YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU
George Backman as Mr. Kirby, Leonard Kelly Young as Paul Sycamore, Paul Ainsley as Boris Kolenkhov and Joseph Fuqua as Ed. Carmichael
Joseph Fuqua as Ed Carmichael and Collette Porteous as Rheba.
George Backman as Mr. Kirby, Leonard Kelly Young as Paul Sycamore, Paul Ainsley as Boris Kolenkhov and Joseph Fuqua as Ed Carmichael.
Joseph Fuqua, Jenny Sullivan
and cast members from
invite you to an
Antique & Prop Auction
With complimentary wine, champagne and hors d'oeuvres.
Wednesday December 19, 2007
A Special Message from
I was told by mother early in life that I was a nester. After re-arranging the furniture and making a tent with blankets and sheets, I’d put my stuffed animals (and any living furry things) into my tent and arrange them in a wee circle. Then I’d crawl in and stay for hours. Mother was right, I was a nester.
“I seek myself through what I have,” I am told is my motto – my astrological motto. I am a Taurus. Evidently a Taurus “collects; acquires.”
Every personal object that touches us – that graces our homes – our walls – our kitchens or hallways represents who we are: what makes us happy; what makes us feel at “home”; what gives us a sense of history, what triggers our imagination.
I have been acquiring things since kindergarten – but only things that are…good. My idea of “good”, mind you.
Actors use beautiful things, sometimes, as props – or as extensions of character. We respond to our surroundings. We create stories about the painting on the wall, the umbrella stand, the candelabra, the books – how they came to be a part of this eccentric, wonderful household and what they mean to us.
When Jenny asked me to “dress” Gary Wissman’s set for You Can’t Take It With You, I was excited to put my nesting instincts to artistic use. When I went looking, I searched for things that were at the heart of this special play and that would represent the unique spirit of the Sycamore family. Things that have souls and are – I think – special.
Come to our auction and see what speaks to you. Think of your Bohemian daughter, your kooky aunt, or your neighbor with the exquisite taste in antiques. Give some of these great special things as gifts.
Dressing this set for You Can’t Take It With You has filed me with admiration. Admiration for things made by hand or decorated by hand or used by hands. My hope is that the “things” for sale in the You CAN take It With You auction may charm you.
I enjoyed acquiring them. They are soulful.
More about the Auction:
Tax Deductions - All proceeds from this auction will go to benefit Rubicon Theatre Company. Tax Deductions are available on bids that exceed the listed value of an item. The amount of a tax deduction would be the difference of the winning bid from the listed value.
Absentee Bids – You can bid on an item without attending personally by submitting an “absentee bid” email to Mychele Dee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Absentee Bid emails must be received by 5:00 p.m. on December 19, 2007.
Please be sure to include the following information:
A representative will contact you if you win the auction item on December 20, 2007 to finalize your transaction.
Adjustment policy – By law every thing sold at AUCTION is “AS-IS, WHERE-IS” with all benefits and faults included.
Item descriptions were created to give you a best attempt at describing what is being sold, however it is not a guarantee. You are the final judge as to whether or not the description is right or wrong. Please contact Christina Burck if you wish to see an item in person prior to the auction. She can be reached at 805-667-2912 ext 244 or via email at email@example.com.
You Can't Take It With You: Pulitzer Prize-winner written by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, directed by Rubicon Artistic Associate Jenny Sullivan, November 15 –December 23, 2007. Starring Karyl Lynn Burns, Winslow Corbett, Joseph Fuqua, Robin Gammell, Harold Gould, Dan Gunther, Amanda McBroom, John Bennett, Perry, Robin Pearson Rose and Bruce Weitz.
“Getting to the altar has never been funnier than in this 1930's screwball comedy. Alice Sycamore invites her fiancée's parents home to meet her family. The Kirby's are stuffy, self-important and wealthy, while the Sycamore's are good-hearted lunatics with little visible means of support. Lifestyles and philosophies collide – with hilarious results. Perfect for the holidays, this charming play adds some spice to the season," state press notes.
UPDATE 5/20/07 - HAMLET AWARDED 4 INDYS!!!
Karyl Lynn Burns, Joseph Fuqua, and Jenny Sullivan with the four awards Rubicon won for Hamlet.
Joseph Fuqua, cool in shades, won for his performance of the lead role in Rubicon’s Hamlet.
|These photos were posted here - courtesy of: indysb1's photostream http://flickr.com/search/?q=Joseph%20Fuqua&w=8328476%40N02|
Joseph does a brilliant star turn in the role of Shakespeare's Melancholy Dane in RTC's current production!!! See details below:
Joseph Fuqua in the title role and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as 'The Actor' in "Hamlet".
Joseph Fuqua in the title role and James O'Neil as King Claudius in "Hamlet".
Joseph Fuqua in the title role and Stephanie Zimbalist as Queen Gertrude in "Hamlet".
Joseph Fuqua in the title role andRemi Sandri as Laertes in "Hamlet".
This year give Mom a classic gift: HAMLET
With so many shows already sold out Rubicon Theatre has added a special Sunday night performance of the world’s most celebrated play.
7:00 pm on Sunday, the 13th.
The press just can’t stop talking about this show:
“Get thee to HAMLET! Joseph Fuqua delivers a star turn as the emotionally torn Danish prince…What a piece of work is HAMLET. How noble in reason and infinite in faculties is actor Joseph Fuqua…Fuqua delivers the royal goods in a performance as expressive as it is spontaneous. Fuqua seems born for Hamlet.” – Los Angeles Times
“Fuqua is ripe for the role…radiating intelligence and a singeing wit.”
“Joseph Fuqua turns in a masterful performance. Fuqua is superb in the complex role.”
"World class…a thrilling success…leaves you wanting more!"
"…a stunningly masterful production!"
HAMLET Must End May 20th!
Only a few performances left with seats still available…so NOW is the time to discover why Hamlet is referred to as “the greatest play ever written.”
Call (805) 667-2900 NOW for tickets!
Playing through May 20, 2007
“Get thee to HAMLET! Joseph Fuqua delivers a star turn as the emotionally torn Danish prince…What a piece of work is HAMLET. How noble in reason and infinite in faculties is actor Joseph Fuqua…Fuqua delivers the royal goods in a performance as expressive as it is spontaneous. Fuqua seems born for Hamlet.”
“Fuqua is ripe for the role…radiating intelligence and a singeing wit.”
“Joseph Fuqua turns in a masterful performance. Fuqua is superb in the complex role.”
His face is familiar. And yet, while you’re sure you know him, you’re not sure when or where you met.
Joseph Fuqua (pronounced FEW-QUAY) has appeared on Rubicon Theatre Company’s stage sixteen times in the last eight years, playing a variety of parts.
In his work with Rubicon, he has lived on a drought-ridden ranch in the Midwest, attended tea parties in England, driven a bus in Mexico and performed concerts in Vienna.
Joseph has recently taken up residence in Elsinore Castle, where he is performing one of the greatest roles in English history, Hamlet. In spite of the complexities of Hamlet’s themes, Joseph’s performance makes the story absolutely accessible.
Joseph noted, “Our Director Jenny Sullivan has guided us in a muscular Shakespeare. No fat on the bone, story-driven, with the imagery at full gallop.”
Joseph does admit occasional waves of grandiosity have assisted him in taking on the role of a prince, however he has generally avoided this malady with the help of his nearest and dearest.
He says, “I’ll go from playing Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, alongside my friends Stephanie Zimbalist, Jim O’Neil, and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. to staying a month with my elderly mother in a senior community in Massachusetts. Suddenly stardom is a distant memory, and I become her personal driver/caterer... taking her to appointments and serving canapes at cocktail parties.”
After years of living in Los Angeles, Joseph recently made the decision to move to Ventura, bringing him closer to his artistic home at Rubicon.
Now Fuqua lives just a block from the theatre, so his commute to Elsinore Castle is a short one.
Call (805) 667-2900 NOW for tickets!
AN ACTOR PREPARES: An Interview with Joseph Fuqua
Q: How do you prepare for a role like Hamlet?
Q: Did you discover anything remarkable while learning the role?
Q: Are there tricks of the trade you’re learned on your way to taking on this pivotal role?
Q: What was it about Rubicon Theatre Company that has elicited your allegiance?
Tickets are going fast…so NOW is the time to discover why Hamlet is
Call (805) 667-2900 NOW for tickets!
April 26 - May 20, 2007
Written by William Shakespeare
Shakespeare's epic tragedy Hamlet reigns as the crown jewel of English literature. Rubicon company member Joseph Fuqua (Tuesdays with Morrie, All My Sons) plays the brooding Prince of Denmark, who is haunted by the loss and possible murder of his father the King, and wracked by the possibility of his mother's infidelity. Artistic Director James O'Neill plays Claudius, and Stephanie Zimbalist is Gertrude.
HAMLET, Then and Now
HAMLET is Shakespeare’s most famous play, and also his most modern. The twisty plot, the undercover hero pretending to be mad, the explorations of duty and revenge, love and sex, friendship and betrayal, are the very fabric of our modern entertainment media. Indeed, we might recognize HAMLET as the prototype for every Crime Scene Investigation program, whether set in the Navy, New York, Miami, Las Vegas or (as in this case) Denmark. Where is the evidence that proves that a crime took place? What can we know? What can we not know? These are dramatic questions that Shakespeare asks of us.
But unlike our familiar television programs (whose purpose, after all, is to sell toothpaste and bathroom tissue), HAMLET leads us deeper into human experience - Shakespeare, writing more than 400 years ago, had no forensic technicians pouring over a victim’s remains with microscopes, cotton swabs and DNA sequencers for evidence of a murder. Shakespeare brings the victim back from the grave to finger his assailant. HAMLET is a ghost story, tacked on to a murder plot, with a chamber piece stuck right in the middle.
Ghosts are “trick-or-treat,” kids-in-costumes and Friday-night-at-the-movies for us, but for the citizens of Shakespeare’s day spirits were absolutely real. Some thought ghosts were the souls of the dead come back to earth as God’s punishment. Others believed that spirits came in two flavors: good or bad (nothing in between). Shakespeare uses everyone’s theory.
So how can we know the ghost’s true nature? That thing calling itself “dear old Dad” and ordering you to kill your uncle might not be what it claims to be - even though tender feelings for your dearly departed father invite you to think of it as “an honest ghost.”
Man’s knowledge is imperfect. Man, himself, is imperfect (a fact of which Hamlet is more than keenly aware). So how can we choose a right course of action? In an age when people were responsible for their own souls and justice was eternal, you did not want to make the wrong choice. It could have lasting consequences.
Shakespeare wrote for an audience who saw the Universe in terms of moral justice, not galaxies and quarks. If Claudius pushed Hamlet’s father off the Danish throne, God, inevitably, will push back - through Hamlet. As the Almighty’s appointed to rule on earth, a rightful king is rightfully concerned for the well being of his people. Claudius (though not a bad politician) is concerned for his own well being. He is the famous “something” that is rotten in Denmark.
A final note: Shakespeare set his play in a remote past - a time when the English paid tribute to Denmark (in money, not warm feelings) to keep the Viking raiders off England’s northern coasts. Our production moves the period to the early 19th century, the Napoleonic era, when national borders and centuries of European tradition were swept aside by war. We draw on the instability of this world. We use its Romantic energies to put the play in fresh context, and to compliment the flow of the action.
-- William Keeler, Dramaturge
Playing April 26 - May 20, 2007
April 26 - May 20, 2007
In Rubicon Theatre's upcoming production of HAMLET we hear Joseph Fuqua, James O'Neil, Stephanie Zimbalist, her father Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. and a company of powerful Shakespearean actors utter phrases that sound familiar. Everyone knows, "To be or not to be...." Yet that is just the beginning.
HAMLET is the source for "Neither a borrower nor a lender be," "To thine own self be true," "O, woe is me," "What a piece of work is a man!" and that infamous line "something is rotten in the state of Denmark." Therapists often quote "There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so," and numerous actors cite the great playwright in support of their craft: "The play's the thing!" If someone denies recognizing any of these, one could say "The lady doth protest too much."
HAMLET was first performed around 1600. Since then, it has proven to be one of the English language's most enduring stories. Rubicon's production is a thrilling roller-coaster ride -- filled with murder, madness and mayhem. Call now for tickets!
HAMLET in Modern Media?
The plot and characters in HAMLET have been the inspiration for many other modern stories. Disney's The Lion King includes themes adapted from HAMLET. The 1970s musical Hair has a subplot featuring a hippy Hamlet, and delivers direct references and quotations from Shakespeare's version.
Additionally, television programs such as "South Park," "Gilligan's Island," "Monty Python's Flying Circus," "Frasier" and "The Simpsons" have featured plots that revolved around HAMLET. And the Klingon Hamlet (full title: The Tragedy of Khamlet, Son of the Emperor of Qo'nos) was a project to translate HAMLET into Klingon for the television series "Star Trek."
References to the play in contemporary media are far too lengthy to list as the play has literally infused itself into our cultural lexicon. On Rubicon Theatre's stage, HAMLET continues to speak the language of yesterday and today.
HAMLET plays April 26th - May 20th
Call (805) 667-2900 NOW for tickets!
Stephanie Zimbalist's Listing: http://www.stephaniezimbalist.net/hamlet.html
Rubicon Theatre Company Presents
Directed by Rubicon Artistic Associate Jenny Sullivan
“The play’s the thing.” - Hamlet
CLICK HERE TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A PROMOTIONAL POSTCARD
Theatremania Listing: http://www.theatermania.com/content/show.cfm/show/126877
Ventana Monthly Listing: http://ventanamonthly.com/article.php?id=135&IssueNum=11
Brown Paper Tickets Listing: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/producerevent/14307?prod_id=3100
Playbill Listing: http://www.playbill.com/events/event_detail/10809.html
Performances from 26 Apr 2007
Opening 28 Apr 2007
Closing 20 May 2007
Show Run Time:
LA Times Calendar Live Listing: http://www.calendarlive.com/search/465047,0,5705222.event
1006 E. Main St., Ventura
Times review: Read the complete Times review
Reader reviews: Write a review | Read more reviews
If the ambitious revival of Shakespeare's evergreen tragedy at the Rubicon has its malefactions, actor Joseph Fuqua delivers the royal goods in a title performance as expressive as it is spontaneous, which prevails past over-edits and stylistic variables.
— David C. Nichols
May 3, 2007
Through May. 20
Sundays: 2 p.m.
Wednesdays: 2 p.m. 7 p.m.
Thursdays: 8 p.m.
Fridays: 8 p.m.
Saturdays: 2 p.m. 8 p.m.
Box office: 805-667-2900
Through May. 20
Joseph Fuqua plays the brooding Prince of Denmark in Shakespeare's epic tragedy.
Jun. 9 - Jul. 1
A teacher at the New England School for the Deaf becomes involved with an intelligent and strong-minded former student who now works at the school as a maid.
Aug. 18 - Sep. 9
A pair of high school sweethearts pretend to be a normal suburban couple, but behind the closed doors of their tract home there's a lot more going on.
Sep. 22 - Oct. 14
Edward Albee's drama depicts a well-to-do Connecticut couple dealing with the return of a divorced daughter and an alcoholic sister, as well as a sudden visit from their neighbors.
Ventura County Star - Joseph Fuqua Article - April 26, 2007:
Santa Barbara News Press - April 27, 2007 Article:
All Content Copyright © 2007 Santa Barbara News-Press / Ampersand Publishing, LLC unless otherwise specified.
Ventura County Star - Thursday, May 3, 2007
Tolucan Times - May 2, 2007 Review:
|The Tolucan Times|
LA TIMES - Thursday, May 3, 2007
Santa Barbara Independent - May 3, 2007 Review: http://independent.com/news/2007/may/03/hamlet-rubicon-theatre/
Hamlet at the Rubicon Theatre.
The Enigma of Hamlet Lives On
Thursday, May 3, 2007
By Bojana Hill
Hamlet has been performed many times since Shakespeare wrote his famous tragedy in 1600. Now the Rubicon Theatre joins the ranks of companies that have produced the world’s most famous play with a stellar production directed by Jenny Sullivan, and with Joseph Fuqua as Hamlet.
James O’Neill’s nuanced portrayal of Claudius presents a villain with a remorseful, penitent side. Leonard Kelly Young (also the Ghost) evidently cherishes the role of the gravedigger in a lighter, comedic scene. The quick pace observed in the soliloquies and dialogues ensures the audience’s complete absorption in this three-hour modern performance of a drama that continues to stir our minds and hearts now, some 400 years after its composition.
Santa Barbara News Press - May 5, 2007 Review:
MAN OF LA MANCHA
Joseph performed the double role of "The Duke/Dr. Carrasco" along with George Ball (Quixote/Cervantes) (Ted Neeley's replacement, due to the JCS AD (nee "Farewell") Tour) in this fabulous production!!! Below is a picture of Joseph as the Duke, and the original brochure picture/listing for La Mancha, before The JCS Tour became a reality.
THEATER REVIEW (LA Times)
'Man of La Mancha's' call to courage resonates
by David C. Nichols, Special to the Times
October 11, 2006
The longevity of "Man of La Mancha" must vex the jaded, even though Mitch Leigh, Dale Wasserman and Joe Darion's 1965 musical goes onward to glory with as much grit as sentiment. Framing the whimsy of "Don Quixote" within the dark context of author Miguel de Cervantes facing the Spanish Inquisition, "La Mancha" is a genuinely serious musical that theatrically entertains without sacrificing its convictions.
These are embodied in its signature anthem, "The Quest" (better known as "The Impossible Dream"), and make the critic-proof Tony winner seem ultra-relevant in the face of recent legislation concerning detainees and torture. This aspect, along with stellar leads George Ball, Jennifer Shelton and Jamie Torcellini, sustains the grandly appointed revival at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura.
Designer Thomas S. Giamario's striking set of stone columns, barred portals and catwalk with cranked-up staircase makes its own statement. The staircase lowers like a drawbridge to hell amid mechanical din and deposits tax collector Cervantes (Ball) and his wary servant (Torcellini). Their kangaroo court by the prisoners becomes a dungeon dramatization of Quixote's misadventures, pitted in real time against the graver trial that awaits upstairs.
At the reviewed Sunday afternoon performance, Ball, staunchly dualistic, triumphed over matinee throat, husbanding his resources for key sequences with old-school resonance.
The golden-voiced Shelton is marvelous as Aldonza, the trollop whose inner maiden Quixote ignites, and Torcellini brings refreshing subtlety to Sancho (Rod Lathim assumes the role starting Nov. 8).
Standouts in the proficient ensemble include Randal Keith's cellblock leader, Joseph Fuqua's cynical realist, Natascha Corrigan's niece, Peggy Billo's housekeeper and Gary Lee Reed's padre.
Marcy Froehlich's 16th century costumes and Jeremy Pivnick's dusky lighting are richly evocative, and if it lacks force, musical director David Potter's synthesizer-driven band compensates with flavor.
They and director James O'Neil explore subtext at the expense of tempos, which adds unnecessary length, while the inserted intermission and some wan transitions blur the play-within-a-play overview.
Cate Caplin provides capable choreography that Sam Zeller's broad Pedro and the muleteers, Melora Hutton's lithe Fermina and her Moorish dancers, almost oversell in their zeal.
Nonetheless, despite a net effect more serviceable than consistently thrilling, the emotional rush of "La Mancha's" inspirational call to courage is undeniable. This resolute reading may not quite reach the unreachable stars, but it certainly aims for them.
`Man of La Mancha'
THEATER REVIEW (Santa Barbara Independent)
Tilting at Windmills
by Charles Donelan, Santa Barbara Independent
October 11, 2006
The Rubicon Theatre has a genuine hit on its hands with this revival of Dale Wasserman’s classic musical Man of La Mancha. Shoehorned onto the modest Rubicon stage was a terrific cast of 25, including George Ball, who was marvelous in the title role, and Jennifer Shelton, a gifted actress and singer who gave her all to the part of Aldonza. Both the music and the direction were expert in this Sunday showing. With the rhythm section of the orchestra driving the score forward from a hidden-away backroom and a tremendous and scary drawbridge as the set’s central physical element, the overall effect was like seeing a big Broadway musical from the best seats in the house.
Man of La Mancha is a play within a play depicting Cervantes’s true-life imprisonment during the Spanish Inquisition. As a way of appeasing his fellow prisoners, the poet improvises a jailhouse version of his work in progress, Don Quixote, using the “talent” available to him. It’s a clever and effective conceit, but it pales in comparison to the story of the “Knight of the Woeful Countenance” that occupies the center of the show’s frame. Few myths of any kind have proven as durable and evocative as that of this man whose madness redeems him and those around him. In a complex interplay of dream, reality, romance, and comedy, Cervantes sets up a sequence of scenes, each of which contains some primal moment of theatrical invention. “The Quest,” the real name for the “Impossible Dream” song that has become the play’s best-known feature, remains one of the supreme examples of a rousing first act closing number, and Ball certainly rose to the occasion.
The second act in this production belonged to Shelton’s Aldonza. Her singing was flawless, and her assured acting turned the play’s most difficult scene — Don Quixote’s deathbed recognition — into an emotional climax. Other standouts included Jamie Torcellini as Sancho, Randal Keith as the innkeeper, Brian MacDonald as the barber, and Gary Lee Reed as the padre. (Fans of Santa Barbara’s Rod Lathim should be interested to know that he will take over the part of Sancho in a few weeks.) James O’Neil, Karyl Lynn Burns, and the entire Rubicon team brought this timeless musical to the stage with style and passion.
THEATER REVIEW (Back Stage West)
Man of La Mancha
by Les Spindle, Back Stage West
October 19, 2006
This 1965 Broadway classic is an exquisitely literate musical. Librettist Dale Wasserman, composer Mitch Leigh, and lyricist Joe Darion brilliantly adapted Miguel de Cervantes' timelessly meaningful 17th-century Spanish novel Don Quixote into a musical drama for the ages. Combining the emotional sweep of grand opera with the cerebral riches of a profound philosophical fable, it's among the most stirring tuners ever written. Director James O'Neil's masterful staging capitalizes on the charming intimacy of the Rubicon Theatre, offering a production overflowing with humor, heart, visual poetry, and musical splendor.
Presented by and at Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St ., Ventura. Oct. 7-Nov. 12 . ( 805 ) 667-2900.
SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS
June 30 - July 3, 2006
Santa Barbara Independent Review: "Home-School Boogie":
"...Of the two characters, lonely senior Lily Harrison is
the more fully realized on the page, but Joseph Fuqua
does a marvelous job of fleshing out aging gay dance
instructor Michael Minetti. Fuqua manages with
confidence Minetti’s quicksilver changes between
recklessly forward and coolly remote. Such strong early
psychological defenses make the deep feelings that break
through later on come across more believably."
12:00 p.m., June 29, 2006
1. Mary Jo Catlett said that the show has a great message that "seniors are alive and well. People may try to forget about them, but seniors are here, and they are active."
2. Partner dancing is huge right now, with shows like Dancing with the Stars drawing big television ratings.
3. The story is progressive and intergenerational, puttina a 40-something gay dance teacher and his 72-year-old pupil against each other as equals in this battle/tango of the wits.
4. Joseph Fuqua, who plays dance instructor Michael Minetti, knows how to take the lead. He said, "I learned that at Arthur Murray in New York, but even more from my partner when I did competitive disco dancing as a teen. She used to say, 'You have to throw me around, Joe!"
5. Mary Jo Catlett will be a familiar voice for all you SpongeBob fans. She's Mrs. Poppy Puff on that show.
6. The seventh lesson is free!
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST
Joseph appeared as "Dale Harding" in this landmark production!!!
|Photo Courtesy of Brian Kaufman
Gigi Bermingham, Chris Butler and Tim Sampson
|Photo Courtesy of Brian Kaufman
The inmates play cards and talk during a scene from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." NOTE: Joseph (with the moustache) is seated second from right)
|Photo Courtesy of Brian Kaufman
Gigi Bermingham, Chris Butler and Cliff DeYoung
A blurb from the Thursday, 3/16/06 Ventura County Reporter's Happenings Listings:
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST Wednesdays-Sundays, March 16-April 9, 8pm. Rubicon Theatre Company presents the first play of the three-show Wasserman Festival, written by Dale Wasserman, based on the novel by Ken Kesey, and directed by Jenny Sullivan. The award-winning drama stars Chris Butler and Tim Sampson, and previews Thursday-Friday, March 16-17, 8pm, and opens Saturday, March 18, 7pm. Opening Night Gala tickets are $85 and include a post-show reception with the actors. Post-show talk-backs are scheduled March 22 and 29; Student matinees March 17 and April 7, 10am and April 7, 10 am; Benefit performance Sunday March 26, 6:30 pm., and a sign interpreted performance Friday, April 7, 8:00pm. $49-$25. Rubicon Theater, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. 667-2900.
The Thursday, 3/23/06 LA Times Calendar Listing:
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Times review: Making a classic story their own
Reader reviews: Write a review | Read other reviews
The Ken Kesey-Dale Wasserman modern fable about a rebel battling the system resonates with particular timeliness in a handsomely-staged revival that takes its iconic characters in some insightful new directions.
-- Philip Brandes
March 24, 2006
Through Apr. 9
Sundays: 2 p.m.
Wednesdays: 2 p.m. 7 p.m.
Thursdays: 8 p.m.
Fridays: 8 p.m.
Saturdays: 7 p.m. 2 p.m. 8 p.m.
Box office: 805-667-2900
The Friday, 3/24/06 LA Times Review:
Making a classic story their own
"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is given a fresh perspective in a staging by Rubicon Theatre Company.
By Philip Brandes, Special to The Times
Through successive page, stage and film incarnations of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Randle P. McMurphy, the boisterous con man-turned psych ward messiah, and his implacable nemesis, Big Nurse Ratched, have become dangerously iconic figures. Reclaiming dramatic complexity from familiar stereotypes is the challenge facing any revival of Dale Wasserman's adaptation of Ken Kesey's allegorical 1962 novel pitting a lone rebel against the Establishment.
Topping the many fine accomplishments of Rubicon Theatre Company's massive production is its success taking the principal antagonists in insightful new directions.
By casting a black McMurphy (Chris Butler), director Jenny Sullivan elegantly and decisively detaches the role from Jack Nicholson's Oscar-winning film portrayal while smartly underscoring the social outsider status of the Kesey-Wasserman protagonist. This McMurphy freely plays his race cards in hilariously un-PC ways, mocking the black ward orderlies and taunting Nurse Ratched (Gigi Bermingham) with Steppenfetchit-style clowning.
Although the play is still set in 1963, Butler's fine performance is calibrated to a more cynical era, shading McMurphy away from the novel's burly, force-of-nature man-child toward a more canny, street-smart survivor adept at sizing up all the angles in a situation. Getting himself transferred from a work farm to Ratched's "cushy" psych ward is the mark of a manipulator more concerned with working the system to his advantage than crusading against it.
Bermingham's refreshing take on Ratched goes beyond the familiar embodiment of an inhuman authoritarian mercilessly defending her orderly routines against a disruptive influence. Instead, she gives us a more personalized sadist who from the outset delights in using red tape to emasculate not only her patients but her psychiatrist supervisor (Cliff DeYoung) as well. Her battles with McMurphy become more of a contest between equals — both exploit the system to advance their agendas.
A key difference from the film is the greater importance given Chief Bromden, the towering, nearly catatonic Native American inmate whose trampled psyche and pride are revived under McMurphy's life-loving influence. Reprising his role from the 2001 Broadway revival is the hauntingly effective Tim Sampson (whose father played Bromden in the film). Bromden narrates Kesey's novel, and his paranoid internal visions of the all-powerful Combine are vividly realized by multimedia designer Mark Ciglar.
A superb ensemble cast convincingly differentiates the lovable but heartbreaking ward loonies (Joseph Fuqua, John Ainsworth, Travis Michael Holder, Dan Gunther, John Slade, Nick Santoro); Kara Revel lights up their lives as the sweet-hearted hooker McMurphy smuggles in for an illicit party that leads to climactic tragedy.
The production's uniquely nuanced dynamics between McMurphy and Ratched notwithstanding, "Cuckoo's Nest" can still be criticized, with some justification, for its black-and-white comic book morality. The psych ward — with its Orwellian surveillance, electro-shock torture and indefinite internment with no legal recourse — is a comfortably distanced alternate reality. Nevertheless, when McMurphy discovers that his fellow inmates have embraced its hollow promises of healing and protection voluntarily, the recognition does give us pause.
'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'
Where: Rubicon Theatre Company, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura
When: 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays
Ends: April 9
Price: $25 to $49
Contact: (805) 667-2900 or www.rubicontheatre.org
Running time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
The LA Times Reader Reviews:
The Thursday, 3/23/06 Ventura County Star Stage Listing:
|'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'
March 23, 2006
The Rubicon Theatre Company presents the first play of its Dale Wasserman Festival. The play, based on the novel by Ken Kesey, runs through April 9 at the theater, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Show times are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays; 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
For tickets — $25-$49, with discounts for groups, seniors, students and military — call 667-2900 or visit http://www.rubicontheatre.org.
The Thursday, 3/23/06 Ventura County Star Review:
The Tuesday, March 21, 2006 (Daily) Variety review:
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
TEST OF WILLS: From left, Gigi Bermingham,
TWELVE ANGRY JURORS (a.k.a.:
Twelve Angry Men")
Inaugural production for RTC's "Show of Justice" Event
June 2005 Issue of CITATIONS: A
View From The Courts - page 20
CASTING CALL TO ALL ATTORNEY ACTORS!
Ventura's Rubicon Theatre Company has announced plans to produce a stage version of Twelve Angry Jurors, starring local attorneys and judges. Maybe even you. The fundraising project is modeled after annual events throughout the country involving judges and lawyers in play productions. Proceeds will be used to renovate the company's historic building and create an endowment.
Company co-founder and director James O'Neil held a news conference to announce reading auditions on June 26-28 for performances on June 4-6. Court of Appeal Justice Steve Perren and Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge George Esken will be involved in the production, which may have multiple casts, depending upon how many people audition.
The local Ventura and Santa Barbara Bars need only supply the actors, as O'Neil says the theatre will provide professional set, lighting, sound and costume designers. One of the company's leading actors, Joseph Fuqua, will direct. Fuqua also directed Rubicon's production of J For J.
This version of Reginald Rose's play Twelve Angry Men, will include roles for both men and women. The play was made famous by Sydney Lumet's 1957 film version featuring Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb.
Rubicon Theatre Company is the region's premier professional theatre company. O'Neil, a native of Santa Barbara, and Karyl Lynn Burns founded the company in 1998. In just seven seasons the company has become the rising star of West Coast theatres. Luminaries such as Ed Asner, George Ball, Stacy Keach, Michael Learned, Amanda McBroom, Linda Purl and Efrem and Stephanie Zimbalist have worked with the company. Jack Lemmon and John Ritter both made their final stage appearances with Rubicon.
Contact the Rubicon Theatre Company for tickets, and informational packet or to schedule an audition (807) 667-2900.
According to a press release issued May 18, the production will be an annual fundraising event for the Rubicon Theatre Company. "The cost for 'Show of Justice' participants ... will be $500 per person and a commitment to buy or sell 25 tickets for $85 to the shows. The organization hopes to net $50,000 in the first year."
Contacts: James O’Neil (805) 667-2900, ext. 228
or Karyl Lynn Burns (805) 667-2900, ext. 224
ATTN: Local and Regional News/Life/Arts Editors
For Immediate Release: May 18, 2005
Local Attorneys and Supreme Court Justice’s Wife “Subpoenaed” to “Give Testimony”
at Ventura ’s Former County Courthouse:
Rubicon Theatre Company Announces “Show of Justice”
Ventura , CA -- Today at noon , in the former Ventura County Courthouse ( Ventura ’s City Hall), Santa Barbara and Ventura County legal professionals, a Supreme Court Justice’s wife and other expert witnesses were “subpoenaed” to “give testimony.”
Local legal heavyweights from the bench and the bar were in attendance, including Frederick H. Bysshe, George Eskin, William Peck; Don Hurley, President of the Ventura County Bar Association; Tom Henshaw, President of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association; Jim Herman, Past President of the State Bar Association; Dennis Jones, a Board Member of the Ventura Trial Lawyers Association and a Partner at Myers, Widders, Gibson, Jones & Schneider; Jerry Oshinsky, a partner with Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky; and Al Vargas, an attorney with Lascher & Lascher and Editor of Citation Magazine.
Celebrity Linda Purl, who played Sarah Novelli, the wife of a Supreme Court Justice on the series “First Monday,” and attorney Charlene Matlock on “Matlock,” appeared as an expert witness. Rosa Lee Measures, former Deputy Mayor of the City of Ventura and Rubicon Honorary Chair, served as special defender of the public good.
The event included a swearing in, opening and closing statements, selection of jurors and some serious pleading. The case was made in less than 30 minutes. It was open and shut.
Was this a juicy legal battle reenacted for Court TV? No! It was a press conference announcing a new annual fundraising event for Rubicon Theatre Company, Ventura ’s non-profit professional theatre company.
Members of the legal profession came together in the San Buenaventura City Hall Council Chambers ( Ventura ’s former County Courthouse ), to lend their support to an idea that has “precedent” at other theatre companies in the U.S. and Canada – an event Rubicon will call “Show of Justice.”
About Show of Justice
“Show of Justice,” according to Rubicon’s Founding Artistic Directors James O’Neil and Karyl Lynn Burns, will give area attorneys and judges an opportunity to test their dramatic skills in a community production on Rubicon’s stage, while also making a direct contribution to Rubicon’s programming. Participants will pay or raise a base fee to participate, and also purchase or sell at least 25 tickets. Auditions will be held and the production will be rehearsed over a several-month period at intervals in spread out the time commitment of the participants. The production will be offered with full costumes, lights, set and sound on Rubicon’s stage, and each performance will be followed by a reception at an area restaurant or hotel for audience members and participants.
The first annual “Show of Justice” is slated for November 4 thru 6 at Rubicon Theatre Company’s intimate 200-seat home in Ventura , located at 1006 E. Main Street (Laurel and Main ). Auditions for the show will take place June 26, 27and 28 at the theatre. Those interested in auditioning may call Chris Rennolds at (805) 667-2900, ext. 225.
Testimony from Attorneys and Supreme Court Justice’s Wife
At today’s press conference, the “testimony” included comments about Rubicon ’s impact on the region by Measures and Jones, who described Rubicon ’s “importance to the cultural, educational and economic life of the region.” Measures stressed that Rubicon has reached more than 165,000 individuals with more than 40 stellar productions in just seven seasons. Jones, whose daughter participated in Rubicon ’s education programs, spoke to the company’s extensive commitment to outreach, through after-school and weekend classes and programs for area students; partnerships with the Boys and Girls Clubs and the City to serve at-risk youth; and summer musical theatre camps.
Purl, an actress with Broadway and Off-Broadway credits in addition to her film and television roles, served as an “expert witness.” Purl spoke from her own experiences at Rubicon , where she portrayed Blanche Dubois in the Company’s recent critically acclaimed production of A Streetcar Namdd Desire. (Purl also played Regina in The Little Foxes, and starred opposite Stacy Keach in Rubicon’s production of Love Letters.) She has worked on and off-Broadway as well. Purl will serve as Artistic Director of a soon-to-be-announced international theatre festival Rubicon is planning for the company’s 10th Anniversary.
Purl made a case for the arts in general, and theatre, specifically, as prevention for society’s ills, stressing its importance in fostering a deeper, personal understanding of belief systems and cultures different from our own.
The “pleading” came from Rubicon’s Managing Director Norbert Tan, who explained the Company’s financial structure. According to Tan, Rubicon, like the majority of non-profit theatres in the country, makes less than half the costs of operation from ticket sales – even with many sold-out houses. “More than $1.3 million of Rubicon’s annual budget must be raised through contributions, grants, sponsorships and fundraising events such as ‘Show of Justice,’ he commented.
The cost for “Show of Justice” participants, said Tan, will be $500 per person and a commitment to buy or sell 25 tickets for $85 each to the shows. The organization hopes to net $50,000 in the first year.
Show of Justice Director
This year’s “Show of Justice” director will be Joseph Fuqua, one of Rubicon ’s leading actors and director of RTC’s production of J for J, written by and featuring Jenny Sullivan and starring Jeff Kober and the late John Ritter. Fuqua won last year’s Ovation Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for his work in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons. An MFA graduate of Yale School of Drama, Mr. Fuqua has also been the recipient of Indie, Rep and Robby Awards. He has appeared on and off-Broadway. Other roles at Rubicon include The Little Foxes with Linda Purl, The Rainmaker with Stephanie Zimbalist and Art with Cliff DeYoung and Bruce Weitz. He will appear this summer at RTC in Tuesday’s with Morrie opposite Harold Gould.
Pending final rights approval, the first “Show of Justice” production will be Twelve Angry Jurors, a version of Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose. Set in New York in 1957, the play is a taut drama set in a jury room in 1957 during a capital murder case. In the play, eleven of twelve jurors gathered believe the defendant is guilty; one juror believes there is “reasonable doubt” – to the frustration of his colleagues. During the heated deliberations, each juror must come to terms with his or her own preconceptions and assumptions and the legal system itself is examined. The play went on to become an Academy Award-winning film produced by Henry Fonda and starring Fonda and Lee J. Cobb.
Rubicon Theatre Company is the region’s premier professional theatre company. O’Neil, a third-generation Santa Barbaran, and Karyl Lynn Burns, founded the Company in Ventura in 1998. In just seven seasons, the company has become the rising star of West Coast theatres. Luminaries such as Ed Asner, George Ball, David Birney, Susan Clark, Cliff DeYoung, Bonnie Franklin, Larry Hagman, Michael Learned, Amanda McBroom, Tony Franciosa, Joe Spano, Bruce Weitz and Efrem and Stephanie Zimbalist have worked with the company. Jack Lemmon made his final stage appearances with Rubicon.
Rubicon was nominated for 20 Ovation Awards in 2004, more than any other individual theatre in Southern California . The company won the coveted award for “Best Production,” for its revival of All My Sons. Rubicon has also received Santa Barbara Indy Awards, Ventura County
Rep Awards, Robby Awards, Garland Awards, and O’Neil recently won the Southern California NAACP Award for Best Director in an Equity Theatre.
Rubicon presents a mainstage season of comedies, dramas and musicals in an intimate 200-seat former church in Ventura ’s Downtown Cultural District. The company is governed by a prominent board of social and civic leaders and administrated by Burns and O’Neil along with Managing Director Norbert Tan, who joined Rubicon two years ago from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In the past twelve months, Rubicon has put a down payment on the 200-seat former church where the company has performed, and launched a capital campaign to renovate the theatre and create a cash reserve and endowment.
For information about sponsorship of “Show of Justice,” audition information, or to purchase tickets, please call Rubicon Theatre Company at (805) 667-2900, ext. 225.
Karyl Lynn Burns
Producing Artistic Director
Rubicon Theatre Company
1006 E. Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001
(805) 667-2900, ext. 24
(805) 667-2903 Fax
Everyone - this is truly a DON'T MISS!!!!!
I saw this amazing production Sunday (7/3/05), it is a beautiful piece of theatre that succeeded despite the complications it had to overcome! (see below) ***)
Nick Weissman / Brooks Institute of Photography
Joseph (left) and Harold Gould in "Tuesdays
With Morrie". Harold plays Morrie and Joseph
plays his student Mitch Albom, in this show
based on the book of the same name written
A concerned Rubicon Supporter wrote this letter, published in the Ventura County Star and posted on insidevc.com today:
|Your letters: West county
June 30, 2005
Threat to 'Tuesdays'
I write for the sole purpose of telling the community of a treasure we have right here in our backyard. It's called the Rubicon Theater, where an excellent production of "Tuesdays With Morrie" is playing. It will run through July 18, but it cannot be publicized, which cuts down dramatically on attendance.
The reason for no publicity seems contradictory to me. Our community theater contracted players, got the rights to the play and did everything by the books. Then, a national company was formed afterward that will visit the Los Angeles area this summer. They called our production and insisted they stop this play -- after all was finished and the play had begun! Unreasonable?
I think so! After many discussions, the compromise of "no advertising" was agreed upon.
Since I am simply a season subscriber to the Rubicon and am not bound by these agreed-upon rules, I want to tell everyone this is by far the very best production of "Tuesdays With Morrie" we have seen. I encourage all in our community to support this and all of the productions.
Doesn't it seem to contradict the idea of promoting public theater when these things happen? Our area needs this and all local theater. Please support it.
-- Arlene Broslow, Oxnard
I spoke with Joseph Fuqua about this after the 7/3 matinee of Morrie. The letter is basically accurate, however, it's not just the advertising Morrie can't have. It can't have any press at all, meaning no reviewers. Now, the matinee was almost sold out, and that's a good thing, BUT, it has to fight for its' audiences. This is a BEAUTIFUL piece of theatre. A very touching, funny, lovely show. Joseph, Harold and Director Jenny Sullivan have all worked VERY HARD to give Ventura, and anyone who can get there, this wonderful production. I IMPLORE you to go see this show. Help them fight back against this "no press" clause and give them the audience they so richly deserve. Morrie plays until July 17th.
Colleen Cason's article - written after the show closed:
Play put Rubicon in a difficult legal situation
By Colleen Cason, ccason@VenturaCountyStar.com
The Rubicon Theatre Company had cast the actors for its production of "Tuesdays with Morrie."
The troupe named a director, created a set and alerted the media.
Indeed, in the weeks before the play's scheduled June 16 opening curtain, the Ventura company had everything in place.
Everything, that is, but the legal right to stage the Jeffrey Hatcher-Mitch Albom play, according to representatives of playwright Albom and the William Morris Agency.
Only through an unusual, last-minute agreement between the 207-seat Rubicon and New York-based entertainment powerhouse William Morris did the play run legally through its final curtain Sunday.
But that pact -- powered together two days before the premiere -- contained a rare provision: The Rubicon was forbidden from publicizing the production.
In trying to control media coverage and still fill the seats in the East Main Street venue, varying stories emerged from the troupe about how the respected, seven-year-old regional theater found itself in this precarious position.
Staging a production without the rights would make the company subject to civil litigation, according to Donald Farber, a New York attorney specializing in theatrical law.
Karyl Lynn Burns, the Rubicon's co-founder, said she thought permission had been secured three months before the opening of the autobiographical play about Detroit columnist Albom's weekly visits with his dying mentor. She learned the troupe did not have the rights during a telephone conversation with a William Morris agent a few days before the show was to open, Burns said.
"We absolutely believed we had the rights," she said.
When asked by The Star to show "Morrie" production-related contracts, Burns declined.
Burns explained in a conversation with The Star's editor, Joe Howry, in June that William Morris had pulled the rights at the eleventh hour because a national touring company was in negotiations to stage the play in Los Angeles with "Barney Miller" star Hal Linden in the lead role.
Jack Tantleff, who handled the matter for the William Morris Agency, would not comment on the record about its dealings with the Rubicon on this production.
Burns, a veteran of local repertory, said the process of obtaining the rights to "Morrie" was unlike that for other Rubicon productions.
"We thought it was a more casual agreement," she said.
Casual is not a word Paul Hough, director of production for the American Heartland Theatre in Kansas City, would use to describe the contract his troupe inked for its just-finished run of "Tuesdays with Morrie."
That contract, said Hough, gave Albom approval over the choice of actors and of certain crew members.
Albom did approve the casting and was in frequent contact with Hough, even returning phone calls during station breaks of Albom's radio show.
The Rubicon had no contact with Albom during casting or rehearsals, Burns said.
And that is telling, said Albom's literary agent, David Black. "Mitch didn't know anything about this (the Rubicon) production before it opened."
"His contracts always specify he has these kinds of approvals, and he always exercises them," Black said.
Theatrical contracts vary widely, according to attorney Farber, and they do often contain clauses forcing smaller theaters to yield their rights if a national company hits town.
The Indiana Repertory Theatre encountered just this situation with "Tuesdays with Morrie," according to Jane Robison, the company's executive director.
Robison received tentative approval to stage "Morrie" at the 600-seat Indianapolis theater. But when she sought a contract for the rights in April of this year, she was told her run -- scheduled to close at the end of December 2005 -- would compete with the Broadway Across America national tour coming into a larger Indianapolis venue on Jan. 17, 2006.
She was forced to substitute another play but had received several months notice.
In her 20 years in the theater business, Robison said, she had never heard of a company having its rights yanked within days of opening.
By all accounts, the no-publicity deal struck between William Morris and the Rubicon also is unusual.
To hold up her end of this bargain, Burns approached Star Editor Howry and asked him not to send a reviewer to the play. The Star reviews most Rubicon productions.
"Karyl Lynn told me the shutdown of this production could bankrupt the Rubicon," Howry said of a discussion held in his office the day before the play's June 18 premiere.
Because the theater is a Ventura County cultural resource, Howry agreed not to review the play.
Burns later declined to give the estimated monetary loss to the troupe had "Morrie" gone dark.
In addition, The Star is a sponsor of the Rubicon. The newspaper provides advertising space to the troupe in exchange for promotional tie-ins, according to Monica White, The Star's director of marketing.
Despite the no-publicity pledge, ads for the Rubicon's production of "Morrie" ran in the Star 19 times during the play's run, White said.
Burns, who is rehearsing her one-woman show "Shirley Valentine," scheduled to open Aug. 18, said she forgot to cancel the ads.
She did write a script for actor Harold Gould to deliver to audiences after several performances of "Morrie."
The character actor, who appeared in the film "Freaky Friday" and on the TV sitcom "Rhoda," encouraged theatergoers to spread the news about the production by word of mouth, according to patron Arlene Broslow.
As Broslow recalls Gould's words, he said the Rubicon had bought the rights and met all legal requirements, but a national touring company eyeing a Los Angeles run wanted this staging of "Morrie" shuttered days before its opening. He then explained the no-publicity pact.
"We in the audience were dumbfounded," Broslow said. "As good as this production was, the people who held the rights were going to shut it down before it even opened."
Despite the lack of reviews, the play drew larger audiences than projected, according to Burns.
Claire Bowman, chairwoman of the Rubicon's board of directors, is grateful to William Morris for allowing the production to be seen by county theatergoers.
"Because of incorrect assumptions on our part, a delicate situation arose," Bowman said in a written statement.
"The rights holders responded in the spirit of the play to allow us the opportunity to present what was a moving, beautiful and comforting experience for several thousand local audience members," she added.
Known for its hardball dealings on behalf its roster of A-list clients, William Morris is cast against type in this scenario -- actually showing its softer side.
"They were generous in finding a compromise," Burns said.
Her sentiments were echoed by Albom's agent, Black.
"What happened here is like the play 'Tuesdays with Morrie' itself. It's about people being decent to each other."
Well the National Tour that caused RTC's "Morrie" so many problems is now going to star RTC's "Morrie" (Harold Gould)! Hal Linden, who was to play Morrie in the tour has had to bow out of the role for personal reasons. (This announcement came with the posting of Steve Magidson's opening gala photo album. You can see two pictures from the album, and find the album link below. Well, I guess Mitch Albom and company are learning that more productions of "Morrie" than they plan for can be a blessing! I bet they're glad RTC did the show now!
Per the Ventura County Reporter (6/17/05):
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE Wed. 2&7pm, Thurs.-Fri. 8pm, Sat. 2&8pm, Sun. 2pm, June 18-July 17, with preview shows Thursday and Friday, June 16-17. Rubicon Theatre Company presents the third production of the company’s 2005 season, Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom’s "Tuesdays with Morrie". Directed by Jenny Sullivan, "Tuesdays with Morrie" reunites Sullivan with actors Harold Gould and Joseph Fuqua in this autobiographical story which follows a successful sports journalist who is driven solely by his career until he learns that a former college professor is battling Lou Gehrig’s disease. What began as a quick visit turns into a weekly pilgrimage and an unforgettable, astonishing lesson on the meaning of life. Also featuring June 18 gala, post-show talkbacks the first two Wednesdays, pre-show themed Friday and Saturday night dinners July 1-2 and an audio-described performance on July 10. Tickets $27-$48, with opening night gala on June 18 for $175 (including show tickets and post-show party with cast and dignitaries.) Rubicon Theatre,1006 E. main St., Ventura. 667-2900.
RUBICON THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS
THE THIRD PRODUCTION OF THE 2005 INTERIM SEASON…
From the internationally-acclaimed best-selling book
Harold Gould Joseph Fuqua
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE
Written by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom
Based on the book by Mitch Albom
Directed by Jenny Sullivan
Limited Engagement opens Saturday, June 18 at Rubicon Theatre in Ventura !
“I was unprepared for how moving and powerful Tuesdays with Morrie turned out to be. On this ground, the flowers of humanity grow.” – New York Post
June 1, 2005 … Ventura …Rubicon Theatre Company presents the third production of the company’s 2005 Season, TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, written by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom (based on the book by Mitch Albom). Directed by Rubicon Artistic Director Jenny Sullivan (Art, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Rainmanker), TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE reunites Sullivan with actors Harold Gould and Joseph Fuqua who starred together in Rubicon’s critically acclaimed production of Old Wicked Songs. TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE opens Saturday, June 18 and plays through Sunday, July 17 at Rubicon Theatre, 1006 East Main St. in Ventura ’s Downtown Cultural District. Low-cost previews are scheduled for June 16 and 17.
This autobiographical story was on The New York Times Bestseller List for more than four years with more than 5 million copies sold. It also inspired an Emmy Award-winning television movie presented by Oprah Winfrey. Tuesdays with Morrie follows a successful sports journalist who is driven solely by his career, until he learns that a former college professor is battling Lou Gehrig's disease. The student and teacher are reunited, and what begins as a quick visit turns into a weekly pilgrimage and an unforgettable and astonishing lesson on the meaning of life.
“We are honored to have Harold Gould back on our stage in the role of Morrie. Morrie is such a wise, funny and charming character, and Hal is perfect for the part. From the first moment we saw Hal onstage – in an astonishing performance of King Lear – we dreamed of having him work at Rubicon. To us, he is one of the greatest stage actors our time. Hal and Joseph have a special chemistry and a wonderful relationship, similar in some ways to that of the two characters. Their friendship serves to deepen their work onstage in this production,” says Rubicon Producing Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns. “We know our audiences are going to be moved in unexpected ways by this enlightening and life-affirming play!”
JENNY SULLIVAN (Director) is an Artistic Associate at Rubicon, where her credits include Happy Days with Robin Pearson Rose in the company’s West Coast BeckettFest; Art with Cliff DeYoung, Joseph Fuqua and Bruce Weitz; Dancing at Lughnasa with Susan Clark, Bonnie Franklin and Stephanie Zimbalist; Old Wicked Songs with Harold Gould and Joseph Fuqua; The Rainmaker with Stephanie Zimbalist; The Little Foxes with Linda Purl; two casts of Ancestral Voices with Ed Asner, Tony Franciosa, Mariette Hartley, Michael Learned, Joseph Fuqua and Joe Spano; and Love Letters with Jack Lemmon and Felicia Farr. Jenny was Associate Director for the L.A. production of The Vagina Monologues. Also in L.A., Jenny directed premieres of Ad Wars at the Court and Tiffany theatres with David Dukes, Stephanie Zimbalist and John Bennett Perry; The Cat’s Meow with Joseph Fuqua at the Coast Playhouse and Matrix theatres; and Against the Glass at the Court Theatre.
Jenny directed the world premiere of The Baby Dance with Linda Purl and Stephanie Zimbalist at the Pasadena Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre (CT Critics’ Directing Award) and the Lucille Lortel Theatre Off-Broadway. In her six seasons at Williamstown, Jenny directed MACS (A Macaroni Requiem), Defying Gravity, Hotel Oubliette, Dirt and The Ferry Back. Her regional credits include The Elephant Man for San Jose Rep, Listen for Wings at Access Theatre, and Mother Earth/Father Sky and The Shadow Box at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara . Jenny directed radio plays for “The Play’s the Thing” Boston and LA TheatreWorks. Her film credits include “Access All Areas” and “The Next Best Thing” (in which she had the good fortune to direct her father Barry). Rubicon produced the World Premiere of Jenny’s play J for J with Jeff Kober and the late John Ritter in 2001. The production subsequently played at the Court Theatre in L.A.
Cast and Design Team
HAROLD GOULD (Morrie) has received recognition on Broadway for his roles in such plays as John Guare’s House of Blue Leaves, Neil Simon’s Fools, Jules Feiffer’s Grown Ups, and Tom Stoppard’s Artist Descending a Staircase. In L.A. , he performed his one man show Freud and won a Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Circle Award for his role as Ezra Pound in Incommunicado. At various Shakespeare festivals, Harold has performed leading roles in King Lear, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing and Merchant of Venice . He has previously appeared at Rubicon in Old Wicked Songs and Defying Gravity. His impressive list of films includes “The Sting,” “Silent Movie,” “Love and Death,” “The Front Page,” “Seems Like Old Times,” “Patch Adams,” “Stuart Little” and most recently “Freaky Friday.” He has received the ACE Cable TV award for his role in Ray Bradbury’s “To the Chicago Abyss”; and five Emmy nominations for his extensive television work, which includes multiple appearances on “Rhoda” and “The Golden Girls” and a co-starring appearance with Katharine Hepburn in “Mrs. Delafield Wants to Marry.” Harold’s voice is heard on recordings of short stories such as “Jewish Stories from the Old World and New,” and those produced by Symphony Space programs in New York, as well as numerous TV and radio commercials.
JOSEPH FUQUA (Mitch) is Rubicon Theatre’s first company member. He has appeared on and Off-Broadway in Brighton Beach Memoirs, 110 in the Shade ( Lincoln Center ), Raft of the Medusa and Yours, Anne. Regionally, Joseph played Octavius Caesar in Antony and Cleopatra at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Alexei in A Month in the Country at the Arena Stage, Iago in Othello at the Dallas Shakespeare Festival and Louis in Angels in America at the Dallas Theatre Center . Joseph guest starred on “The X-Files,” “The Profiler,” “Brooklyn South,” “The Pretender,” “Chicago Hope,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Becker.” On film, he has appeared in “Ed’s Next Move,” “David Searching,” “Heyday,” and as J.E.B. Stuart in “ Gettysburg ,” a role he reprised in the Warner Brothers film “Gods and Generals” with Robert Duvall. L.A. audiences have seen Joseph in The Cat’s Meow (Drama-Logue Award), Very Truly Yours, On the Jump at South Coast Rep, and All My Sons at the International City Theatre of Long Beach. He made his professional directorial debut with J for J (featuring Jenny Sullivan and the late great, John Ritter), presented by Rubicon Theatre and 11th Hour Productions at the Court Theatre. For Rubicon, Joseph has appeared in A Streetcar Named Desire, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Boys Next Door (Independent Award), Old Wicked Songs, Murder in the First (World Premiere), The Rainmaker (Robby Award and Rep Award), The Little Foxes, The Glass Menagerie, Art, All My Sons (Ovation Award) and The Night of the Iguana. Joseph received his MFA from Yale School of Drama. When not on stage, Joseph directs projects for Rubicon’s Young Professionals program and teaches adult acting.
The set design for TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE is by Tom Buderwitz (Toys in the Attic). Lighting Design is by Jeremy Pivnick (Night of the Iguana, Waiting for Godot). Sound Design is by Cricket Myers (Floyd Collins) and Drew Dalzell (Songs for a New World). Costume design is by Marcy Froehlich (Waiting for Godot, Dancing at Lughnasa). The Production Stage Manager for TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE is Kathleen J. Parsons.
Schedule and Pricing
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE previews Thursday, June 16 ($25) and Friday, June 17 ($30), and opens on Saturday, June 18 (Gala ticket $175). The production runs through Sunday, July 17. Performances are Wednesdays at 2:00 pm ($27) and 7:00 pm ($38); Thursdays at 8:00 pm ($38); Fridays at 8:00 pm ($43); Saturdays at 2:00 pm ($38) and 8:00 pm ($48) and Sundays at 2:00 pm ($38). Seniors and military personnel save $2 per ticket. Discounts are available for groups of 12 or more. The opening night gala includes show tickets and a post-show party with the cast and dignitaries.
Other special performances are as follows: post-show talkbacks the first two Wednesdays of the run with the cast (June 22 and 29); pre-show themed Friday and Saturday night dinner includes a per-show discussion with Rubicon’s artistic team on July 1 and July 2 ($25 for subscribers; $30 for general public), and an audio-described performance on Sunday, July 10 at 2:00 p.m.
All performances are at Rubicon Theatre, an intimate historic church built in the 1920s. The theatre is located at 1006 East Main Street (the corner of Main and Laurel ) in Ventura ’s Downtown Cultural District.
TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE is sponsored by Barbara and Larry Meister and co-sponsored by Santa Barbara Bank and Trust. Season Sponsors include Sandra and Jordan Laby, Loretta and Mike Merewether, San Buenaventura Foundation for the Arts and Micheline and Albert Sakharoff. For tickets to TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, please call (805) 667-2900.
For publicity photos, press information or press comps, contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818/508-1754 or at ElzerD@aol.com.
Rubicon Theatre Company is Ventura County ’s premier non-profit professional theatre company. Founded in 1998 by Artistic Directors James O’Neil and Karyl Lynn Burns, and administrated by O’Neil and Burns with Managing Director Norbert Tan, the mission of the company is to present a diverse season of classic and contemporary comedies, dramas and musicals for the entertainment, enrichment and education of residents and visitors to the region. In seven seasons, Rubicon has presented more than 45 productions and outreach programs to more than 165,000 audience members. The Company recently received three Ovation Awards, including Best Production for “All My Sons.” O’Neil received an NAACP Award for Best Director for “Driving Miss Daisy,” which tours to Canada next season. Other highlights of 2004 included an international collaboration with the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Canada and the first West Coast BeckettFest. Rubicon made a down payment on the building in which it resides last year, and future renovation plans are in development. For a brochure or more information about the Company, call (805) 667-2900 or visit Rubicon on the web at www.rubicontheatre.org.
Some VERY SPECIAL articles on "Morrie" in the Ventura Country Star and on venturacountrystar.com today:
Touched by 'Tuesdays'
Actor resisted the dark topic at first but, when Rubicon Theatre part came to him, he answered call to 'Morrie'
By Karen Lindell klindell@VenturaCountyStar.com
"Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live."
-- Morrie Schwartz
Joseph Fuqua received not one but two copies of Mitch Albom's "Tuesdays with Morrie" from well-meaning sympathizers when his father died in 1999.
One look at the best-selling memoir's subtitle -- "an old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson" -- and Fuqua wanted nothing to do with Morrie.
"I resisted. I didn't want to deal with that," said the actor of the book's title subject: a man dying from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.
Duty called, however, when Fuqua landed the role of Albom in the Rubicon Theatre Co.'s stage production of "Tuesdays with Morrie," which opens Saturday.
After an in-depth reading of the book to prepare for the play, Fuqua finally understood the same thing as millions of others who've been touched by "Tuesdays with Morrie" since its publication in 1997: that death isn't a dirty word to be buried or swept away, and matters of life and death aren't really so different.
Don't cue the funeral march
In 1995, Albom, a hotshot sports columnist for the Detroit Free Press, was blissfully inundated with deadlines, interviews and frenzied days on the road when he saw his former sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz, on "Nightline" with Ted Koppel.
Schwartz, who had been Albom's favorite teacher at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, was dying from ALS.
"Nightline" wanted to profile Schwartz because of his determination to go proudly -- but gently -- into the night.
To keep his condition from becoming something people whispered about with pity, or avoided discussing at all, Schwartz was determined to "walk that final bridge between life and death, and narrate the trip."
Albom was invited along for the journey.
He started visiting the ailing Schwartz regularly on Tuesdays. Their teacher-student relationship continued, but this time the subjects weren't so academic: death, fear, aging, greed, marriage, family, society and forgiveness, to name a few.
"Dying is only one thing to be sad over," Schwartz tells Albom. "Living unhappily is something else."
"Are you at peace with yourself?" "Are you trying to be as human as can be?" Schwartz challenges Albom.
Like Fuqua, Harold Gould, who plays Schwartz in Rubicon's production, was reluctant to delve into the story of Morrie.
"I've been spoken to before about playing this role," Gould said during a joint interview with Fuqua for The Star, "but wasn't interested because I thought it was about death and physical deterioration."
After agreeing to play Schwartz in Rubicon's production (because director Jenny Sullivan and the Rubicon Theater Co. "are like family," Gould said), he's been surprised at how "undepressing" the story is.
"It's filled with the spice of life; it's not unremittingly funereal," Gould said.
Humanity, not sentimentality
Gould, while reading up on ALS, an incurable nerve disease that causes loss of muscle control, discovered "there are differences in patients who suffer from it" -- not in their symptoms, but in their response to the condition.
Some react with bitterness and rage. Famed science author Stephen Hawking has continued to connect with his mind.
But Schwartz, who died relatively shortly after his diagnosis, decided to "make connections with people, to teach the value of love, compassion, consideration and acceptance of where you are," Gould said.
Schwartz's sage advice -- of the "stop and smell the flowers," "carpe diem" and "give and you shall receive" variety -- isn't so different from what rabbis, preachers and philosophers have been saying for thousands of years.
But Schwartz is more persuasive than these wise men and women, Gould said, "because he's dying. It's so much more than Billy Graham. It comes out of his pores. You really accept his humanity."
Fuqua agreed, explaining that he finally "got" the book's message because "I really like Morrie. He's a real person."
Gould admitted that the story can at times be "lovey-dovey, easy, melting," but avoids sentimentality by reminding us that humanity isn't always pretty.
At the end of his life, Schwartz couldn't walk or eat normal food. He had difficulty breathing, coughed for long periods of time, and as he told Koppel during the "Nightline" interview, "Well, Ted, one day soon, someone's gonna have to wipe my ass."
(The book goes into more graphic detail than the play about the physical effects of ALS.)
Two men and a stage
The stage version of "Tuesdays with Morrie," co-written by Albom with Jeffrey Hatcher, debuted off-Broadway in 2002.
Unlike the book -- or the 1999 TV movie produced by Oprah Winfrey, which won four Emmy Awards -- the two-actor play focuses solely on Albom and Schwartz. We learn about other people mentioned in the book only through dialogue.
Fuqua and Gould's dialogue with each other is as endearing and respectful as the exchanges between Albom and Schwartz.
During the interview with The Star, for example, the actors engaged in thoughtful conversation, directing their answers, comments and banter toward each other rather than to a reporter.
It's tempting to compare Fuqua, 43, and Gould, 81, to their counterparts in "Tuesdays with Morrie" (in the book, Albom is 37 and Schwartz is 78).
The actors, both Rubicon veterans, starred together in Rubicon's "Old Wicked Songs," a drama about a young piano virtuoso (Fuqua) who is forced to take singing lessons from an emotionally fragile teacher (Gould).
They are reprising a similar "mentor-mentee" relationship onstage in "Tuesdays with Morrie."
But offstage, Gould and Schwartz heap plenty of praise on each other, which suggests that despite their age difference, as actors and friends they are more like peers than student and teacher.
Life 101 syllabus
Fuqua and Gould shared some of their favorite "Morrie principles" for living:
"This is a little greeting card-ish," Fuqua said, "but I like the idea that giving is living. When you give of yourself like Morrie did, then when you die you're not really gone."
Gould found comfort in Schwartz's advice to "forgive everybody, even if you're 100 percent right." Or in the case of Albom, even if he's not.
Fuqua and Gould admit that at first they were disappointed to hear about Albom's recent tangle with journalistic ethics at the Detroit Free Press.
The newspaper briefly suspended Albom while investigating a column in which he described two basketball players watching a game at their alma mater. Albom had written the column as an advance story, and the players didn't actually attend the game.
A subsequent review of his past columns also found that sometimes Albom (and other columnists at the paper) quoted material from other media without proper attribution.
Albom defended his approach to quoting other sources, and his column has been reinstated at the paper.
But Gould and Fuqua were willing to forgive.
"He got sucked into the pressure of his former existence," Gould said. "It's very tempting and understandable."
"Right away I thought, 'I wonder if Morrie is rolling over in his grave,' " Fuqua said. "I feel like Mitch Albom didn't get all the lessons.
"But that's humanity. It's not a perfect wash. You can always go back into darkness, and then see the light again."
"Tuesdays .with Morrie"
The play, based on Mitch Albom's book of the same name, opens at 7 p.m. Saturday, with previews today and Friday, at the Rubicon Theatre Co., starring Joseph Fuqua and Harold Gould, and directed by Jenny Sullivan. After opening night, regular shows continue through July 17 at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays; .7 p.m. Wednesdays; and .8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The Rubicon Theatre is at 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. Tickets cost $25-$30 for previews, $175 for opening night (includes a post-show party with the cast) and $27-$48 for regular shows. For more information, call 667-2900 or visit the Web site, http://www.rubicontheatre.org.
Nick Weissman / Brooks
Institute of Photography
Joseph Fuqua stars as Mitch and Harold Gould stars as Morrie in the Rubicon Theatre Company's production of "Tuesdays with Morrie," written by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom and directed by Jenny Sullivan.
FROM THE RUBICON "TUESDAY'S WITH MORRIE" OPENING NIGHT GALA:
Here's the link to Steve Magidson's
Ofoto "Morrie" album:
Here's Joseph with (Left to right) Diane & David Grimes, and Eric & Deidre Magidson.
Harold Gould ("Morrie") and his wife Leah.
|Nick Weissman / Brooks Institute of Photography
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Stephanie Zimbalist, both center, star in "The Night of the Iguana." Richard Eden, far left, and Stephanie McNamara co-star.
Photo courtesy of RTC and VCS
|ED KRIEGER PHOTOS
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and his daughter Stephanie Zimbalist star in the Rubicon Theatre Company's production of "The Night of the Iguana."
Photo courtesy of RTC and SBNP
|Richard Eden and Stephanie Zimbalist in "The Night of the Iguana."
Photo courtesy of RTC and SBNP
|Efrem Zimbalist Jr. had guest-starred on his daughter’s series “Remington Steele,” but “The Night of the Iguana ” is their first play together.
(Bryan Chan / LAT)
Photo courtesy of RTC and LAT
|Stephanie Zimbalist and her father, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., have a touching rapport in “Iguana.”
(Nick Weissman / Brooks Institute of Photography)
Photo courtesy of RTC and LAT
LATIMES 10/22 CalendarLive Listing:
The 10/27 Backstage West Review
October 27, 2004
The Night of the Iguana
Reviewed By Tom Jacobs
" The Night of the Iguana"
| An American classic, set in Mexico, co-produced with a company from Canada: No one can accuse the Rubicon Theatre Company's The Night of the Iguana of being parochial. Tennessee Williams' 1961 classic is a huge undertaking, requiring a cast of 14 and a running time of three and one-quarter hours. In economic terms, at least, the play is a logical candidate for the Rubicon's first co-production with the Manitoba Theatre Centre, where it will move following its Ventura run. Artistically the results of this cross-border collaboration are somewhat mixed, although the positives far outweigh the negatives.
Set in a rundown resort on the western coast of Mexico in 1940, this lyrical, wistful play eschews the tragedy of Williams' previous work for a feeling of resigned acceptance. It's driven by character rather than plot, and demands forceful yet subtle acting. The mixed cast of Canadians and Rubicon regulars, under the direction of Jim O'Neil, generally rises to the challenge. Richard Eden is enormously compelling in the central role of Shannon, a defrocked Episcopal priest who leads busloads of tourists through exotic locales. One of Williams' most passionate and self-aware characters, Eden makes Shannon's inner struggles so palpable he's almost frightening to watch. His fellow Canadian, Stephanie McNamara, is disappointing as the earthy hotel proprietor Maxine; she captures the lusty widow's exuberance, but not the desperation that drives it.
As a repressed New England spinster--and Shannon's soul mate--Stephanie Zimbalist conveys a haunted quality underneath the character's placid surface. Her real-life father, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., brings a lovely aura of grace and style to his portrayal of a 97-year-old poet. Production values are outstanding-- particularly Gary Wissmann's set. The hotel's veranda is overrun with foliage and empty beer bottles, in a nice visual representation of Williams' theme: that nature, including human nature, keeps intruding on our well-made plans.
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Copyright 2004 Back Stage
Karyl Lynn's 10/21 Rubicon Patron Letter: (10/21 Ventura Country Star review)
Only 2 more weeks left! Must close November 7 in Ventura. See Stephanie Zimbalist and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. on stage together for the first time. Mention this e-mail and save $2 per ticket.
Ventura County Star Review
Like father, like daughter
Zimbalists stand out in Rubicon's 'The Night of the Iguana'
By Rita Moran, Arts writer
The feverish atmosphere of "The Night of the Iguana" flushes out colorful characters in vivid performances. But the calmest role of them all, the New England spinster played by Stephanie Zimbalist, is the most watchable. Zimbalist, in a luminous portrayal, is almost supernaturally serene, but it is a serenity with layers of emotion subtly portrayed.
Tennessee Williams, setting his drama in a sultry outpost on the coast of western Mexico, assembles some of his usual suspects with variations: a disillusioned and defrocked Episcopal priest; the sexually primed and recently widowed woman proprietor of the shabby hotel; and an assortment of loose, prim and oblivious characters to act as counterpoint.
But it is the sublime Stephanie Zimbalist and her father, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., on stage together for the first time in their impressive careers, who hold the spotlight: Stephanie as a woman who has come to terms with a life lived by her wits and skills, and Efrem as her 97-year-old grandfather, a poet who is a "minor league talent with a major league spirit." As the two make their way around Mexico, selling their creative skills — hers as a sketch artist, his as a poet — the bond between the actors illuminates the bond between the characters.
Stephanie's Hannah is steady but tinted by nuance, especially in her scenes with the most passionate undercurrents, and Efrem's Nono is totally endearing as a proud, fading man with enough remnants of wit to dart a sharp comment here and there. The Rubicon Theatre is blessed to have the Zimbalists together for their pivotal roles in Williams' charged drama.
'Man of God on vacation'
The foil to Hannah's hard-won balance is the Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon, the demon-plagued priest who lost his one and only parish post by first engaging in fornication with a young churchgoer and then preaching his new-found heresy, blaming a God he finds "a peevish old man." The fault, Shannon insists, is not his own but rather a God who has ineffectively constructed man as too weak to withstand temptations. Richard Eden injects Shannon with a twitchy restlessness but a touch of resolve. The "man of God on vacation" manages to stay off the booze through most of the day and night stretch of the play, and summons wisps of character, bolstered by Hannah, to set free a tethered iguana and to understand just where the subtle line is in his relationship with the sympathetic spinster. It's a credit to Stephanie Zimbalist and Eden that the delicate interplay of their characters is revealed as the poker-playing Hannah and the ex-priest with vestiges of empathy gently barter for love and independence.
For a few precious moments they breathe the same air of longing. As Shannon hovers near Hannah, perhaps deciding whether he wants to take their intellectual and emotional bond to the physical, she tells Shannon that he'll never be dangerous to anyone but himself. He almost imperceptibly stops his approach; she lets out her suspended breath. A different path might have been taken, but both seem to realize that it might not have been a better one.
Instead, Shannon turns to Maxine, the hotel's proprietor, newly widowed and endowed with an easy sexuality that she would obviously be happy to share with Shannon. Stephanie McNamara, one of the Manitoba actors in the co-production, is the high-energy, free-wheeling Maxine whose motives aren't entirely sexual. In her own way, she cares for the man.
Fine supporting cast
Laurel Lyle as the tightly wound leader of the touring Baptist group and Anne Ross as the determined young woman Shannon has toyed with represent the life he's escaping, as do the replacement tour leader Jake Latta, played with smarmy offensiveness by Rubicon regular Joseph Fuqua, and the clueless tour bus driver, played convincingly by Chris Cotone.
Somewhere in "Iguana" there's a line that spells out the central fact that "People need human contact." It's that need, and the grace that buoys the spirit when it's met, if only briefly, that makes Williams' play, despite its sometimes bizarre characters and gaudy emotions, continuously relevant.
Through its partnership with Manitoba Theatre Center, Rubicon has been able to build a thoroughly atmospheric set centered on the hotel's veranda. Original music by Hekar Rivera and Steven Sunnarborg reinforces the locale.
"Iguana" continues at the Rubicon through Nov. 7, then moves to Manitoba. Both companies should be happy with this finely wrought production of a Williams classic.
E-mail Rita Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Review: "THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA"
Rubicon Theatre Company performs Tennessee Williams' classic play at 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays and 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Nov. 7 at 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. For tickets, $25-$47, call 667-2900.
October 20 - LATimes review entitled: "A striking view of human frailty"
October 13 - LATimes article entitled: "A new stage in their kinship"
The 10/15/04 Santa Barbara News-Press article entitled: "Staging a family reunion"
The 10/14/04 InsideVC.com article on Armando Rey, entitled: "Rey of "Night"":
Rey of 'Night'
Ventura actor gets a chance to shine with Rubicon Theatre Company in classic Tennessee Williams play
By Karen Lindell, klindell@VenturaCountyStar.com
Armando Rey's biggest fear about his debut with the Rubicon Theatre Company isn't the spotlight on opening night, or acting with Stephanie Zimbalist, or flubbing his lines as Pancho in Tennessee Williams' "The Night of the Iguana."
It's the doors.
Doors are a directional problem backstage at the Rubicon Theatre.
"There are so many doors in the back, it's like a maze," said Rey, 33. "The stage manager joked that he's going to have to put out a sign that says, 'This way, stupid.' What if I get lost?"
So far, the Ventura resident has found his way onstage just fine, and he's also found his natural niche: acting.
Rubicon opened its doors wide to Rey after he wowed everyone at his audition — with a monologue they didn't even understand because it was entirely in Spanish.
Aspiring actor Rey, who's performed in many Los Angeles productions, and locally in shows by Teatro de las Americas (an Oxnard-based troupe that stages Spanish-language plays), called the Rubicon last year and said he was interested in auditioning for a play there.
A few months ago, Rubicon called him to audition for "The Night of the Iguana," which opens the company's 2004-05 season.
Rey, who had to perform a two-minute monologue for the audition, picked the highlights from a 20-minute speech he'd done in Teatro de las Americas' "Primavera Con Una Esquina Rota" ("Spring With a Corner Torn").
His character in the play was a man imprisoned for taking part in the 1970s student political movement in Uruguay. During the monologue, the man writes a letter to his father, confessing that he's killed his cousin, who worked for the government.
In "Night of the Iguana," Rey's character, Pancho, speaks Spanish, but that's not the reason he chose a Spanish monologue. "I thought it was important for them to see my range as an actor," he said, "and that monologue has very different ranges — flashbacks to when this guy was laughing and happy playing with his cousin, and to the moment he kills his cousin."
When he was done with the emotionally draining monologue, Rey didn't hear, "Don't call us, we'll call you." Instead, director Jim O'Neil invited him right then to join the cast.
"I rarely do that," said O'Neil. "This was one of those exceptional times; he was so engaging."
Rey has a minor role in "The Night of the Iguana." But as English professor Barry Ulanov noted about Williams' plays in "Makers of the Modern Theater," "not only are the central actors important but (also) the men and women who slink behind the scrim, who play delicate obbligatos to the large solo roles."
The "large" roles in "Iguana" are four characters who meet in the summer of 1940 on the veranda of the Costa Verde hotel, a seedy seaside resort in Mexico.
The main character, the Rev. Lawrence Shannon (played by Richard Eden), is an Episcopal minister who's been defrocked because of his sexual dalliances. Nearing a nervous breakdown, he arrives at the hotel seeking empathy from the owner, an old friend. The friend has died, however, leaving behind his wife, Maxine, to run the hotel.
Shannon then encounters Hannah Jelkes (Stephanie Zimbalist), a penniless, unmarried artist, and her 97-year-old grandfather, Nonno (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.), a poet-philosopher who's writing his last great poem.
Shannon and Jelkes are drawn to each other, but the lusty Maxine beckons as well.
Pancho and his friend Pedro are hired hands at the hotel. They also provide Maxine with favors that have nothing to do with manual labor.
"We do a lot of night swimming together," said Rey cryptically.
Many critics and scholars call "The Night of the Iguana," which opened on Broadway at the Royale Theater in 1961, Williams' last great play. The show earned three Tony Award nominations, including best play, and a Drama Critics Circle Award for Williams, who'd already won Pulitzer prizes for "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
"The Night of the Iguana," although hardly a comedy, is considered more optimistic than Williams' other plays because the ending, if not happy, is at least hopeful.
As in many of Williams' works, the play is about the desperation of humans who, like the iguanas literally tethered in "The Night of the Iguana," are at the end of their rope.
In 1972, Williams wrote that "essentially my plays have been an effort to explore the beauty and meaning of the confusion of living."
The "Iguana" characters are tormented souls crippled by sexual desires but also by deeper questions of life, death and what it means to be human.
Pancho and Pedro contribute to the sexual tension, but they also "liven up the play a little when it gets too heavy," Rey said.
Rey laughed when talking about Pancho's Spanish-only lines. When his friends who don't speak Spanish heard he was working with Rubicon, Rey said, they were glad because they thought he'd be performing in English for once.
Rey, a relative latecomer to the acting profession, has performed mainly in Spanish or bilingual productions.
A Camarillo native who hammed it up at home as a kid, he didn't step on a stage until after he had graduated from Rio Mesa High School. His first play was a Spanish version of Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" at the Santa Paula Theater Center in 1990.
He played Stanley in Teatro de las Americas' Spanish-language version of Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire" and has worked with theater companies in Los Angeles including the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts, Nosotros and Frida Kahlo Theatre. He's also done commercials in Spanish for Sears, Blockbuster, Ford, McDonald's and Carl's Jr.
In April, he played Bernardo in the Ventura College Opera Workshop's production of "West Side Story," his first singing and dancing role. According to "West Side Story" director Mel Swope: "Bernardo has the opportunity to be both humorous and serious. Rey did both very well."
Like many actors waiting for their big break, Rey has a day job, although it's not waiting tables. He works as a teacher's aide for special-education classes at Channel Islands High School.
Rey is somewhat optimistic about opportunities for Hispanic actors.
"I think it's opening up, but just when I think people are becoming more aware of Latino actors," he said, "I'll see an actor who doesn't even speak the language playing a role in Spanish."
Rey doesn't want to be pigeonholed as a Latino actor.
"I would love to get calls for auditions that have nothing to do with color. If you can bring a character to life, who cares what color you are anyway?" he said.
Swope agreed. "The more people realize his depth, the more opportunities he'll have," he said.
Rey said that Rubicon, although it's cast him in a Spanish-speaking role, is a top-name theater company that's giving his career a boost. "I'm grateful someone in my city gave me this opportunity," he said. "Some places don't even open the door, or they slam it in your face. Here they rolled out the red carpet."
The Rubicon Theatre Company opens its 2004-05 season with Tennessee Williams' classic play. The show has previews at 8 p.m. Oct. 14-15, then opens at 7 p.m. Oct. 16. Regular performances continue at 2 and 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 7 at 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. For tickets, $25-$47, call 667-2900.
Nick Weissman, Brooks Institute
When Armando Rey auditioned for
Rubicon Theatre's production of
"The Night of the Iguana," he
performed a two-minute
monologue entirely in Spanish. "I
thought it was important for them to
see my range as an actor," he said,
"and that monologue has very
Get two Zimbalists for the price of one
|2004 © The E.W. Scripps Co. Ventura County Star subscription services
Contact VenturaCountyStar.com at Feedback@venturacountystar.com
The 10/14/04 InsideVC.com article on Efrem and Stephanie Zimbalist, entitled: "Get two Zimbalists for the price of one":
Get two Zimbalists for the price of one
By Karen Lindell
Two A-list Zimbalists are central characters in the Rubicon Theatre Company's production of "The Night of the Iguana."
Stephanie Zimbalist and her father, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., are starring onstage together for the first time.
Although she and her dad have acted together in films and television, Stephanie Zimbalist said, a father-daughter stage pairing didn't work out until now.
In "The Night of the Iguana," Zimbalist plays Hannah, a watercolor and sketch artist who travels around with her grandfather Nonno, a poet. As they wander from one hotel to another, she paints and he waxes poetic in exchange for a room.
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is a Broadway veteran whose first professional role was in 1946 with Spencer Tracy in "The Rugged Path." He starred in several movies in the 1950s and 1960s, and two television shows, "77 Sunset Strip" and "The FBI."
Stephanie Zimbalist, best known for her role opposite Pierce Brosnan on television's "Remington Steele," has starred in many theatrical productions. Her most recent role at Rubicon was in "Defying Gravity" in 2003.
Zimbalist said her relationship with her father onstage is purely professional.
"Acting with my dad doesn't affect me much; we don't make concessions for each other," she said. "We follow our instincts."
She doesn't deny the family ties, however.
"It's a bonus spending all this wonderful time together," said L.A. resident Zimbalist, whose parents live in Solvang. "We see each other every day, and the theater is a very cozy experience."
Brooks Institute of
"It's a bonus spending
|2004 © The E.W. Scripps Co. Ventura County Star subscription services
Contact VenturaCountyStar.com at Feedback@venturacountystar.com |
The 9/30/04 Issue of Crossings - the RTC Newsletter (and it contains some Beckettfest and general RTC info as well):
Rubicon Theatre Company Patron E-Newsletter
September 29, 2004
In this Issue:
1. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. & Stephanie Zimbalist star together on stage for the first time ever in Rubiconâ€™s
opener The Night of the Iguana!
2. More about the leads in Iguana
3. Build a rainforest! Assistance needed on Monday and Tuesday putting together foliage for the Iguana set.
4. The wait is almost over! Last chance to see Rubicon's acclaimed production of Waiting for Godot and other BeckettFest
5. Director's Preview for Iguana this Monday, October 4 at 7 p.m. hosted by Dottie Pas for Jewel Club members. James
O'Neil interviewed on Williams, the Canada connection and more.
6. Our wunderkind Managing Director is one of "40 under 40" movers and shakers in Pacific Coast Business Times.
7. Grandes Dames volunteer luncheon October 11 at 11:30 a.m. at Pierpont Inn with cast of Iguana and singers who starred on
Broadway in Beauty and the Beast.
1. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. & Stephanie
Zimbalist star together on stage for the first time ever in Rubicon's 2004-2005
opener The Night of the Iguana!
Tickets are now on sale for the first production of Rubicon Theatre Company's 2004-2005 Season, Tennessee Williams'
courageous and compassionate American classic THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA. STEPHANIE ZIMBALIST, a favorite
with Rubicon audiences from her performances in Defying Gravity, Dancing at Lughnasa and The Rainmaker, stars with her
father -- celebrated actor EFREM ZIMBALIST, JR. in their first ever appearance together on the professional stage.
RICHARD EDEN also stars as Shannon, with Ovation award-nominated James O'Neil (All My Sons, Driving Miss Daisy)
is the first of two co-productions this season between Rubicon Theatre
Company and Manitoba Theatre
Centre of Canada. THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA previews on Thursday, October 14 and Friday, October 15 and opens on
Saturday, October 16. The production continues for four weeks through Sunday, November 7th at Rubicon Theatre, 1006
East Main St. in Ventura.
autumnal masterpiece is set on the veranda of a Mexican resort hotel on
the edge of the rainforest.
Here, four of life's castaways converge to share their desperate circumstances and wistful dreams:
Shannon, a defrocked minister-turned-tour guide who struggles to hold on to the last shreds of his own decency (RICHARD
EDEN); Hannah (STEPHANIE ZIMBALIST), the serene New England painter with whom Shannon has a strange and
immediate connection; Nonno (EFREM ZIMBALIST, JR.), the oldest living poet who longs to complete his final stanza; and
Maxine (Canadian STEPHANIE McNAMARA in her American debut), the lusty hotel owner who wants Shannon all to
Winner of the New
York Drama Critics Circle Award, this poetic play is described by the New
York Daily News as,
"Williams in a searching, mystic, poetic mood, the mood that gave us The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire.
This play will haunt you, haunt you with the things said and unsaid; haunt you with its beauty!"
2. More About the Cast
EFREM ZIMBALIST, JR. was given his first professional role by Garson Kanin, acting alongside Spencer Tracy in the 1946 Broadway production of The Rugged Path. Zimbalist went on to appear with the American Repertory Theatre in Henry VII, Androcles and the Lion, What Every Woman Knows and Yellow Jack, followed by Hedda Gabler with Eva Le Gallienne. Zimbalist next produced Gian-Carlo Menotti's The Medium and The Telephone at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre on Broadway. Three years later he produced The Consul by Menotti, which won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1950. During the same year, he was cast in his first film House of Strangers by Joseph Mankiewicz. His work on television included such shows as the Theatre Guild's The U.S. Steel Hour, Philco Playhouse and The Goodyear Playhouse.
After a hiatus following the death of his wife, Zimbalist returned in a daytime television series with Louise Albritton, followed by an appearance in the Broadway production of Noel Coward's Fallen Angels. Offered a seven-year contract by Warner Brothers, Zimbalist settled into a movie career, which began with Bombers B52 opposite Natalie Wood and Karl Malden, followed quickly by Band of Angels, The Deep Six, Violent Road, Too Much Too Soon, The Crowded Sky and Home Before Dark. In later years he was to add such pictures as A Fever in the Blood, The Chapman Report, By Love Possessed, Wait Until Dark and Airport 75.
Somehow Zimbalist also managed to fit in two television series, 77 Sunset Strip, which ran for six years, and The FBI, for nine. There was a host of television specials and guest appearances as well, too numerous to list except for his favorite of all: his daughter Stephanie's series Remington Steele. He returned to the stage in Charley's Aunt, The Tempest, The Pleasure of His Company, The Cocktail Hour and I Shall Return, a one-man play based on the life of General Douglas MacArthur. His last screen appearance was in Hot Shots. In July 2003, Zimbalist's memoir, My Dinner of Herbs, was published by Limelight Editions, New York.
STEPHANIE ZIMBALIST has starred in many theatrical productions including Romantique (World Premiere, A.R.T., Boston); Dancing at Lughnasa, Love Letters, and two runs as Lizzie in The Rainmaker (Robby Award) at Rubicon; The Cherry Orchard (with Alfred Molina, Odyssey Theatre); Side Man (Guthrie Lab, MN); Mr. Bundy (World Premiere, Humana Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville); Wonderful Town (Reprise! concert series, L.A.); Sylvia ( L.A. premiere, Coronet Theatre (L.A. Drama-Logue, Robby Awards); AdWars (Court, Tiffany Theatres, L.A. Drama-Logue Award); The Crimson Thread (world premiere at Seven Angels Theatre, CT, and The Pasadena Playhouse, CA); The Threepenny Opera (with Betty Buckley, Williamstown Theatre Festival, MA); Jane Anderson's The Baby Dance (original production w/ Linda Purl, John Perry, directed by Jenny Sullivan, at Pasadena, Williamstown, Long Wharf Theatre in CT, and Lucille Lortel in NYC); My One and Only (National Tour with Tommy Tune); Barbarians and Summer and Smoke (w/Chris Reeve and Ann Reinking, Williamstown); The Cherry Orchard (Long Wharf); The Tempest (with Anthony Hopkins, Mark Taper Forum, L.A.).
Feature films include The Prophet's Game (with Dennis Hopper), The Awakening (with Charlton Heston) and The Magic of Lassie (with James Stewart). On television, Zimbalist has starred in 31 movies, including The Golden Moment, The Babysitter, Centennial, The Gathering, The Story Lady (with Jessica Tandy), Caroline? (for Hallmark - Golden Globe nomination), Incident in a Small Town (with Walter Matthau and Harry Morgan), and Stop the World, I Want to Get Off for A&E. She co-starred as Laura Holt in the MTM series Remington Steele.
RICHARD EDEN started his stage career in his native Toronto, before heading to New York where he played the lead in the Off-Broadway hit Entertaining Mr. Sloane opposite Joe Maher and Barbara Bryne. Richard's Los Angeles theatre credits include Breman Freedom at the Odyssey Theatre, Trust Me at the Jewel Box and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Gascon Theatre. His performances as Henry Grenfel in The Long Beach Studio's production of The Fox and as Stanley Kowalski for the LA Art Theatre's A Streetcar Named Desire earned Richard two Drama-Logue Awards. In television, Richard played Dame Judith Anderson's grandson on the daytime series "Santa Barbara", and was nominated for an Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role as Robocop in "Robocop the Series". Richard was honored in France with the Cine-Revue Award and was guest of honor at the Monte Carlo Television Festival. His recent television and film roles include "Callback" ,"Tear it Down", "Crossed Over" (with Diane Keaton), "Feast of All Saints", "Whitewash" and "10,000 Black Men Named George" for Showtime and "Woman Wanted" starring Holly Hunter. The Night of the Iguana marks Richard's debut with Rubicon Theatre.
The cast also features: Ojai resident Chris Cotone as Hank; Rubicon company member Joseph Fuqua as Jake; Victor Gomez from Toronto as Pedro; Amanda Hulme as Hilda; Laurel Lyle from Santa Barbara as Miss Fellows; Canadian Stephanie McNamara in her U.S. debut as the sultry Maxine; Craig Mulgrew, former Rubicon Young Professional (Santa Ynez resident) as Wolfgang; Anne Ross as Charlotte; Ventura native Armando Rey as Pancho; Santa Barbaran Rudolph Willrich as Herr Farhenkopf, and Von Rae Wood as Frau Fahrenkopf.
3. Production needs for The Night of the Iguana
HELP BUILD THE RUBICON RAIN FOREST!
Scenic Designer, Gary Wissmann (sets for Rubicon productions of All My Sons and The Importance of Being Earnest) is back to WOW us with his most impressive Rubicon set design! Picture a beautiful tropical oasis on a mountain side in Mexico. How would you like to be a part of this creative process?
WHAT IS NEEDED: Rubicon is looking for people to help put together the foliage for the Iguana set. It's a very simple job and does not require heavy lifting or pounding. If you can put together a fake Christmas tree you can build a tropical rain forest! This is a great group activity so bring your friends along! We are also looking for someone to bring in a non-alcoholic (at least until we're finished) tropical punch for volunteer refreshments - small umbrellas in plastic glasses okay).
WHEN: At Rubicon, on Monday October 4th or Tuesday October 5th whether it be for 1-hour or 4-hours- EVERYONE IS WELCOME AND NEEDED! You can come anytime between 11AM - 5PM.
WHO TO CONTACT: Please call in advance- Brian McDonald, Associate Producer at (805) 667-2912, ext. 34.
5. The wait is almost over! Last chance to see Rubicon's acclaimed production of Waiting for Godot and other BeckettFest
events. Events thru Friday:
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2004
BROWN BAG BECKETT LUNCH SERIES: A SOLITARY LIFE
Noon, Ventura City Hall in the Santa Cruz Room (Room 227) $10.
Journalist TOM JACOBS of Santa Barbara News-Press and Backstage West facilitates a conversation about the themes of loneliness and isolation in Samuel Beckett's work with WALTER ASMUS, JENNY SULLIVAN, and PORTER ABBOTT, Ph.D., Bring your own lunch or order one in advance for $10 by calling (805) 667-2900.
Panelist WALTER ASMUS is a renowned German director who was Beckett's collaborator and who has directed the entire Beckett canon. JENNY SULLIVAN is Rubicon's Artistic Associate and is the director of Happy Days in the Festival. Panelist H. PORTER ABBOTT is the author of two books and numerous articles on the work of Samuel Beckett, and is a past president of the Samuel Beckett Society. His most recent work includes "The Cambridge Introduction to "Narrative" (2002) and On the Origin of Fictions: Interdisciplinary Perspectives" (2001, editor). His most recent book on Beckett is "Beckett Writing Beckett: The Author in the Autograph" (Cornell). Abbott is a Professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
ON STAGE: "Krapp's Last Tape" (Talkback after the show)
2pm, Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main Street. $35 ($15 students)
RICK CLUCHEY, a former inmate at San Quentin who was pardoned by Governor Brown after his life was transformed, and who has been the mainstay of the San Quentin Drama Project for 40 years, stars in a revival of the production originally staged by Beckett himself. On the occasion of his 69th birthday, a slovenly old man sits alone at a desk, surrounded by boxes of tapes and a single recorder. He records a self-deprecating and conflicted diatribe of longing, hopelessness and regret.
5:30 pm; 70 minutes, Ventura Downtown Century Theatres, 555 E. Main St. $10. Open seating.
MICHAEL GAMBON and DAVID THEWLIS in the play many consider to be Beckett's greatest masterpiece. Directed by CONOR McPHERSON.
ON STAGE: "Waiting For Godot"
8pm, Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main Street. $35
Instilled with a large dose of Irish wit, Samuel Beckett's groundbreaking play explores the delicate line between hope and despair as two tramps wait by the side of a deserted road for a salvation that never comes. As they question, argue and complain, comedy rises to tragedy in a predicament reflecting humanity's search for meaning. The play that changed the course of dramatic writing in the 20th century features Emmy® Award-winning actor JOE SPANO as Vladimir, television and stage actor ROBIN GAMMELL (Guthrie/Old Globe) as Estragon, CLIFF DEYOUNG (Broadway/Rubicon's "Art") as Pozzo, and TED NEELEY (stage and film versions of "Jesus Christ Superstar") as Lucky. Directed by renowned German director and Beckett's longtime collaborator WALTER ASMUS. Asmus has directed the entire Beckett canon and helmed acclaimed productions at BAM and the Gate production which toured internationally (recently to Shanghai). FILMS: "Play" and "Krapp's Last Tape".
10:30 pm; 70 minutes, Ventura Downtown Century Theatres, 555 E. Main St. $10. Open seating.
ANTHONY MINGHELLA directs ALAN RICKMAN, KRISTEN SCOTT THOMAS and JULIET STEVENSON in thrilling tour de force performances in "Play", the story of a love triangle where each character narrates a bitter history and their role in it; followed by JOHN HURT'S exquisite rendition of "Krapp's Last Tape", directed by ATOM EGOYAN. (See the play on Wednesday or Thursday and then see the film for comparison and contrast!)
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2004
BROWN BAG BECKETT LUNCH SERIES: "Knowing the Unknowable, Naming the Unnamable: Religious Themes and Images in Beckett's Writings"
Noon, Ventura City Hall Community Meeting Room $10.
Samuel Beckett is generally thought of as the "existentialist poster boy" as one L.A. Times writer recently said. His characters walk a fine line between hope and despair. Did Beckett really reject the Protestant belief system which was a part of his upbringing? Or the Catholic faith held by many of his friends and schoolmates in Ireland? BETTY ALVAREZ HAM and RICK CLUCHEY discuss Christian and Catholic references and symbols in "Waiting for Godot" and other Beckett plays and draw conclusions from them about the meaning of life and the nature of existence. Moderated by JOHN BLONDELL. Bring your own lunch or order one in advance for $10 by calling (805) 667-2900.
Panelist BETTY ALVAREZ HAM is the Founder and President of City Impact, a faith-based non-profit organization working with at-risk youth and families. She is an Ordained Minister as well as being an Adjunct Professor at Azusa Pacific University in the area of Urban and Youth Ministry. Betty has ministered in the Church and Para-church organizations over the last 25 years. Betty is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University in which she majored in Psychology and Biblical Literature. She then attended Fuller Theological Seminary and received a Masters of Divinity. RICK CLUCHEY grew up in Chicago's southside, where he was a boxer and small-time criminal. At the age of 21, he was sentenced to life without parole in San Quentin Prison for his role in a botched L.A. armed robbery in which his victim was injured. Years later, he received word of Governor Brown's pardon for him in Samuel Beckett's presence in the midst of their working collaboration. The 1998 film Weeds, starring Nick Nolte, is based on Cluchey's life. While in prison, he was reintroduced to his Catholic faith by the Chaplain at the prison. JOHN BLONDELL is Founding Artistic Director of the Lit Moon Theatre Company, an internationally recognized physical theatre ensemble, and is director of the Lit Moon World Theater Festival, produced yearly at Santa Barbara's Center Stage Theater. Blondell holds a Ph. D. inDramatic Art from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is Professor and Chair of the Theatre Arts Department at Westmont College, where he directs and teaches classes in theatre history, dramatic theory and directing.
A DON'T MISS - LAST CHANCE!
ON STAGE: "Cliff DeYoung in the Collected Works of Samuel Beckett"
2pm, Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main Street. $35 ($15 students)
This one-man compilation, originally created by Beckett's favorite actor Jack McGowran, was presented in the U.S. for the first time in 30 years in L.A. in 2002 with renowned actor Cliff DeYoung (also Pozzo in Rubicon's Waiting for Godot). Rubicon Theatre brings this unique theatrical event to life once again. The Los Angeles Times says, "DeYoung brilliantly mines Beckett's irony, despair and absurdity." Directed by Dennis Redfield.
ON STAGE: "Waiting For Godot"
8pm, Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main Street. $40
Instilled with a large dose of Irish wit, Samuel Beckett's groundbreaking play explores the delicate line between hope and despair as two tramps wait by the side of a deserted road for a salvation that never comes. As they question, argue and complain, comedy rises to tragedy in a predicament reflecting humanity's search for meaning. The play that changed the course of dramatic writing in the 20th century features Emmy® Award-winning actor JOE SPANO as Vladimir, television and stage actor ROBIN GAMMELL (Guthrie/Old Globe) as Estragon, CLIFF DEYOUNG (Broadway/Rubicon's "Art") as Pozzo, and TED NEELEY (stage and film versions of "Jesus Christ Superstar") as Lucky. Directed by renowned German director and Beckett's longtime collaborator WALTER ASMUS. Asmus has directed the entire Beckett canon and helmed acclaimed productions at BAM and the Gate production which toured internationally (recently to Shanghai).
FILM: "Ohio Impromptu", "Not I", "Rough for Theatre I and II"
10:30 pm, 84 minutes, Ventura Downtown Century Theatres, 555 E. Main St. $10. Open seating.
"Ohio Impromptu" captures that universally human emotion of losing the one you love the most and expresses it in its purest and most terrifying form. "Rough for Theatre" features a blind man and a physically disabled man, who meet by chance and consider the possibility of joining forces to unite sight and mobility in the interests of survival. In "Rough for Theatre II",
two men try to assess the life of a third, who is ready to jump out of
the window. JEREMY IRONS, JULIANNE MOORE, MILO O'SHEA and other remarkable
actors illuminate these provocative plays.
6. Director's Preview this Monday for Jewel Club Members
Thank you to DOTTIE PAS for hosting the Jewel Club Director's Preview for The Night of the Iguana on Monday, October 4 at 7:00 p.m. Director JAMES O'NEIL will talk about Tennessee Williams, his thoughts about the play, and our Canadian counterparts. Dessert and coffee will be served during the social time after the presentation. If you are not a Jewel Club member yet and would like more information on attending these events, please call DIANA SMITH at (805) 667-2900, ext. 23.
7. Definition of Wunderkind: a) A person of remarkable talent or ability who achieves great success or acclaim at an early age;
b) Norbert Tan.
Yes, it's official now! Norbert has made the list of young movers & shakers in the Tri-Counties. In the September 24 issue of Pacific Coast Business Times, Norbert was named one of the "40 Under Forty" up-and-coming business leaders in our region. The article talked about Norbert's training as an Arts Management Fellow at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, his work at IMG in Hong Kong, his prior experience in marketing for the internet, legal and advertising industries, his bachelor's degree in business administration from UC Berkeley and his master's in business administration and arts management from the Anderson School at UCLA. The article also mentioned his involvement in the City of Ventura Cultural Plan steering committee as well as the Downtown Ventura chapter of Rotary International. An awards dinner for the recipients is on Monday, October 18 at 5:30pm at the Tower Club. The cost is $50 per person. Call Chris Rennolds if you'd like to go and she'll organize our table.
8. It'll be a grand Grandes Dames Luncheon on October 11.
Be sure to send in your reservation for our first Grandes Dames luncheon of the season Monday, October 11 at 11:30 a.m. at the Pierpont Inn. Meet cast members from The Night of the Iguana, and enjoy entertainment performed by Kim Huber and Roger Befeler, who played Belle and The Beast in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. Mail your check for $35 made out to RTC by Monday, October 4 to the attention of Lori White at the RTC Box Office. Or, charge by phone by calling (805) 667-2900. See you there!
PHOTOS FROM THE "IGUANA" GALA"
Merle DiVita, Joseph Fugua, and Dottie Novat
Night of the Iguana has relocated to Manitoba Theatre Center in Canada, as the first production in the new RTC/MTC partnership begun at BeckettFest. Here is the link for the current engagement, which plays from November 18 - December
the link to the MTC Iguana links page:
A link to the November 16, 2004 article on Stephanie Zimbalist in the Winnipeg Sun entitled: "Her Heart Belongs To Daddy":
A link to the August 27, 2004 Winnipeg Sun article entitled: "Stephanie tricks Efram into MTC play"
Fri, August 27, 2004
Stephanie tricks Efram into MTC play
By PAT ST. GERMAIN, ENTERTAINMENT REPORTER
A bit of trickery led veteran actor Efram Zimbalist Jr. to the cast of the Tennessee Williams play Night of the Iguana at Manitoba Theatre Centre Nov. 18 - Dec. 11. His daughter, Stephanie Zimbalist, was cast some time ago in the MTC co-production with Rubicon Theatre of Ventura, Calif. She suggested to Rubicon co-founder and director Jim O'Neil that her father play 97-year-old poet Jonathan Coffin -- she plays his granddaughter Hannah Jelkes -- and the pair cooked up a scheme to hook him on the role.
"We kind of ambushed him actually," O'Neil says.
Stephanie Zimbalist, best known for playing private eye Laura Holt opposite Pierce Brosnan in 1982-87 NBC series Remington Steele, took a script to her 86-year-old father's home under the pretense that she wanted him to hear her read her lines before the pair met O'Neil for a social lunch the following day.
"We made arrangements to meet for lunch and we sprung it on him right then -- he was shocked at first and ultimately overjoyed," O'Neil says.
The New York City-born son of concert violinist Efrem Zimbalist and opera star Alma Gluck, Efram Zimbalist Jr. played private eye Stu Bailey in 1958-64 ABC series 77 Sunset Strip and senior agent Lewis Erskine in 1965-74 ABC series The F.B.I. He has a long list of stage and movie credits. He acted with his daughter in a 1979 TV movie, but this will be their first theatre collaboration.
O'Neil says the veteran actor is in great shape, and his role is not physically demanding since he sits in a wheelchair for most of his time onstage.
His daughter has a long association with the Rubicon Theatre. She attended a play there during its debut season in 1998 with her friend Jenny Sullivan -- who will direct Ronald Harwood's The Dresser at MTC next spring -- and has since performed in four Rubicon productions.
MTC and Rubicon Theatre co-produced Mating Dance of the Werewolf, which debuted at MTC Warehouse in March.
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A link to the November 19, 2004 Winnipeg Sun's review entitled: "Zimbalists make Night of the Iguana a night to remember":
Joseph was to play Lucky in "Waiting For Godot", (the featured RTC production during the BeckettFest Festival), but was sidelined with pneumonia and had to withdraw from the show. Ted Neeley has taken over the role. Joseph will, however, be moderating some of the discussions in the festival. See more news on BeckettFest here.