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Pulse Ensemble Theatre presents LADIES IN RETIREMENT at Theatre 3


Pulse Ensemble Theatre will present Edward Percy and Reginald Denham's rarely-produced gothic mystery "LADIES IN RETIREMENT" at Theatre 3, 311 West 43rd Street, 3rd Floor, opening March 8 and continuing its limited engagement through April 3. The lively thriller, featuring Drama Desk Award nominee Mikel Sarah Lambert, will be directed by Amnon Kabatchnik, a seasoned director who began his career working with Tyrone Guthrie. Mr. Kabatchnik is one of the nation's foremost authorities on theatrical murder mysteries and the author of three books on the subject.

Originally produced on Broadway in 1940 starring Flora Robson and Estelle Winwood," LADIES IN RETIREMENT" is based on a famous murder in France in the 1880s. The play, while biting and funny, reflects the plight of powerless, impoverished women facing lives of desperation with no social or financial support. Set in an isolated cottage near Gravesend, in Victorian England (1885) sinister changes are set into motion when housekeeper Ellen Creed brings her two needy sisters to visit the lonely house she shares with her colorful mistress Leonora Fiske. The cast features 6 women and one young man. After successful runs on Broadway and London's West End the earthy comedic ‘chiller' was made into a successful film starring Ida Lupino.

PULSE ENSEMBLE THEATRE, now celebrating its 20th season, has presented a wide variety of plays: classics such as JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK, ARMS AND THE MAN, TOP GIRLS and THE SEAGULL. In the murder mystery vein, Pulse has presented acclaimed and entertaining productions of Agatha Christie's MURDER ON THE NILE, THE HOLLOW and TOWARDS ZERO. Six years ago Pulse Ensemble initiated The Harlem Summer Shakespeare, presenting free, fully-staged productions in parks all over the city. These critically acclaimed productions have been seen by over 18,000 NYC residents, many experiencing Shakespeare for the first time. Founded in 1989, Pulse Ensemble Theatre is dedicated to making the classics accessible and exciting to young people; to multi-ethnic casting; to nurturing and developing audiences and actors in NYC; to providing free outreach programs, and to presenting works that deal with women's experiences, particularly focusing on the mature woman.

Pulse Ensemble Theatre's Artistic Director Alexa Kelly said: "I chose this play because it deals with women who are pushed to the limit in a society with no back-up plan to care for or support women. I also chose "Ladies in Retirement" because it allows us to feature so many excellent actresses whose roles are the heart of this story. I have also gathered a team of outstanding women designers to support the play. This production is part of the world-wide 50/50 by 2020 campaign to bring women to employment parity by 2020. Our goal is to give women artists more opportunities in the theatrical arts. We are proud to be part of this world-wide advocacy movement."

Mikel Sarah Lambert (Emily Creed) earned a Drama Desk nomination for THE DAUGHTER IN LAW at the Mint Theatre. The cast also includes Ashley Taylor (Lucy) who has worked at the Shaw Festival; Alexa Kelly (Leonora Fiske) last seen in ‘Leaves of Glass' off-Broadway; Camille Mazurek (Ellen Creed) "Murder on the Nile," "Noises Off"; Burt Grinstead (Albert Feather) just returned from touring in "Hamlet"; Hanna Hayes (Louisa Creed) who won raves for her work with the Gallery Players; and Susan Barrett (Sister Theresa) appeared off-Broadway in "Bold Girls" and "Pick Up 6".

Director Amnon Kabatchnik directed the American premiere of Anton Chekhov's A Country Scandal (Platonov); Evenings with Chekhov; Vincent, a drama about Van Gogh; revivals of Maxwell Anderson's Winterset and John Willard's The Cat and the Canary, all Off-Broadway. At the Phoenix Theatre, he served as assistant to Tyrone Guthrie on Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart and Karl Capek's The Makropolous Secret, and to Tony Richardson on Eugéne Ionesco's The Chairs and The Lesson. Kabatchnik's work in New York earned him the Lola D'Annunzio Honorary Citation for Outstanding Contribution to the Off-Broadway Theatre. Kabatchnik directed numerous dramas, comedies, thrillers and musicals for national road companies, resident theatres, and summer stock. Crime-tinged plays he staged include Arsenic and Old Lace, Angel Street, The Mousetrap, Ten Little Indians, Dracula, Sleuth, Wait until Dark, Dial M for Murder, and A Shot in the Dark. He also directed productions in Israel and Canada. He is the author of Blood on the Stage and Sherlock Holmes on the Stage which explore his life-long work in the theatre and his passion for collecting play scripts, non-fiction works, critical books, novels, and short story compilations in the field of crime and suspense.

Sets will be designed by Zhanna Gurvich (Asst Designer "The Drowsy Chaperone," "Taboo," "Gypsy," "Cabaret") costumes by Angela M. Kahler ("Wellspring," "Frequent Hopping"), lighting design by Steve O'Shea (Westport Playhouse, TADA), sound design by Louis Lopardi (Boston Pops, Boston Ballet), props by Deborah Gaouette (Mint Theatre) with Brian Richardson as Production Stage Manger.

The performance schedule for LADIES IN RETIREMENT at Theatre 3, 311 West 43rd Street (at 8th Avenue), 3rd Floor, will be Wednesday through Saturday at 8 pm with Sunday matinees at 3 PM. All seats at $25 will be available via Ticket Central, or (212) 279-4200 beginning February 15th. The limited engagement of LADIES IN RETIREMENT opens MONDAY, MARCH 8 at 8 PM and continues through April 3, 2010.

"LADIES IN RETIREMENT" Pulse Ensemble Theatre presents Edward Percy and Reginald Denham's gothic mystery March 8 thru April 3 at Theatre 3, 311 West 43rd Street, 3rd Floor. Drama Desk Award nominee Mikel Sarah Lambert is featured, directed by Amnon Kabatchnik Performance schedule: Wednesday-Saturday at 8 pm; Sunday matinees at 3 PM. All seats $25 available via Ticket Central, or (212) 279-4200.

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