Williamstown Theatre Festival season opens
Williamstown Theatre Festival 2013 season schedule opens on June 27 with Animal Crackers on the Main Stage from June 27 through July 13 and the world premiere of American Hero on Nikos Stage from June 27 to July 7.
Animal Crackers on the Main Stage from June 27 through July 13, following performances beginning June 26, and the World Premiere of American Hero on the Nikos Stage from June 27 to July 7, following performances beginning June 26. This is the second time in the Festival’s 59-year history that two shows have opened on the same night to kick-off the season.
Hooray for Captain Spaulding! The intrepid African explorer, inveterate womanizer, and interminable jokester hobnobs with high society as the guest of honor at a swanky soiree. But when a priceless painting is pilfered, he and the guests are swept up in a screwball search for the thief. A family-friendly musical, Animal Crackers overflows with mirthful melodies, dynamite dancing, and seriously silly slapstick.
Animal Crackers brings a new interpretation of the Marx Brothers’ hit Broadway musical and classic film to the Main Stage. Adapted and directed by Henry Wishcamper (Graceland), the nine-person cast portrays 21 roles. Playing the iconic trio of Marx Brothers are Joey Slotnick (The Big Knife, Twister, “Nip/Tuck”) as Groucho, the role he performed to critical acclaim in the Goodman Theatre’s 2009 production; Jonathan Brody, who performed alongside Slotnick in the Goodman production, reprises his celebrated role as Chico, and Brad Aldous (“Boardwalk Empire”) takes on the hilarious Harpo. The cast also includes Ellen Harvey (How to Succeed…) as Mrs. Rittenhouse, along with Joey Sorge (Nice Work if You Can Get It), Adam Chanler-Berat (Peter and the Starcatcher), Mara Davi (A Chorus Line), Renée Elise Goldsberry (The Color Purple), and Jacob Ming-Trent (Hands on a Hardbody), all playing multiple roles. Animal Crackers features a book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind with music and lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby.
The World Premiere of American Hero marks playwright Bess Wohl’s return to the Nikos Stage, following her play Touch(ed), an audience favorite in 2011. This humorous and heart-filled play is directed by Leigh Silverman, who is widely-celebrated for her skillful direction of new plays such as David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish and Lisa Kron’s Well. The cast of “sandwich artists” includes star of stage and screen Omar Metwally (Sixteen Wounded, Steven Spielberg’s Munich) playing multiple roles, Ari Graynor (The Performers, “The Sopranos”) as Jamie, WTF favorite James Waterston (WTF’s Children and The Torch-Bearers) as Ted, and newcomer Erin Wilhelmi (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) as Sheri.