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Westport Country Playhouse Opens 2014 Season with A SONG AT TWILIGHT, Now thru 5/17

Westport Country Playhouse will open its 2014 Season with Noël Coward's witty and poignant tale, "A Song at Twilight," directed by Playhouse artistic director Mark Lamos, tonight, April 29 - May 17, a co-production with Hartford Stage where it ran earlier this year. Celebrating its 84th season, Westport Country Playhouse was recently named Theater Company of the Year by The Wall Street Journal.

Broadway veterans Mia Dillon, Brian Murray and Gordana Rashovich will headline; also in the cast is Yale School of Drama graduate Nicholas Carrière.

"A couple seasons ago Annie Keefe directed a Script-in-Hand reading of this beautiful final play of Coward's, and we were all taken with its wit as well as its bittersweet and wise look at a life lived as a lie," said Lamos. "The audience loved it, as well, and so we decided to open our 2014 season with a complete revival. Co-produced with Hartford Stage, where it began life last winter, the play features stunning performances by Broadway veterans Brian Murray, Gordana Rashovich, and Mia Dillon. The show was a success in Hartford, and it's a treat for us that we will be able to revisit and refine it once again for our Playhouse season premiere. It's a powerful and surprisingly moving work from the 20th century's master of comedy, written at the end of his long and dazzling career."

"A Song at Twilight" is an exquisite battle of wits, exploring the nature of passion, the cruelty of love, and the price of hidden secrets. In his long career, Sir Hugo Latymer (played by Brian Murray) has achieved more than most writers even dream of---money, fame, and a reputation beyond reproach. But his carefully constructed ivory tower is imperiled when a long-ago love (Gordana Rashovich in the role of Carlotta Gray) threatens to shed a very public light into the most scandalous corner of his private past, a revelation that could bring it all tumbling down.

The play is appropriate for ages 16 and up. Running time is approximately 90 minutes.

Director Mark Lamos has directed many plays at Westport Country Playhouse since 2008, winning the 2013 Connecticut Critics Circle Award for his direction of "The Dining Room" last season. His extensive New York credits include "Our Country's Good," for which he received a Tony Award nomination. A former artistic director at Hartford Stage, he received the 1989 Tony Award for the theater's body of work. He was awarded the Connecticut Medal for the Arts as well as honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, University of Hartford, and Trinity College.

Playwright Noël Coward (1899 - 1973) was a dramatist, actor, writer, composer, lyricist, painter, and wit. He wrote 60 produced plays and musicals ("Hay Fever," "Private Lives," "Design for Living," "Blithe Spirit," "Present Laughter," "The Girl Who Came to Supper"), and over 300 popular songs ("I'll See You Again," "Mad Dogs and Englishmen").

Actor, director and 2004 American Theatre Hall of Fame inductee Brian Murray's many Broadway credits include three Tony Award-nominated performances: "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" in 1968, "The Little Foxes" in 1997, and "The Crucible" in 2002. He appeared at Westport Country Playhouse in "The House of Blue Leaves" and a Script in Hand playreading of "Angel Street."

Mia Dillon, nominated for the 1982 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for "Crimes of the Heart," also appeared on Broadway in "Da," "Hay Fever," "The Miser," "Our Town," and "Agnes of God." At Westport Country Playhouse, she appeared in "Once a Catholic," "Return Engagements," "Speed-the-Plow," "Angel Street," "Our Town"; and Script in Hand playreadings of "A Song at Twilight," "Angel Street," "Morning's at Seven."

Gordana Rashovich's Broadway credits include "Conversations with My Father," "Cymbeline," "The Road to Mecca," "The Anarchist," and "Old Acquaintances." One of her most acclaimed performances was in "A Shayna Maidel," which originated at Hartford Stage and transferred to Off-Broadway where she won an Obie Award. Reprising the role in Los Angeles, she earned the L.A. Drama Critics Circle, Drama-Logue, and L.A. Weekly awards. On television, she played Jadwiga on the "Whoopi" series.

Nicholas Carrière most recently toured nationally in "The Lion King." He was also in the American Premiere of "Zorro" and the World Premiere of "Abigail/1702."

The design team includes Alexander Dodge, scenic design (Westport Country Playhouse's "The Circle" - Connecticut Critics Circle Award; Broadway's "A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder" - Connecticut Critics Circle and Craig Noel Awards); Fabio Toblini, costume design (Broadway's "Romeo and Juliet"; awards include Connecticut Critics Circle Award 2012); Matthew Richards, lighting design (Westport Country Playhouse's "Loot," "Tartuffe," "Suddenly Last Summer," "Dinner with Friends"; Broadway's "Ann"); and John Gromada, original music and sound design (Westport Country Playhouse's "Harbor," "Twelfth Night," "Beyond Therapy"; more than 30 Broadway productions including "The Trip to Bountiful," as well as the Lifetime movie adaptation).

Photo by T. Charles Erickson

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