TACT's THREE WISE GUYS Begins Performances Tomorrow

TACT's THREE WISE GUYS Begins Performances Tomorrow

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, will begin performances tomorrow, Wednesday, 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.

For the added enjoyment of theatergoers, a series of special post-show events will take place offering exciting and informative talkbacks about Runyon, free with ticket purchase for that performance:

March 14 -- PROHIBITION-ERA NYC IN THE AGE OF RUNYON featuring Bob Billingsley, Vice Chairman of Cushman & Wakefield, who is not only an expert on New York City history, but his family had a legendary role in it. Billingsley's father, Logan, was the leader of a notorious group of bootleggers, while his uncle, Sherman Billingsley, was the owner of the high-society Stork Club and a close friend of Damon Runyon. Hear Bob's exciting take on life in the colorful age of Runyon and the quirky guys and dolls who were his friends.

March 15 -- CREATING A LEGACY: THE Damon Runyon CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION with Lorraine Egan, president and CEO of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. When Damon Runyon died of throat cancer in 1946, his close friend Walter Winchell spearheaded fundraising on behalf of cancer research. These efforts eventually resulted in the creation of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. Egan speaks about the organization's continued efforts to raise public awareness and funds for cancer research. TACT will be donating a portion of the proceeds from this evening's ticket sales to the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.

March 28 -- THE TIMELESS WRITING OF Damon Runyon with Mitchell Stephens, New York University Professor of Journalism, and Leonard Cassuto, Fordham University Professor of English and American Studies, who discuss Damon Runyon's distinctive style of writing. This includes his earliest efforts as a reporter and sportswriter as well as his work as one of the best short-story writers of all time.

PLUS - Every Sunday matinee will be followed by a "Meet the Cast & Crew" talkback!


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."

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 at2pm & 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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