Wednesday, October 19, 2011

NIGEL REED RETURNS TO REP STAGE AS “BARRYMORE”

Barrymore reunites Rep Stage favorite Nigel Reed and Steven Carpenter, director of Rep’s acclaimed ‘08 production of Trumbo: Red, White and Blacklisted

image logo for BarrymoreBARRYMORE
By William Luce
Directed by Steven Carpenter (Hysteria, Mrs. Farnsworth).

WHEN: October 26 through November 13, 2011
WHERE: Smith Theatre of the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center (HVPA) on the campus of HCC.

TICKETS:  $12-$33. Wednesdays are Pay What You Can

The faded glamour of the 1940s theatre comes to life as Rep Stage favorite and Helen Hayes Award-winning actor Nigel Reed (Travels With My Aunt, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, The Judas Kiss) reunites with the director of 2008’s Trumbo: Red, White, and Blacklisted to portray stage legend John Barrymore as he rehearses a comeback performance of his triumphal Richard III. Mr. Reed delivers a comedic yet haunting portrayal of the acclaimed stage and screen actor from the legendary Barrymore family, icons of the American Theatre. 

Michael Stebbins, Rep Stage’s producing artistic director, chose Barrymore with Nigel Reed in mind. “I’ve had Barrymore on my ‘list’ for a number of years,” says Stebbins. “I was front row center when Christopher Plummer performed the role on Broadway, and I’ve never forgotten the experience.  A couple of years ago, while vising New York City, I was talking with a fellow director who also wanted to produce Barrymore.  He said, ‘You can’t do Barrymore without an actor capable of ‘being Barrymore.’’ I told my friend that I had a Barrymore in the form of actor Nigel Reed. He replied, ‘You most certainly do,’ as he had directed both Nigel and myself in Rep’s production of‘ Mrs. Warren’s Profession a few seasons ago.  I spoke to Nigel about it, and he was sold on it. And, since Nigel worked with director Steven Carpenter so beautifully on Rep’s Trumbo: Red, White and Blacklisted, I thought this would be an ideal teaming. I hope audiences will be highly entertained and moved by this production.”

A post-show reception follows the Saturday, October 29, evening performance and free post-show discussions follow the November 4 and 11 performances.

A pre-show lecture by assistant film professor and critic Mike Giuliano, who will speak on "Barrymore on Screen,” will complement Barrymore before the November 12 matinee beginning at 12:30 PM in Monteabaro Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information on post-show discussions and the pre-show lecture, visit www.repstage.org.

About the Play:
Barrymore was originally produced at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada, and opened in September of 1996, starring Christopher Plummer as Barrymore and directed by three-time Tony Award-winner Gene Saks. The production then toured several cities in the United States, opening on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre in March, 1997. The New York Times praised Barrymore, calling it, “Fiendishly entertaining and blisteringly sad…. as fluid, stinging and warming as a Manhattan cocktail.” The Chicago Tribune called the play, “Big, open, technically brilliant and emotionally true. It is a work of a very high, very rare caliber.”


clip_image001About Rep Stage
Rep Stage, a professional Equity theatre in residence at Howard Community College, is in its 19th season. The company is a member of both League of Washington Theatres and Baltimore Theatre Alliance. Performances are made possible by the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and National Endowment for the Arts, as well as through generous individual contributions. Howard Bank is the Rep Stage 2011-12 season partner.