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Valerie Harper Kicks Off LOOPED National Tour in Hartford, 1/24/13


Four-time Emmy Award-winner and Tony Award nominee Valerie Harper returns to Hartford to kick off the National Tour of Matthew Lombardo's madcap comedy LOOPED, January 24-February 6, 2013 at The Belding Theatre at The Bushnell. The original Broadway production will again be directed by Rob Ruggiero.

LOOPED had its World Premiere at The Pasadena Playhouse in 2008 where it became one of the highest grossing plays in that theatre's history. Having played the Cuillo Center for Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, LOOPED again broke box office records and later had another successful run at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., before moving to Broadway's Lyceum Theatre in 2010. Ms. Harper received rave reviews from the critics as celebrity bad girl Tallulah Bankhead and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress. Lombardo's play has been labeled as one of the funniest comedies in years.

Harper is no stranger to Bushnell audiences, having previously appeared in The Tale of the Allergist's Wife and Golda's Balcony. She also performed at TheaterWorks in The Dragon and The Pearl. Playwright Lombardo, a Hartford-born native, has brought two World Premieres to town: Tea at Five starring Kate Mulgrew at Hartford Stage and High starring Kathleen Turner at TheaterWorks. Both plays set records, becoming at the time the highest-grossing productions for each venue. Director Ruggiero is currently the Interim Artistic Director of TheaterWorks where he has been directing for the past 20 years.

"I am thrilled to be resuming the role of Tallulah Bankhead in a play that has brought me so much joy and excitement!" Harper said in a statement. "I love playing this role! LOOPED has been such a fun and rewarding journey and I am so looking forward to returning to Hartford and bringing this hysterically funny comedy to Bushnell audiences!"

LOOPED is produced by Tony Cacciotti, Ann Cady Scott & The Tallulah Organization in association with The Pasadena Playhouse. The design team includes Adrian Jones (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes) Michael Gilliam (lighting) and Michael Hooker (sound).

Performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30PM; Friday at 8:00PM; Saturdays at 2PM & 8PM; and Sundays at 1:30PM and 6:30PM. Ticket prices start at $35.00. Tickets are available online at, by phone at 860-987-5900, or visit The Bushnell Box Office at 166 Capitol Avenue.

Based on a true story, LOOPED takes place in the summer of 1965, when an inebriated Tallulah Bankhead (Harper) stumbled into a sound studio to re-record (or "loop") one line of dialogue for her last movie Die, Die, My Darling. Given her intoxicated state and her inability to loop the line perfectly, what ensues is a hilarious showdown between an uptight and conservative sound editor, Danny Miller, and the outrageous legend.

Valerie Harper (Tallulah Bankhead): Broadway: Looped (Tony Award Nomination for Best Actress), The Tale of the Allergist's Wife by Charles Busch, Paul Sills' Story Theatre and Metamorphoses, Carl Reiner's Something Different, Subways Are For Sleeping, Wildcat, Take Me Along, L'il Abner. National Tours: Golda's Balcony by William Gibson (2006 Winner Touring Broadway Award) The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. Off-Broadway: Death Defying Acts by Elaine May/Woody Allen, All Under Heaven. Television: As Rhoda Morgenstern ("Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "Rhoda" she received worldwide acclaim earning four Emmys a Golden Globe, Harvard's Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year and a Golden Apple Award. She starred in three other series: "The Office" (CBS) "City" (CBS) and "Valerie" (later "The Hogan Family") (NBC), and in 20 TV movies. Guest starring roles include Drop Dead Diva, Desperate Housewives, Sex and the City, Till Death, Committed, Less Than Perfect, Family Law, Three Sisters, That 70's Show, Touched by an Angel, Promised Land, Melrose Place, Missing Persons, The Love Boat, The Carol Burnett Show, Columbo, and Love American Style. Film: Golda's Balcony, Blame It on Rio, Chapter Two, Freebie and the Bean, The Last Married Couple in America. She is married to producer Tony Cacciotti and they have a wonderful daughter Cristina.

Matthew Lombardo (Playwright): Broadway: High starring Kathleen Turner (Booth Theatre and National Tour) and Looped (Lyceum Theatre). Other New York credits include Tea at Five starring Kate Mulgrew at the Promenade Theatre (National Tour - IRNE Award for Best Solo Play), Mother and Child at Second Stage, Guilty Innocence at The Actors' Playhouse, and directing Chuck Ranberg's End of the World Party at the 47th Street Theatre. His work has been seen at regional theaters across the country, including Arena Stage, Seattle Rep, Hartford Stage, Cleveland Playhouse, CenterStage, American Repertory Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis and others. His plays have been produced worldwide and he currently has productions running in Tokyo, Japan; Birmingham, England; and Caracas, Venezuela.

Rob Ruggiero (Director): This is his second collaboration with playwright Matthew Lombardo, having made his Broadway debut with Looped starring Valerie Harper in a Tony-nominated performance. Other New York credits include High (Booth Theatre), All Under Heaven, as well as conceiving and directing the original musical revue Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Nominations). His work has been seen at major regional theaters around the country, including: Arena Stage, Barrington Stage Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Guthrie Theater, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater, and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. For Goodspeed Musicals, he has directed productions of Carousel, Showboat, 1776, Big River, Camelot, and Annie Get Your Gun. He conceived and directed Ella (Kevin Kline and Joseph Jefferson Awards), which has played over twenty regional stages since 2005 and recently began a National Tour.

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