World Premiere Of NANCY F***ING REAGAN Opens Next Month At Secret Rose Theatre
A gay high school teacher, who is about to turn 50, needs to be cajoled by his friends to embrace the future and let go of a past he struggles with - sometimes comically - especially the Reagans' troubling AIDS legacy. The world premiere dramedy Nancy F***ing Reagan opens on July 12 at the Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood, where performances will continue through August 4, is being presented by Judith Taranto, written by Daniel Hurewitz and directed by Larry Margo.
Winner of the 2018 Christopher Hewitt Award, and a finalist at the Ashland New Plays Festival in 2018, Nancy F***ing Reagan is set in Palm Springs where David's best friend and college dean, Maggie, has organized a weekend getaway for a few friends to celebrate his birthday. But the death of the former First Lady that same week with TV coverage that whitewashes Nancy Reagan's indifference towards AIDS, provokes David's festering anger, reminding him how the unchecked AIDS epidemic diminished his life and left him single for so many years. The celebration is further derailed when a student from Maggie's college arrives at the house, demanding that Maggie address the ubiquitous racism on their school campus. Inspired by Allison's audacity, the friends begin wrestling with the importance of their own racial and sexual identities. Their arguments, and the hilarious actions they take because of them, end up shifting their lives and relationships in new and un-imagined directions.
The cast features Colbert Alembert (current season of Lucifer on Netflix) as Kenny; Amy Kersten (Hot Mess, Coat Tales) portrays Erica; Mark Sande (Nobodies, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) plays Richard; Greg Ivan Smith (Hamlet, Gross Indecency, Forever Plaid, Compleat Works) plays Jason; Safiya Quinley (The Birds, Hipster Sweatshop) portrays Allison; Kiff Scholl (Son of Semele's Our Class, Sacred Fools' Absolutely Filthy) plays David; and Debi Tinsley (Rumors, Another Antigone, A Dull Pain) plays Maggie. The creative team includes Chris Winfield (Set Design), Cheryl Crosland (Costume and Prop Design), Doug Gabrielle (Lighting Design), Steve Shaw (Sound Design), Doug Haverty (Graphic Design), Courtney Rhodes (Stage Manager), and Judith E (Production Manager).
Daniel Hurewitz's plays also include Reclamation, In My Father's Cabin, Registered, and The Way to Oz. Reclamation was honored by the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation in 2016 and named a semifinalist by the O'Neill Theater Center in 2018. Culver City Public Theater produced The Way to Oz in 2017. In addition to being a playwright, Daniel is a history professor, and has written two books and a short film on LGBT history.
Larry Margo has been a professional actor for over 35 years and has been a member of Group Repertory Theater in NoHo for about 15 years. Most recently, Larry directed Catatonic, a delightful one act play that went on to be published as part of the 2017 Nine Winning One-Acts festival at The Group Rep. The author credited Larry's cast and direction, as well as the company, for getting it published. Larry also directed the play, Crosscut for the 2018 Nine Winning One-Acts festival, written by a local writer and actor, David Robinette. Larry has directed a number of plays over the years and has written and directed two short films.
Nancy F***ing Reagan runs July 12 through August 4, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20-$40. The Secret Rose Theatre is located at 11246 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601. Parking is available in the public lot across the street. The running time is 2 hours and 15 minutes including an intermission. Tickets and more information can be found through Eventbrite at nfrnfr.eventbrite.com, or at https://www.facebook.com/nancyfreagan.
Tickets can also be purchased in person 30-minutes before performances at the theatre's box office. For discount tickets, use the promo code "NFRNFR" when purchasing on Eventbrite. A post-show discussion with members of the cast takes place after the Sunday, July 28 performance.