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INTIMATE APPAREL Opens This Weekend at Long Beach Playhouse

Debuting actors are Elisha Elaine Anderson and Rena Bobbs. Returning actors Robyn Hastings, Allison Lynn Adams, Taylor Goss and James Webb.

INTIMATE APPAREL Opens This Weekend at Long Beach Playhouse

Lynn Nottage's play, Intimate Apparel, is based on her great-grandmother's experiences as a talented African American seamstress working in New York City in 1905. In this play, Ester has dreams of a future that she plans to create with money she earns making intimate apparel for wealthy matrons and ladies of the night.

"The setting gives Nottage the perfect storytelling landscape," said Sean Gray, Artistic Director for the Playhouse. "In it we see the debilitating social norms that kept Ester from pursuing a romance outside her race, illiteracy that led to awkward situations and allowed her to fall for a deceptive suitor. Nottage also depicts the fortitude and optimism that propelled Ester forward despite the losses that came her way."

The play takes place in various bedrooms in Lower Manhattan. Ms. Nottage uses photographs to highlight the anonymity of African Americans in the era, only 40 years on the other side of slavery in the U.S. Intimate Apparel also works in one of the most important historical accomplishments of the era with the introduction of an Afro-Caribbean suitor who wants to leave Panama, where he is working the construction of the Panama Canal. In his letters he persuades Ester that he will be a good provider and husband. Their wedding is the first time they speak in person.

Executive Director, Madison Mooney, said, "We are very excited about doing this show. Pre-pandemic we did two of her plays, Meet Vera Stark on the Mainstage and Crumbs from the Table of Joy in the Studio. Both were popular with audiences. We are confident the same will be true with Intimate Apparel."

The show's director is Brooke Ashton Harper. This is her first show for the Playhouse. She says even though we only see one year of Ester's life it's easy to imagine we know her very well as we watch her discover her own boundaries, move on from disappointments and remain hopeful as she faces an uncertain future.

The six-member cast is a mix of returning actors and others making their Playhouse debut. Debuting actors are Elisha Elaine Anderson and Rena Bobbs. Returning actors Robyn Hastings, Allison Lynn Adams, Taylor Goss and James Webb.

Mooney closed by saying, "I love this play and I know our audiences will as well. I promise that everyone who sees the show will be glad they did."

SPECIAL EVENTS FOR THIS PLAY:

· Pay what you can Thursday, May 19 - community can see this production for whatever they can afford

· Two for One Preview Friday May 20 - Tickets are $10.00

· Opening Night Champagne Reception with cast on May 21- Tickets are $27.00 Sponsored by The Port of Long Beach

TICKET PRICES

Friday: Adults are $20.00, Seniors $18.00, and Students $14.00

Saturday and Sunday: Adults are $24.00, Seniors $21.00, and Students $14.00.

Tickets are available at www.lbplayhouse.org, or by calling 562-494-1014, option 1.

To request an interview with the director, cast members or reserve your media tickets to this performance, please send an email to: pr@lbplayhouse.org.

Long Beach Playhouse is located at 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, CA, 90804, right across from the Long Beach Recreation golf course. The Playhouse is community-supported theatre with programs and events that cut across age, gender, ethnic, and cultural boundaries.

Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The box office is open Wednesday-Saturday from 3:00-8:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00-2:00 pm on scheduled matinees.



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