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Michael Cumpsty and Dee Hoty Star in Two River Theater's THE LION IN WINTER, Opening Tonight

Michael Cumpsty and Dee Hoty Star in Two River Theater's THE LION IN WINTER, Opening Tonight Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, presents James Goldman's The Lion in Winter, directed by Tyne Rafaeli. The production will run now through December 4, 2016, with the opening night tonight, November 18 at 8pm. The lead production sponsor for The Lion in Winter is Monmouth University.

Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner Michael Cumpsty (The End of the Rainbow, Hamlet) and three-time Tony Award nominee Dee Hoty (Footloose, The Best Little Whorehouse Goes Public, The Will Rogers Follies) star as Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine in this American classic, written in 1966 by James Goldman and adapted into a 1968 film starring Peter O'Toole and Katharine Hepburn. Also featured in the company are Noah Averbach-Katz (John), KeiLyn Durrel Jones (Richard), Ronald Peet (Philip), Hubert Point-Du Jour (Geoffrey), and Madeleine Rogers (Alais).

Set during Christmas 1183, The Lion in Winter crashes through castle doors as King Henry II of England, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, and their sons Richard, Geoffrey, and John spend a memorable holiday revisiting old wounds-and making new ones-as they fight over who will rule the land after Henry's death.

"The Lion in Winter feels like a bitingly relevant conversation in light of our upcoming presidential election," says Artistic Director John Dias. "Questions about the battle for succession and the demands of leadership have never felt more pertinent. What makes The Lion in Winter feel so immediate and fresh is how it bridges great political posturing and intense personal and domestic intrigue. The play is not only about the battle over succession-it's also a family drama, and very fun to watch."

Director Tyne Rafaeli was born in London and trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Columbia University. A longtime Associate Director to Bartlett Sher, she has directed classics, new plays and musicals in London and the US. She was awarded the 2013/14 SDCF Sir John Gielgud Fellowship for Classical Direction. Her current and upcoming projects include Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz, a new musical by Marc Acito, at Goodspeed Musicals and My Fair Lady at Playmakers Rep.

The creative team for The Lion in Winter includes scenic designer Kristen Robinson, costume designer Andrea Hood, lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, and Sound Designer Josh Schmidt. The fight direction is by J. Steven White, the casting is by Jack Doulin & Sharky, and the stage manager is Jenny Kennedy.

Inside Two River: Open Rehearsal: On Tuesday, October 25 at 7pm, audiences are invited to join Two River Theater to watch an open rehearsal in the Rechnitz Theater with director Tyne Rafaeli and members of the cast as they work on scenes from the play. To reserve a spot, interested patrons should call 732.345.1400 or visit

Ticket prices range from $40 to $70, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from or 732.345.1400.

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, creates great American theater performed by award-winning artists. We produce American and world masterpieces, and new plays and musicals. Two River Theater offers new-play commissions and artistic development activities that support the most adventurous artists in the American theater; invites its audience to be part of the creative process through readings and open rehearsals; and cultivates students and young people to participate in innovative arts-education programs and become a new generation of theatergoers. Founded in 1994 by Joan and Dr. Robert M. Rechnitz, Two River Theater is easily accessible by car, train, or bus, with great restaurants and shopping within walking distance of the theater.

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