Newman, Kitt, Etc. to Read Love Poems at Westport, 2/10

Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman, Eartha Kitt, Charles Grodin and others to be announced will 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.

Woodward is artistic director emeritus of Westport Country Playhouse, following five seasons as artistic director (2001-2005), and one season as artistic advisor (2000). For Westport Country Playhouse, she directed The Member of the Wedding, The Constant Wife and Three Days of Rain, and co-directed David Copperfield.  She appeared on the Playhouse stage in Love Letters (2000) and Ancestral Voices (2000 and 2002).  Woodward is an Academy Award-winner for The Three Faces of Eve in 1958, and has received three Emmy Awards.

Newman has been seen in 51 films and four Broadway plays (including the original productions of Picnic and Sweet Bird of Youth).  He has appeared at Westport Country Playhouse in Love Letters (2000), Ancestral Voices (2000 and 2002), Trumbo (2004), and in a revival of Thornton Wilder's Our Town (2002), which transferred to Broadway and was filmed for Showtime and PBS.  He has received nine Oscar nominations, and won for The Color of Money.

Kitt has an enduring international career that spans theatre, cabaret, television, and the recording industry.  She is one of only a handful of performers to be nominated for a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, and twice for a Tony Award, for Timbuktu! in 1978, and The Wild Party in 2000. A best-selling recording artist, she was also was in the 1967 "Batman" television series as Catwoman. Most recently, she toured nationally in Cinderella as the Fairy Godmother, and her voice was heard in the Disney film, The Emperor's New Groove.  Kitt was last on the Westport Country Playhouse stage in the title role of Mrs. Patterson in 1957.

Grodin made his Broadway debut in 1962 and debuted on film two years later in Sex and the Single Girl.  His many movies include The Heartbreak Kid, The Lonely Guy, with Steve Martin, and Midnight Run with Robert De Niro.  He had the lead in the 1992 comedy Beethoven and its 1993 sequel, Beethoven's 2nd.  Grodin's Broadway credits include directing Lovers and Other Strangers, and starring in Same Time, Next Year opposite Ellen Burstyn. On television, he won an Emmy Award as one of the writers on "The Paul Simon Special."

"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

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