Totem Pole Playhouse Closes Out Summer Series With An A Comedy By Garry Marshall And Lowell Gan
Totem Pole Playhouse, America's summer theatre, located in Caledonia State Park between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, PA has announced the final production in the Playhouse's new summer subscription series, Wrong Turn at Lungfish by legendary writer/director, Garry Marshall and acclaimed screenwriter, Lowell Ganz.
Marshall began his career in New York writing for the original Tonight Show with Jack Parr before moving to Los Angeles where he became a staff writer on The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show starring Lucille Ball. He went on to create some of the all-time classic television shows of the 70's and 80's including The Odd Couple with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy. Marshall was equally as well-known as a successful film director helming such classics as Beaches, The Princess Diaries, and Pretty Woman; the latter of which was recently made into a Broadway musical that Marshall wrote the book for prior to his passing in 2016. Lowell Ganz is best known for writing such classic motion
pictures as Splash, Parenthood, and A League of Their Own, directed by Marshall's younger sister Penny Marshall.
Marshall's daughter, Kathleen Marshall, operated. Joseph also appeared in several movies directed by Marshall including Raising Helen, The Princess Diaries 2 and Valentine's Day; as well as, acting alongside Marshall in the feature film, Chronic Town, at 2008 the Sundance Film Festival. "Garry loved the theater as much as he did movies or softball for that matter," Joseph said, "Wrong Turn at Lungfish is one of the few times he was able to find the time to write for the stage. It's a smart, funny, adult comedy that I love."
The play premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago in 1990 starring John Mahoney (from Frasier) and Laurie Metcalf (from Roseanne). Stephen Eich who served as Steppenwolf's Managing Director from 1979 to 1995 is directing the Totem Pole production. "I met Rowan when he came to work as a consultant at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles which I was managing at the time. And, of course, I have many fond memories of being there with Garry and Lowell while they developed the play at the Steppenwolf, so I was excited when Rowan called and asked if I'd like to come to Totem Pole and direct it. It's a terrific play and Totem Pole is one of the great summer theaters in the country. I think the audiences are going to really enjoy it."
Veteran Totem Pole actor, Granville "Sonny" Van Dusen, who starred in the one-man show The
Memoirs of Abraham Lincoln and Lewis Black's comedy One Slight Hitch returns as 'Peter Ravenswaal' a blind and bitter college professor whose encounters with a saucy, streetwise young woman forms the basis of the show. New York actress, Marlowe Holden, co-stars as 'Anita' who volunteers to read to him each day in the hospital. The clash of intellect and wit takes the two of them from animosity and fear to friendship and understanding with humor and insights along the way. Michael Scott Gomez plays the girl's abusive boyfriend 'Dominic' and Jessie Booth plays the 'Nurse' who tries to keep things orderly throughout.
Joseph added, "I met Sonny when he starred alongside Jack Klugman, Charles Durning, and Paul Dooley in Carter Lewis' play Golf with Alan Shepard at the Falcon, that was about 300 years of acting experience in one cast. He and I became close friends and of course so did he and Garry. One of the many pleasures I get from running Totem Pole Playhouse is being able to bring these great talents to our audiences. This community is truly blessed to have such a legendary theater right here in Franklin County. I'm always struck by how many people here have no idea how famous and highly-regarded Totem Pole is in the American Theatre. It's not just a local landmark it's a national treasure."
The production will start with three half-price preview performances Friday, August 23 at 8pm and Saturday, August 24 at 2pm and 8pm. The show opens with a 2pm matinee on Sunday, August 25 and runs through Sunday, September 8 at the 343-seat Playhouse located in Caledonia State Park. In addition to the three half-price previews, this summer, Totem Pole instituted a new "Date Night Special" with patrons offered 50% off a second pair of tickets when they purchase one pair at full-price by calling the box office at (717) 352-2164 Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.