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LOVE, NOEL with Harry Groener and Sharon Lawrence to Play The Wallis, 12/5-21

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (aka "The Wallis") presents the return engagement of Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward, devised and written by Coward authority Barry Day, and directed by Jeanie Hackett. Love, Noël transforms the Lovelace Studio Theater into an intimate lounge for cocktails, comedy and Coward.

The cabaret production stars three-time Tony Award nominee Harry Groener (Broadway's Crazy for You, Cats and Oklahoma!) as Coward and Emmy nominee Sharon Lawrence ("NYPD Blue") as the many women who came into his life and influenced his work. Jeanie Hackett previously directed Coward's Tonight at 8:30 and developed Coward's Peace in Our Time for The Antaeus Theatre. Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward will run for a limited 14-performance engagement from December 5 to 21 (Press opening December 6) in the Lovelace Studio Theater.

Completely sold out last year at The Wallis, Love, Noël returns just in time for the holidays with an entertaining performance that interweaves the music of Coward and witty letters sent between him and his famous friends over the years. Based on Barry Day's book The Letters of Noël Coward, Love, Noël traces Coward's six-decade career as a playwright, composer, director, actor and singer. Known for his wit, flamboyance and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise," his works remain as universal and relevant as ever.

Interim Artistic Director Patti Wolff said, "Love, Noel was one of the most popular productions of The Wallis' first season, so it was an easy decision to bring it back for an encore run. We're delighted that this year's cast features two standout performers: the renowned Harry Groener, one of Broadway's great musical actors, and Sharon Lawrence, a fantastic actress of stage and screen. Both are immense talents who breathe their special brand of life into this smart, witty show, taking cabaret to wonderful new heights."

Tickets are available at www.thewallis.org, by calling 310-746-4000, or in person at The Wallis Ticket Services Office located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills CA 90210.

About personnel of Love, Noël: The Letters and Songs of Noël Coward

Barry Day (writer) -- In 2004, Queen Elizabeth awarded Day the O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire) for "services to British culture in the US." Since 1980, he has been literary advisor to the Noël Coward Estate and written extensively on "The Master" - including the books The Complete Lyrics, The Complete Verse, Coward on Film, The Coward Reader, The Letters and Star Quality. He prepared concert versions of Coward's Bitter Sweet, Pacific 1860, Conversation Piece, After the Ball and Long Island Sound, as well as writing and producing some thirty "entertainments" based on the work of Oscar Wilde, P.G. Wodehouse, Dorothy Parker, Johnny Mercer and Raymond Chandler. In the 1970s, Day was media advisor and a principal speechwriter for British Prime Ministers Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher. In the 1980s he was communications director for Sam Wanamaker's team that rebuilt Shakespeare's Globe playhouse on London's Bankside, a project that has become London's most successful commercial theatre. Concurrently with these activities, Day had a high-profile career in international advertising; he retired from that profession in 2000 to write full time.

Jeanie Hackett (Director) -- Most recently, Hackett directed a workshop of Jeffrey Hatcher's Cousin Bette at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Kindertransport for LA Theatre Works. As artistic director of The Antaeus Company, Hackett directed scores of readings and workshops, and the multiple award-winning world premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher's Cousin Bette, for which she won the Backstage Garland Award for Best Direction. From 2004-2011 she provided artistic oversight for Antaeus artistic and administrative growth, producing and overseeing productions including Noel Coward's Tonight at 8:30 and the three-year development of Coward's Peace in Our Time, garnering multiple LA theater awards.

Hackett directed Faust with Jessica Hecht at Classical Theater Lab; The Constant Wife with Kate Burton for LA Theater Works; and was assistant director for the Odyssey Theater production of The Greeks, while playing Clytemnestra. At Williamstown, she was assistant director and part of the team responsible for creating Tennessee Williams, A Celebration, a six-hour, two-part collage of his work. As an actress, on Broadway she played Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire and Belle in Ah Wilderness. Her Los Angeles credits include leading roles in Arms and the Man, How the Other Half Loves and Present Laughter at Pasadena Playhouse; Old Times at South Coast Repertory; The Cherry Orchard at Center Theatre Group; Black Box at the Odyssey Theatre; Phaedra at Getty Villa; Kate Crackernuts at 24th Street Theater; Light and Pera Palas at Boston Court; The Autumn Garden and Chekhov x 5 at Antaeus Theatre; and On the Spectrum at Fountain Theatre. Her films include The Words (Bradley Cooper), Take Me Home Tonight (Topher Grace), King of California (Michael Douglas) and Post Grad (Carol Burnett). Her television work includes Lie to Me, Lincoln Heights, Medium, Criminal Minds, The'L' Word, Judging Amy (recurring), The West Wing, and playing Queen Margaret from Shakespeare's Henry VI. She is the author of two books: "The Actor's Chekhov" and "Toward Mastery," both based on the work of Nikos Psacharopoulos. She teaches acting at the Sag Conservatory, Williamstown, and at The Workroom, her space for all things acting, creative process and theatre art. Later this year, she will direct Jane Kaczmarek in The Cherry Orchard for the New Immersion Theater in Hollywood.

Harry Groener -- Recently appeared at Chicago Shakespeare Theater as Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac and in 2011 as King George in The Madness of George III (Jeff Award). Other recent credits include: General William Tecumseh Sherman in The March adapted and directed by Frank Galati (Steppenwolf Theatre); Presidents Lincoln and LBJ in Appomattox by Christopher Hampton (Guthrie Theater); King Lear in King Lear with the Antaeus Company (LA Drama Critics Circle Award) and Richard in Equivocation at the Geffen Playhouse (Ovation Award), and Roelf Visagie in the East Coast premiere of Athol Fugard's The Train Driver with Anthony Chisholm (Long Wharf Theatere). Broadway credits include: Crazy for You (Tony Award nomination); Oklahoma! (Theatre World Award, Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations), CATS (Tony Award nomination), Harrigan and Hart (Drama Desk Award nomination), Oh, Brother!, Is There Life After High School?, Sleight of Hand, George in Sunday in the Park with George, Imaginary Friends, and King Arthur in Spamalot. Other New York credits include Twelve Dreams (Lincoln Center) and If Love Were All with Twiggy. Mr. Groener's multiple television credits include: the Mayor in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ralph in Dear John, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise, Medium, Bones, Las Vegas, CSI, Mad About You, The West Wing, and How I Met Your Mother. Film credits include: About Schmidt with Jack Nicholson, Road to Perdition with Tom Hanks, Amistad, Dance with Me with Vanessa Williams, Patch Adams with Robin Williams, Brubaker with Robert Redford, Manna from Heaven, and four upcoming independent films, The Atticus Institute, Home with Topher Grace, Bread and Butter, and Diani and Devine Meet The Apocalypse. His extensive credits also include performances with the Scottish National Orchestra, the Boston Pops, The Kennedy Center Honors, and the Hollywood Bowl. Mr. Groener is an associate artist at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and a Founding Member of The Antaeus Company here in Los Angeles. He is happily married to his wife of 36 years, Dawn Didawick

Sharon Lawrence -- TV: Upcoming for Amazon, Chris Carter's "The After"; recurring on "Matador" and "Rizzoli and Isles"; guests on "Curb Your Enthusiasm"; "Grey's Anatomy" (Emmy Nomination); "Desperate Housewives"; "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit"; and fan favorites "Drop Dead Diva"; "One Tree Hill"; series regular on "NYPD Blue" (three Emmy Award nominations, Screen Actor's Guild Award); "Fired Up" and "Ladies Man." Film: Solace with Anthony Hopkins; Una Vida; Grace; Middle of Nowhere; Little Black Book; Thinspo; Gossip; and The Other Thrill. Broadway: Chicago (Velma); Fiddler on the Roof with Topol; Cabaret with Joel Grey; and Zorba with Anthony Quinn. Off Broadway: Tongue of a Bird with Cherry Jones and Melissa Leo. Stage: Center Theater Group's Poor Behavior; The Pasadena Playhouse's A Song at Twilight and Orson's Shadow (Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award - Best Supporting Actress and Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award nomination); and Geffen Playhouse's Under the Blue Sky. 2013 Ten Chimneys Fellow. Former Chair of Women In Film Foundation. Currently on the Board of Directors of Heal the Bay and SAG Foundation.



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