Press Room

PTC PRESENTS BLACK COMEDY

January 13, 2011 
For: IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Press Contact: Heather Nowlin     
801-581-7222
heather.nowlin@ptc.utah.edu
 

PIONEER THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS

Black Comedy

By Peter Shaffer

 

Pioneer Theatre Company presents Black Comedy, January 14 through January 29, 2011.

Prodded by his debutante fiancée, Brindsley Miller just wants to perpetrate a harmless little deception to impress both his prospective father-in-law and a visiting millionaire art collector. Surely there’s no harm in swapping his shabby furnishings for those of his friend and neighbor Harold, who has excellent taste in furniture and just happens to be gone for the weekend. But Brindsley hasn’t accounted for the inconvenient return of his former girlfriend Clea, a woman with a decidedly mischievous sense of humor, or the blown fuse that throws his entire apartment into darkness—with chaotic and hilarious results!

The part of the harried host is played by MICHAEL BRUSASCO. Brusasco appeared off-Broadway in Misalliance, Playboy of the Western World and Electra in a One-Piece. He has appeared with the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Pride and Prejudice, Macbeth, Private Lives,The Mousetrap and The Tempest. He also appeared as Leonardo Da Vinci in Plan-B Theatre Company’s Di Esperienza. He returns to PTC after appearing in Romeo & Juliet in 2009.

Brindsley’s debutante fiancée Carol Melkett is played by RACHEL MOULTON. Moulton was recently seen off-Broadway portraying Young Zelda Fitzgerald in the musical This Side of Paradise. Regionally, she has appeared as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, as Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and as Dory in Finding Nemo: The Musical at Walt Disney World. This marks her PTC debut.

The stern Colonel Melkett, Brindsley’s prospective father-in-law, is played by GREG THORNTON. Thornton appeared in the off-Broadway production of John Ferguson at the Mint Theater and received the Best Actor Award for the role of David in The Conjugality Test at MITF in New York. He returns to PTC after playing Claudius in the 2010 PTC production of Hamlet,Salieri in Amadeus and Bastien Andre in Is He Dead?

Brindsley’s seemingly demure neighbor Miss Furnival is played by JOYCE COHEN. Cohen has appeared on Broadway in Once a Catholic and off-Broadway with the Mint Theater Co. and Playwrights Horizons. Her regional credits include People’s Light & Theatre Co., Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Peterborough Players, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Plan-B Theatre and Salt Lake Acting Company. She returns to the PTC stage after appearing, most recently, inHamlet.

The neighbor from whom Brindsley borrows more desirable furnishings, Harold Gorringe, is played by DONALD CORREN. Corren recently co-starred in the original Broadway production ofSouvenir. Previously on Broadway, he starred in Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy, a performance which earned him both the Los Angeles and San Francisco Drama Critics’ Circle Awards while on tour. Other New York appearances include the original off-Broadway casts of Dietrich and ChevalierThe Last Sunday in June, Stephen Sondheim’s Saturday Night and Tomfoolery. This marks his PTC debut.

Brindsley’s former girlfriend Clea, who shows up unexpectedly, is played by LAUREN ELISE McCORD. McCord appeared off-Broadway in The Foreigner at Roundabout Theatre Company,Around the World in 80 Days at Irish Repertory Theatre and in Margo Veil at The Flea. She returns to PTC after playing Catherine in The Foreigner.

The electrician Schuppanzigh, who arrives to fix the fuse that has plunged the party into darkness, is played by LENNY WOLPE. Wolpe has appeared on Broadway in Wicked, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Sound of Music, Into The Light and Onward Victoria.  He returns to Salt Lake City after having appeared as The Wizard in the national tour of Wicked. This marks his PTC debut.

The millionaire art collector whom Brindsley intends to impress with his artwork is played bySTEVEN FEHR. Fehr has also performed at Salt Lake Acting Company, the Old Lyric Repertory Company, the Egyptian Theatre, the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and the Nevada Conservatory Theatre, where he starred with Sally Struthers in Annie. He returns to PTC after being featured as Mike Nulty in White Christmas.

JEFF STEITZER directs the production. For the past 35 years, Steitzer has directed extensively in theaters across the country, including Actors Theatre of Louisville, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Cleveland Playhouse, Goodman Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Pearl, Alliance Theatre and many others. He has also maintained a busy career as an actor, appearing on Broadway (Inherit the Wind, Mary Poppins), in film (Georgia,Delivered and Jody Foster’s new film The Beaver) and TV (The Fugitive, 30 Rock, Law & Order), and has been heard in hundreds of commercials. He will most likely be remembered as the Voice of God Multiplayer Announcer in all four of the HALO games for Microsoft XBox.

Scenic design is by WILLIAM BARCLAY. On Broadway, Barclay designed Solitary Confinementwith Stacy Keach and Sally Marr & Her Escorts with Joan Rivers. Off-Broadway designs includeA Shayna Maidel, Goblin Market, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, and the revivals of Kurt Wiell, Berlin to Broadway and Alan Sherman’s Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh, among others. Barclay has been Art Director on over a dozen feature films, including Glengarry Glen Ross,Beaches and The Crow, and has been nominated for the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Helen Hayes and Drama-Logue Awards.

Costume design for the production is by CAROL WELLS-DAY. Wells-Day is one of PTC’s resident costume designers and the costume shop supervisor. Her recent designs for PTC include Dracula, Is He Dead?, Dial ‘M’ for Murder, The Light in the Piazza, The Heiress andDoubt, among dozens of others. She was assistant designer for Inherit the Wind at the Ford Theatre in Washington D.C., and worked for the Utah Shakespeare Festival for 13 years as a costume shop supervisor and designer.

Lighting design is by JESSE PORTILLO.  Portillo’s recent designs include She Was My Brotherfor Plan-B Theatre, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Too Much Memory for Salt Lake Acting Company, Oliver for the Grand Theatre and Kiss Me, Kate for Light Opera Oklahoma. Other credits include the Egyptian Theatre, Pygmalion Theatre and Salt Lake Shakespeare.

Stunt coordinator DALE ANTHONY GIRARD choreographs stunts for the production. Girard is an award-winning fight director and choreographer, and author of the stage combat manualActors on Guard. Recent credits include films such as Eyeborgs, The Trial, Fall Down Dead and the critically acclaimed Junebug. His theatre credits include the Metropolitan Opera, The Folger Theatre, Signature Theatre, Opera Carolina, Piedmont Opera, San Diego Opera, Two River Theatre and the Chautauqua Opera.

Hair and makeup design is by AMANDA FRENCH and sound design is by MATTHEW TIBBS. Both are PTC resident designers.

Pioneer Theatre Company, Utah’s premier resident professional theatre, performs at Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located on the University of Utah campus at 300 South and 1400 East in Salt Lake City, easily accessible by TRAX light rail. Free parking is also available and the theatre is equipped with an elevator, handicap parking, hearing assistance devices and other easy-access features.

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MEDIA PHOTO SHOOT: There will be a media photo shoot on Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 E., SLC. Please call 801-581-7222 to RSVP.

PHOTOS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD: High-resolution color photos of this production will be available for media use on the PTC website beginning Wednesday, January 5, 2011 after 3:00 p.m. Go directly to http://www.pioneertheatre.org/press-room/media-photos/

TV CAMERA FILMING: Filming a short segment of the production during Preview or Opening Night for press use can be arranged. Call 801-581-6270.

INTERVIEWS: Interviews with the cast and artistic staff are available. Call 801-581-7222.

PRESS TOURS: Tours of the set for the press are available. Call 801-581-6270.

WHO: Pioneer Theatre Company

WHAT: Black Comedy by Peter Shaffer

WHEN: January 14 through January 29, 2011

Mondays – Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.

Fridays and Saturdays, 8:00 p.m.

Saturday matinees, 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City

PRICE: $24 – $42; Children in grades K – 12 are half price on Mondays and Tuesdays

MORE INFO: Box Office (801) 581-6961. The Box Office is open 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, and Saturdays when there are performances

 

CAST:

Michael Brusasco*…………………………………………………… Brindsley Miller
Joyce Cohen*…………………………………………………………. Miss Furnival
Donald Corren*………………………………………………………. Harold Gorringe
Steven Fehr*…………………………………………………………… Georg Bamberger
Lauren Elise McCord*……………………………………………… Clea
Rachel Moulton*……………………………………………………… Carol Melkett
Greg Thornton*……………………………………………………….. Colonel Melkett
Lenny Wolpe*…………………………………………………………. Schuppanzigh

 

* Denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association.

 

ARTISTIC TEAM:

Director…………………………………………………………….. Jeff Steitzer
Set Designer………………………………………………………. William Barclay
Costume Designer………………………………………………. Carol Wells-Day
Lighting Designer………………………………………………… Jesse Portillo
Sound Designer………………………………………………….. Matthew Tibbs
Wig and Makeup Designer…………………………………… Amanda French
Stunt Choreographer…………………………………… Dale Anthony Girard