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Jake Robards & Prentiss Benjamin Star in 'Transit of Venus'

 Jake Robards (son of theatre legend Jason Robards) and Prentiss Benjamin (daughter of stage & screen stars Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss) will soon be starring in the Bickford Theatre's NJ Premiere production of Maureen Hunter's 'Transit Of Venus,' running September 25 to October 19.  They'll also be dishing the dirt on Tuesday, October 7, as Guests of Honor at the Bickford Theatre Guild's Celebrity Tea. 


Jake Robards heads the cast as astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil. Mr. Robards made his Broadway debut as Howie Newsome in Thornton Wilder's 'Our Town' at the Booth Theatre opposite Paul Newman, directed by James Naughton. Other New York stage credits include Johnny Mariani in Fred Pezzulli's new drama, 'Rattlesnake,' at the WorkShop Theater. His numerous film and television credits include 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,' 'A Talent For Trouble,' 'Alone in the Dark,' 'Arranged,' 'You and I,' 'The Gold Digger's Rush,' 'Thanksgiving,' and 'Our Town.' Jake Robards is the youngest son of theatre legend, Jason Robards, Jr.

Prentiss Benjamin co-stars as Margot, Le Gentil's housekeeper and former mistress. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ms. Benjamin trained at Northwestern University, from which she graduated in 2000. She appeared regionally at The Fulton Opera House, The Alley Theatre, The Cape Playhouse, and at Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey. She was also seen Off-Broadway in 'How to Build a Better Tulip' at the Acorn Theatre. Ms. Benjamin is the daughter of acclaimed stage and screen actors, Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss, who was previously announced to co-star with her daughter, but will be unable to visit The Bickford this Season due to recent surgery.

Completing the cast are Anthony Blaha as Demarais, Julie Sihilling as Celeste, and NJ theatre favorite Linda Setzer as Mme. Sylvie.

James Glossman directs 'Transit of Venus,' a love story that charts a celestial course between destiny and desire. Set in a French countryside home in 1760, this New Jersey Premiere is loosely based on astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil and the women in his life, whose lives change during his multi-year absences seeking to observe a rare celestial event: Venus passing between the Earth and Sun.

Main Stage Series performances are Thursdays thru Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $28 for Morris Museum and Bickford Theatre Guild members, $35 for general public, $30 for senior citizens, $15 for students 18 and under or those with a valid school ID, and $27 for groups of 10 or more. An additional Saturday Matinee has been added on October 4 at 2 p.m. Lunch packages at Cinque Figlie are available.

The Bickford Theatre (Eric Hafen, Artistic Director) is a professional theatre that produces and presents year-round entertainment, including a Main Stage Series, two Children's Theatre series, and a Jazz Showcase. The theatre is a Senior Member of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance, a not-for-profit organization of 30 professional theatres throughout the state, and works in conjunction with Actors' Equity Association and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. From its beginnings in 1994 to the present, thousands of theater-goers from across the tri-state area have enjoyed the Bickford Theatre's many entertaining and diversified offerings in theatre, music and dance.

The Bickford Theatre is conveniently located at 6 Normandy Heights Road, in Morristown, New Jersey, within the Morris Museum. Box Office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Walk-up hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets for all 2009-2009 Season productions are currently on sale and can be purchased by calling 973-971-3706 or visiting the Bickford Theatre at

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