By: Jan. 03, 2018
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TACT/ The Actors Company Theatre (Scott Alan Evans, Artistic Executive Director; Nora Chester & Jeffrey C. Hawkins, Associate Artistic Directors), the award-winning Off-Broadway company celebrating its 25th Anniversary Season, today announced the cast for Three Wise Guys, the World Premiere of a new comedy by Scott Alan Evans & Jeffrey Couchman, based on Damon Runyon's short stories, "Dancing Dan's Christmas" and "The Three Wise Guys."

Mr. Evans directs a cast that features Jeffrey C. Hawkins, Joel Jones, Karl Kenzler, Victoria Mack, Ron McClary, John Plumpis, and Dana Smith-Croll. The design team includes Jason Ardizzone-West (scenic), David Toser (costumes), M.L. Geiger (lighting), Bart Fasbender (sound), Dan Scully (projections), and Andrew Gaukel (puppetry), with original music by Joseph Trapanese.

Performances will begin Wednesday, February 28th, at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues) and continue for a strictly limited run through April 14th only. Opening Night is set for Sunday March 11th.

"We wanted to do something really special for TACT's 25th Anniversary Season, so we created a piece especially for our company of actors - much in the same way we did 15 years ago when we created The Triangle Factory Fire Project, another original work based on historic literary sources and made by and for TACT. Three Wise Guys was developed in our newTACTics New Play Program and this production is going to be big, splashy, and highly theatrical," says Mr. Evans.

It's Christmas Eve 1932: Three New York guys, each preoccupied with his own particular problems and not especially fond of the season, find themselves in Good Time Charley's speakeasy. As the bootleg liquor flows, the guys agree to band together and take to the road to avoid the holiday hubbub. Well, that and a notorious racketeer is after them so they better get out of town! Over one long, life-changing night, they make some big decisions while inadvertently spreading good cheer to one and all. Based on the beloved Runyon stories "The Three Wise Guys" and "Dancing Dan's Christmas," Three Wise Guys is the latest in a series of Premiere produced by TACT, including Noël Coward's Salute to the Brave, The Gravedigger's Lullaby, and The Triangle Factory Fire Project, among others.

Damon Runyon (1880-1946) is best known today as the source for Nathan Detroit, Miss Adelaide, and the other New York characters of the Frank Loesser musical Guys and Dolls (1950). In his own time, however, Runyon was legendary as a colorful sports writer and feature columnist for the Hearst newspapers. He was also a prolific poet of often grimly humorous verse and author of short fiction even before he wrote the tales of those Broadway guys and dolls that gave him lasting fame and considerable fortune. So distinctive is his style that his name has become a common adjective, "Runyonesque," which refers both to a character on the fringes of respectable society, who nevertheless lives by a strict code of outlaw honor, and to a distinctive argot. Runyon's work is still in print the world over and lives on as well in the many films made from his stories, including such classics as Frank Capra's Lady for a Day (1933) and its remake, Pocketful of Miracles (1961), based on Runyon's touching "Madame La Gimp," and Little Miss Marker (1934), starring Shirley Temple as Runyon's diminutive charmer (also remade, 1949 and 1980). Joining the long line of Runyon adaptations, Three Wise Guys, based on two of Runyon's best stories ("Dancing Dan's Christmas" and "The Three Wise Guys"), strives to remain true to the language, humor, and plot twists of a writer who, in the words of biographer John Mosedale, "invented Broadway."

Jeffrey Couchman (Playwright) has worked in Hollywood, collaborating on screenplays for various studios, and has written the book and lyrics for two musicals: Blood and Fire and Battleship Potemkin (most recently performed in Berlin at Gallisas Theaterverlag). His fiction has been published in many literary journals. He is the author of the well-received book "The Night of the Hunter": A Biography of a Film and editor of an annotated edition of two film scripts by James Agee, "The African Queen" and "The Night of the Hunter:" First and Final Screenplays, part of The Works of James Agee, a series published by University of Tennessee Press. He is currently translating a new German musical, Zeppelin, into English.

?Scott Alan Evans (Playwright/Director) is the Artistic Executive Director and a Founding Member of TACT/The Actors Company Theatre. For 25 seasons TACT has unearthed and Evans has produced and/or directed over 160 lost, forgotten or under-appreciated plays, bringing many vibrant titles back to the canon of plays produced. For TACT, he adapted and directed the US premiere of Noël Coward's Long Island Sound, and adapted and directed concert versions of Noël Coward's Semi-Monde (U.S. Premiere), Broadway by Philip Dunning and George Abbott and, most recently, the world premiere of Noel Coward's Salute to the Brave starring Jennifer Ehle and Kristine Nielsen. Evans has produced all 23 and directed 12 of TACT's Mainstage productions presented at their current home at Theater Row, including Home, The Sea, The Runner Stumbles, Incident at Vichy, The Cocktail Party, Three Men on a Horse, Children, Happy Birthday, Beyond Therapy, Hard Love and, most recently, She Stoops to Conquer, which he also adapted. He conceived, co-wrote, and directed the world premiere of The Triangle Factory Project. The play is published by Dramatists Play Services and continues to be produced across the country. Evans also created the TACT Salon play-reading style and has helmed well over 50 of them over the years. His work with TACT also includes the creation of newTACTics, the company's new play development program. In the seven years newTACTics has been running the program has developed 29 new works, nine of which have gone on to full productions in this country and internationally. In addition to his work with TACT, Evans wrote & directed the musical, Goose! Beyond the Nursery (3 Outer Critic Circle Award nominations including Best Off-Broadway Production) among others, and has directed classics and new works across the country. Mr. Evans served for 10 years as Artistic Director of the American Musicals Project, for the New York Historical Society, producing an annual concert series celebrating great musical theatre writers and featuring Broadway headliners. He is a member of SDC and the Dramatist Guild.

TACT, now celebrating its 25th anniversary season, is a company of theatre artists that reveals, reclaims, and re-imagines great plays of literary merit, creating an intimate theatre experience for its audience by focusing on the text and the actor's ability to bring it to life. From the beginning, TACT made its reputation with its Concert Performance productions: fully rehearsed presentations stripped down to their essence. Staged in their intimate studio space, these performances (currently known as our Salon Series) feature simple staging, costuming, and lighting, refocusing the emphasis of the drama away from spectacle and production and back to the words and the actor - creating theatre in its purest form. This style grew out of the belief that the true magic of theatre lies in the special connection between the artist, the work of art, and the fully engaged audience. TACT is a resident company of NYC's famed Theatre Row and produces their Mainstage Off-Broadway productions there in the Beckett Theatre. In addition, TACT presents the Salon Series in their studio space at 900 Broadway. Both spaces allow audiences to enjoy an up-close and personal experience with both the play and the artists.

Performances will be Tuesday through Friday evenings at 8pm, Saturdays at 2pm & 8pm, with Sunday matinees at 3pm. Special added matinee on Wednesday, April 11th at 2pm.

Three Wise Guys will take place at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues).

Tickets are on sale NOW! All tickets are $65, including a $2.25 restoration fee. To purchase tickets, go to Telecharge.com or call 212/239-6200 or visit the Theatre Row Box Office (410 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues).

For more information, visit TACT on the web at tactnyc.org/ or call 212-645-8228.


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