Photo Flash: First Look at First Folio Theatre's LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR
First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83) will present Neil Simon's witty modern classicLAUGHTER ON THE 23rd FLOOR, previewing January 28, opening Saturday, January 31 at 8 p.m. and running through March 1, 2015. The production stars First Folio Artistic Associate René Ruelas (Rough Crossing, The Rainmaker, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Design for Living at First Folio Theatre) as "Max Prince," First Folio Artistic Associate Kevin McKillip (Jeeves Takes A Bow, The Merchant of Venice, The Turn of the Screw and Unnecessary Farce at First Folio Theatre, Making God Laugh at Theatre at the Center) as "Ira," Callie Johnson (National Tour of Evil Dead The Musical and Next to Normal at Drury Lane Theatre) as "Helen," First Folio Artistic Associate Hayley L. Rice (The Rainmaker, The Merchant of Venice, Blithe Spirit, The Castle of Otranto at First Folio Theatre) as "Carol," and First Folio Artistic Associate Joe Foust (The Merry Wives of Windsor, Unnecessary Farce and the Woman in Black at First Folio Theatre, A Christmas Carol and Measure for Measure at Goodman Theatre) as "Val." LAUGHTER ON THE 23rd FLOOR is directed by Jeff Award nominee and First Folio Theatre Co-Founder, Alison C. Vesely (First Folio's A Moon for the Misbegotten). The production is dedicated to the memory of Molly Glynn.
ON THE 23rd FLOOR debuted on Broadway in 1993 before becoming a television movie in 2001. Neil Simon has received more combined Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer. He won multiple Tony Awards, Golden Globes, Emmy Awards, as well as a Drama Desk Award and Pulitzer Prize for Lost in Yonkers. Simon has written over thirty plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, most adapted from his plays.
Simon's hilarious homage to his days writing for the Sid Caesar show, LAUGHTER ON THE 23rd FLOOR, is a journey into the world of maniacs and madmen-from Mel Brooks to Carl Reiner to Lucille Kallen. The Manhattan office where they worked was a giant pressure cooker and war zone with big egos vying for attention. As they frantically scramble to top each other with gags, they also struggle with the rise of McCarthyism in America and the changing whims of their NBC bosses, bent on making these irrepressible madmen normal and respectable.
The cast also includes Andrew Behling (Cymbeline at First Folio Theatre) as "Lucas," Steve Pebbles (The Merry Wives of Windsor at First Folio Theatre) as "Brian," and Wayne Temple (Brooklyn Nine-Nine on FOX, How I Met Your Mother on CBS, Parenthood on NBC) as "Milton," and Steve Schine (King Lear at The Goodman Theatre, Chicago Fire on NBC) as "Kenny."
LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR previews January 28, opens January 31 and runs through March 1, 2015. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. with certain Thursday performances at 3 p.m. and two performances on Saturday at 4 p.m. (on February 21 and February 28.) Please check with the Box Office for the exact schedule. All performances take place at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, located at 1717 W 31st St., off Rt. 83, in Oak Brook. First Folio is easy to get to from via the East-West Tollway (I-88) or the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Free parking is available on the grounds. Preview tickets are $22. Regular priced tickets are $29 Wednesdays and Thursdays (seniors and students are $25), and $39 on Fridays through Sundays (seniors and students are $35). Tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 630.986.8067 or online at www.firstfolio.org.
Photos Courtesy of First Folio Theatre
Rene Ruelas (Max Prince)
Hayley Rice (Carol), RenÃ© Ruelas (Max Prince), Kevin McKillip
Kevin McKillip (Ira), Andrew Behling (Lucas), Wayne Temple (Milt)