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Photo Flash: Laguna Playhouse Presents BILLY & RAY

Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham is thrilled to announce the second show in the Laguna Playhouse 2016-2017 season, BILLY & RAY, written by Mike Bencivenga and directed by Michael Matthews. "Old Hollywood comes to Laguna Beach in this comedy about the making one of the most iconic films of the 1940s. I have been wanting director Michael Matthews to direct at The Playhouse for so long and think this is the perfect show for his unique vision. Our audiences and subscribers are in for a hilarious and wild ride," says Wareham. BILLY & RAY will begin previews on Wednesday, October 5; will open on Sunday, October 9 and will run through Sunday, October 30, 2016 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

Hollywood legends, director Billy Wilder and crime novelist Raymond Chandler, battled censors, and each other, to write the classic film noir "Double Indemnity." Go behind-the-scenes on this deadly funny journey through a war of creativity between two brilliant writers who nearly killed each other during the making of this Academy Award nominated masterpiece.

Mike Bencivenga (Playwright) His full-length plays include Single Bullet Theory, Couplets, Billy & Ray, Summer On Fire and Bad Hearts. In 2013, BILLY & RAY won the W. Keith Hedrick award for best play. It premiered that year at The Falcon Theater under the direction of the legendary Garry Marshall. In 2014 Mike's political comedy, Summer On Fire, won the Christopher Wolk prize for excellence in playwriting. And earlier this year his play Bad Hearts won the prestigious Stanley Drama Award. He has also written and directed two feature films and is an Emmy award winning producer at WABC-TV in New York.

Michael Matthews (Director) Los Angeles: Charm (LA Premiere), Dream Boy (LA Premiere), Bootycandy (LA Premiere, LADCC Nomination, Production), Failure; a Love Story (Ovation Award Best Director) (LA Premiere), Sons of the Prophet (LA Premiere), Psyche; a Modern Rock Opera (World Premiere), Rabbit Hole (La Mirada), Funny Girl (3D Theatricals, Ovation Nomination Best Director), Peter Pan; The Boy Who Hated Mothers (LA Weekly Nominations Best Director and Best Production, Play; LA Premiere), Very Still and Hard To See (LA Weekly Nominations Best Director and Best Production, Play; World Premiere), The Color Purple, The Musical (Ovation and LA Weekly Awards Best Director and Best Produc- tion, Musical), What's Wrong With Angry? (Ovation Nominations Best Director and Best Production, Play), Take Me Out! (Ovation Nomination Best Director, NAACP Award Best Director) The Women of Brewster Place, the Musical (Ovation Nomination Best Director, NAACP Award Best Director, Ovation Award Best Production, Musical; West Coast Premiere), Stupid Kids (LA Premiere), Beautiful Thing (Ovation Nominations, Best Director and Best Production, Play), The Bacchae (Ovation Nominations, Best Director and Best Production, Play), Broadway: Butley (Assistant Director). Chicago: What's Wrong With Angry? (Jeff Nominations, Best Director and Best Production), In The Blood (Jeff Nominations, Best Director and Best Production), Porcelain (Jeff Nomination, Best Director), The Judas Kiss (Chicago Premiere), Being 11 (World Premiere), and...for colored girls who have considered suicide.... International: The Bacchae (Edinburgh Theatre Festival, 2010). Michael is the recipient of the 2015 LADCC Award for Career Achievement in Direction.

The cast of BILLY & RAY features: Blake Ellis ("Jarhead," "Red Tails") as Billy Wilder, Nick Searcy ("Justified," "American Gothic") as Raymond Chandler, Scott Lowell ("Queer as Folk," "Bones") as Joe Sistrom and Joanna Strapp ("Medium," "Studio 60") as Helen Hernandez.

BILLY & RAY has assembled the following design team. Scenic Design is by Stephen Gifford. Lighting Design is by Luke Moyer. Sound Design is by Juan Sanson. Costume Design is by E.B. Brooks. Hair Consultant is Bobby Chamblee. The Stage Manager is Vernon Willet.

BILLY & RAY will begin previews on Wednesday, October 5; will open on Sunday, October 9 at 5:30pm and will run through Sunday, October 30, 2016 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

Performances will be Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm; Sundays at 1pm. There will be additional performances on Thursday, October 6; Thursday, October 20 & Thursday, October 27 at 2:00pm & Sunday, October 9 & 16 &at 5:30.

Tickets range from $35 - $75 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229. Prices subject to change.

The box office is open Mondays - Saturdays: 12p.m. to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); Sundays: 11a.m. - 4p.m. For more information on all shows and programming visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com. For more information on all shows and programming visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com. Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

Founded in 1920, the historic Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously-operating not-for-profit theatres on the West Coast and is proud to be an active participant in the celebrated Laguna Beach arts community. From classic plays and musical comedies to the current off-Broadway smash, cutting edge and traditional music exhibitions, dance festivals and stand-up comedy performances, Laguna Playhouse brings the magical experience of the performing arts direct to over 80,000 patrons each season. A member of the League of Resident Theatres, Laguna Playhouse is also home to the annual Laguna Dance Festival, Laguna Beach Music Festival and Laguna Beach Concert Band.

Laguna Playhouse educational programming, includes year-round classes, productions by and for children and teens (Youth Theatre) and is one of the few companies in the region that offer a curriculum-based professional theatre-touring program, TheatreReach, which aligns with the California State Standards for literature, history and performing arts curriculum.

Serving more than 80,000 patrons each season, Laguna Playhouse has been recognized in 2016 and 2015 as one of Orange County Register's "Best of OC" in the category of Live Theatre. The Playhouse has featured many talented performers on stage, including Leslie Caron, Val Kilmer, Ed Asner, Hershey Felder, Donna McKechnie, Rita Rudner, violinist Joshua Bell, Lee Rocker, ballerina Misty Copeland, Harrison Ford, and Bette Davis.

Learn What's Going On at www.lagunaplayhouse.com.


high res photos

Photo Flash: Laguna Playhouse Presents BILLY & RAY

Photo Flash: Laguna Playhouse Presents BILLY & RAY

Photo Flash: Laguna Playhouse Presents BILLY & RAY

Photo Flash: Laguna Playhouse Presents BILLY & RAY

Photo Flash: Laguna Playhouse Presents BILLY & RAY


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