Egg. She won a Theater World Award for The Real Thing, and another Drama Desk Award for Social Security. Since 1994, Gleason has been married to Sarandon. Most recently, she starred in the Broadway hit, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. 

Sarandon began his career as a teenager playing drums and singing back-up with The Teen Tones.  In the 1970s, he appeared in The Rothchilds and replaced Raul Julia in Two Gentlemen from Verona.  Sarandon's film debut was as Al Pacino's gender-confused lover in Dog Day Afternoon, for which he earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He portrayed the title role in The Day Christ Died (1980), a critically acclaimed TV-movie. He co-starred with Goldie Hawn in Protocol (1984), and appeared as the cruel prince in Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride (1987).   In 1991 he co-starred on Broadway in the musical Nick and Nora with Gleason. They married in 1994 and reunited on stage in Thorn & Bloom in 1998, and have appeared together in a number of films.

"Founded in 1931, Westport Country Playhouse has a storied past that is part of the history of theatre in America. In its 77th season and following a major multi-million dollar renovation, the Playhouse serves as a year-round theatre under the artistic direction of Tazewell Thompson, and enriches a diverse community of artists, audiences and students. The Playhouse offers theatrical productions, educational programming and special events, including music, comedy, film, readings of short fiction and new plays, and a Family Festivities series," as press notes describe the theatre.

Tickets are $300, of which $225 is tax deductible; and $175, of which $100 is tax deductible.

For more information and tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or for out-of-town callers toll-free at 888-927-7529, or visit the box office at 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Information about the Playhouse is also available at www.westportplayhouse.org.




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