Writers' Theatre Announces Fourth Extension of OH COWARD! Now Running Thru 5/16

Writers' Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma announce the fourth extension of Oh Coward!, words and music by Noël Coward, devised by Roderick Cook. The production, which began its run in November 2009 is directed by Jim Corti, with musical direction by Doug Peck. Oh Coward, which is the longest-running production in Writers' history at 26 consecutive performance weeks, has been extended through May 16, 2010, at Writers' Theatre, 664 Vernon Avenue in Glencoe.

You're invited to a marvelous party! Oh Coward! celebrates one of the theatre's greatest entertainers-Noël Coward. Best known for his comic masterpieces Blithe Spirit, Private Lives and Hay Fever, Coward was one of the most prolific songwriters of his day. Now, acclaimed director Jim Corti brings his effervescent music, satirical quips and witty repartee to life. With the intimate Books on Vernon venue transformed into a 1930's nightclub, Oh Coward! is a must-see evening of the most memorable tunes of the 20th century!

Tammy Mader will join cast members Brandon Dahlquist, Rob Lindley and Musical Director/accompanist Doug Peck beginning on April 20, 2010.

You're invited to a marvelous party! Oh Coward! celebrates one of the theatre's greatest entertainers-Noël Coward. Best known for his comic masterpieces Blithe Spirit, Private Lives and Hay Fever, Coward was one of the most prolific songwriters of his day. Now, acclaimed director Jim Corti brings his effervescent music, satirical quips and witty repartee to life. With the intimate Books on Vernon venue transformed into a nightclub, Oh Coward! is a must-see evening of the most memorable tunes of the 20th century!

"It was Noël Coward that helped to put Writers' Theatre on the map with our runaway success production of Private Lives in 1997, so it is only fitting that, for our second-ever musical, we return to The Master for further inspiration," comments Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. "I cannot think of a more idyllic combination of talent to helm this celebration of one of the theatre's greatest entertainers than Jim Corti and Doug Peck. The delectable Kate Fry in combination with the formidable John Sanders and Rob Lindley will make for a unforgettable display of talent in the most intimate of theatres."

The cast includes Kate Fry, Rob Lindley and John Sanders.
For the first time in five years, the seating configuration at the Books on Vernon venue has been re-imagined, transforming the theater into a 1930s nightclub. The designers are Kevin Depinet (Scenic Design), Rachel Anne Healy (Costume Design), Jesse Klug (Lighting Design) and Ray Nardelli (Sound Design). The stage manager is Richard Lundy.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Noël Coward (Author) was one of the premiere entertainers of the 20th Century. Nicknamed "The Master," Coward was a playwright, a lyricist, a composer, an actor, a singer, a director and a producer. He had over fifty of his plays published, including The Young Idea, The Vortex, Fallen Angels, Hay Fever, Private Lives, A Design For Living, Tonight At 8:30, Present Laughter, This Happy Breed and Blithe Spirit. Also an accomplished lyricist and composer, Coward's musical theatre compositions include the revues London Calling, On with The Dance, This Year of Grace, Words and Music, Set to Music and Sigh No More; the operettas Bitter Sweet and Conversation Piece; and the traditional musicals Operette, Pacific 1860, Ace of Clubs, Sail Away and The Girl who Came to Supper. Born on December 16, 1899 in Teddington, England, Coward made his professional debut in a West End children's show in 1911. The boy actor

continued to land featured roles throughout his adolescence, but his ascent to fame was temporarily interrupted by World War I, when Coward was drafted. However, he was discharged after nine months without ever seeing combat. By 1925, Coward was writing, producing and starring in his own immensely successful shows. At one point, he had thee plays and one revue running in the West End at the same time. He remained a perennial presence on both London and New York stages throughout the 20's and 30's, frequently co-starring with his good friend

Gertrude Lawrence. During World War II, Coward served his country by touring and entertaining a public in need of uplifting. After the war, he began a successful career as a cabaret performer and film actor, appearing in Around the World in 80 Days and The Italian Job. He also wrote two autobiographies, Present Indicative and Future Indefinite. The Master was knighted, elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Letters, awarded an Honorary Tony Award and inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, before passing away in 1973 at his home in Jamaica.

Roderick Cook (Adaptor) was an actor whose work spanned four decades from the 1950's through the 1990's. He is known for such films as Idle on Parade ( Idol on Parade in the United States ), The Great Waldo Pepper, the character of Count Von Strack in Amadeus, Von Klammer in Garbo Talks and A More Perfect Union: America Becomes a Nation. He also made many television appearances and is most noted for such shows as Tales From the Crypt, Macgyver, Newhart, Lots a Luck and One Life to Live. Born in February 1932 in London, England, Cook was nominated for the 1987 Tony Award as Best Actor in a Musical for Oh Coward! He died in August 1990 in Los Angeles.

Jim Corti (Director) makes his debut at Writers' Theatre. His most recent work, Cabaret at Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook Terrace, was preceded there by Sweet Charity (Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding Direction), Meet Me in St. Louis, The Full Monty (the inaugural production at Drury Lane Water Tower), Bye Bye Birdie, Damn Yankees, Company and Singin' in the Rain (Joseph Jefferson Award for Outstanding Choreography). Other Joseph Jefferson Awards were received for his direction of Northlight Theatre's Blues in the Night and his performance in Grand Hotel at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire. Corti has served on productions for Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Second City and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, revues of Irving Berlin, Frank Loessor and George Gershwin at The National Jewish Theatre. At The Cleveland Play House he directed A Day in Hollywood, A Night in The Ukraine followed by Canterbury Tales and A...My Name is Alice. Last summer he directed Steven Dietz's Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure starring Greg Vinkler for Peninsula Players in Door County, Wisconsin where he also directed Crazy for You and Nunsense starring E. Faye Butler. Corti directs The Snow Queen this holiday season at The Biograph for Victory Gardens Theatre, where this spring he will helm Lonnie Carter's The Lost Boys of Sudan. As a Broadway actor, he has appeared in the original New York casts or in the national tours of Urinetown, Ragtime, Cabaret, A Chorus Line, Bob Fosse's Dancin' and Candide.

Doug Peck (Musical Director) makes his Writers' Theatre debut. Additional Chicago credits include Animal Crackers (Goodman Theatre), Caroline, or Change, Carousel, Man of La Mancha (Joseph Jefferson Award), Raisin, Guys and Dolls (After Dark Award), The Importance of Being Earnest and 2003's James Joyce's the Dead (Court Theatre), Cabaret, Curtains, Seussical! The Musical (Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrence), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Little Women, Shenandoah, All Night Strut, State Fair (Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire), Wings, Dessa Rose, Hello Again for which he won an After Dark Award (Apple Tree Theatre), Grey Gardens (Northlight Theatre), Fiorello!, (TimeLine Theatre Company), Willy Wonka and Seussical! The Musical (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Camelot, Most Happy Fella (Ravinia Festival) and Assassins (Porchlight Music Theatre). Regional credits include Carousel, Man Of La Mancha (Long Wharf Theatre), Into The Woods (Peninsula Players) and fifteen shows in five summers at the Wagon Wheel Theatre in Warsaw, Indiana. Peck can be heard on the original cast album of Frank Galati and Stephen Flaherty's Loving Repeating: A Musical Of Gertrude Stein, and is a proud Northwestern University graduate who also trained at Interlochen Center for the Arts. Up next are Fiddler on the Roof and The Drowsy Chaperone at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.

Kate Fry recently performed at Writers' in the World Premiere of A Minister's Wife as Candida. Chicago area credits include Caroline, or Change, Arcadia, The Romance Cycle, My Fair Lady and Twelfth Night among others (Court Theatre), Henry IV Parts I & II, The Merchant of Venice, The Moliere Comedies, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, Love's Labour's Lost and The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Uncle Vanya, Pygmalion, Kindertransport and Falsettos (Apple Tree Theater) as well as work with Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, StreetSigns Productions, Candlelight Playhouse and Theater at the Center. Regionally, she has worked at The Mark Taper Forum (Los Angeles), McCarter Theatre Center (Princeton, NJ) and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. She is married to actor Timothy Edward Kane, who is currently performing at Writers' in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead as Guildenstern.
Rob Lindley previously appeared at Writers' Theatre in Bach at Leipzig. Other Chicago credits include Carousel, Caroline or Change, The Wild Duck (Court Theatre), Cabaret (Drury Lane Oakbrook), Wings (Apple Tree Theatre), Urinetown (Mercury Theatre), The Most Happy Fella (Ravinia Festival), A New Brain, Sweeney Todd and Closer than Ever (Porchlight Music Theatre). Regional credits include Carousel (Long Wharf Theatre). He won the 2003 Outstanding Cabaret Artist After-Dark award. Lindley is also an instructor at The Second City in the musical improv program and a member of the musical improv troupe Baby Wants Candy.

John Sanders returns to Writers' Theatre, having previously appeared in A Minister's Wife and The Uneasy Chair. Chicago credits include Miss Saigon, Ten Little Indians (Drury Lane Oakbrook), Turn of the Century (Goodman Theatre), I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (Noble Fool Theatricals at Pheasant Run), Cymbeline, Troilus and Cressida (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (American Theater Company), Fellow Travelers, Burying the Bones, Prarie Lights, The Memorandum (Stage Left Theatre), Arrangement for Two Violas (Visions & Voices Theatre) Henry V and Blood Wedding (The Hypocrites). Sanders appeared Off-Off Broadway as Jamie in The Last Five Years. Film credits include Alleged (with Brian Dennehy) and No God, No Master. He is an artistic associate with Chicago Dramatists and an ensemble member emeritus with Stage Left Theatre. He is the recipient of an After Dark Award.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets are $40-$60 and are available at the Box Office, 376 Park Avenue, Glencoe; 847-242-6000 or online at www.writerstheatre.org.

Tuesdays & Wednesdays: 7:30 p.m.
There will be no performance on March 9 & 16, 2010
Thursdays & Fridays: 8:00 p.m.
There will be no performance on April 16, 2010
Saturdays: 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sundays: 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday Matinees: 2:00 p.m., on March 10 & March 17

TWEET SEATS

Tweet Seats is a day-of ticket discount program exclusive to Writers' Theatre. Follow Writers' Theatre on Twitter (Twitter.com/WritersTheatre) and everyday by 3:00 p.m., Writers' will Tweet a code that can be used to purchase remaining seats for that day's performance at a discount. Tweet Seats are available for purchase only through the Writers' Theatre website at writerstheatre.org.

WRITERS' PARTNERS

The Writers' Theatre season is underwritten, in part, by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
DiPescara is a 2009/10 Season Restaurant Partner. Patrons receive 10% off their guest check when they present their ticket stub when ordering. Di Pescara is one of the North Shore's top restaurants, named f

Writers' Theatre introduces a new 2009/10 Season Restaurant Partner, Winnetka's award-winning, Restaurant Michael. Featuring impeccably crafted cuisine of the freshest local and organic ingredients, Restaurant Michael prepares classic, haute cuisine, in a unique and contemporary presentation with French country flair. Writers' Theatre patrons receive 10% off their guest check when they present their ticket stub when ordering. Just 10 minutes from the theater at 64 Green Bay Road, Restaurant Michael is the perfect fit for any dining occasion. Call 847-441-3100 to make your reservation.
For more information about Writers' 2009/10 Restaurant Partners and offer restrictions visit writerstheatre.org/visitus.
ABOUT WRITERS' THEATRE

Writers' Theatre is a professional company focusing on the Word and the Artist. Remaining true to the intention of the playwright and nurturing the artist stand at the center of the mission. Now in its 18th season, the company both revives classic scripts and cultivates new works and adaptations while invigorating them with fresh energy in the intimacy of its venues. Founded in 1992, Writers' Theatre performed exclusively at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Avenue for the first 12 years. In the fall of 2003, the organization opened a new 108-seat performance venue at 325 Tudor Court. Today, Writers' Theatre continues to produce in both spaces, maintaining an intimate theatrical experience for audiences. Since 2000, the subscriber base has grown almost 250%, from 1,500 to more than 5,000 today. With an operating budget of $3.3 million, Writers' Theatre is supported by a staff of 18 full-time employees and a 31-member Board of Trustees.
You can find Writers' Theatre on Facebook or follow Writers' Theatre on Twitter at Twitter.com/WritersTheatre. For more information, visit www.writerstheatre.org.



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