A Noise Within (ANW), the acclaimed classical repertory theatre company, presents Frank Galati'S adaptation of John Steinbeck'S iconic THE GRAPES OF WRATH, opening Saturday, February 23 and closing Saturday, May 11, 2013 (previews begin Saturday, February 16), which brilliantly distills the quintessential American novel to its core while preserving its essence as perhaps the greatest American travel tale ever written. Directed by Michael Michetti, this timely work, filled with heartbreak and strength, features Steinbeck's words almost exclusively as well as deeply evocative music that includes period hymns, Dust Bowl songs and original music by Michael Smith written for the play's original 1988 Steppenwolf Theatre Company production, hailed by the London Daily Mail as "shatteringly perfect." The Chicago Sun-Times praised Frank Galati's adaptation as "utterly faithful to its source - that it is not only uncompromising, but devoid of sentimentality, and that it is flawless in the way it sweeps us into the lives of the characters, and their time, without a wasted word or motion." The run includes a "Pay What You Can" date on Thursday, February 21.
The cast features Deborah Strang (Ma Joad), Jill Hill (Granma Joad), Steve Coombs (Tom Joad), Lili Fuller (Rose of Sharon), Andrew Hellenthal (Al Joad), JosH Clark (Uncle John Joad), Jesse Peri (Connie Rivers), Lindsey Ginter (Pa Joad), Gary Ballard (Grampa Joad), Matt Gottlieb (Jim Casy), Dorrie Braun (Mrs. Wainwright) and Mark Jacobson (Noah Joad).
The Grapes of Wrath - which figured prominently in Steinbeck winning the Nobel Prize in 1962 and for which he won a Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award - chronicles the Joad family, who, driven out of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl by drought and hardship during the height of the Great Depression, journeys to California in search of jobs and a better future. Michetti says, "It is a story about people who endure incredible hardship yet, against all odds, their optimism keeps them moving forward and caring about each other and the community around them. This adaptation beautifully captures the essence of this epic novel and its life-affirming message that even in times of great adversity, people can transcend difficulties by looking beyond themselves and helping others."
Michetti also notes, "Still profoundly relevant some 80 years after Steinbeck wrote it, Grapes of Wrath addresses many of the issues our country sadly continues to face today: people losing their homes, high unemployment, and man-made environmental problems."
A Noise Within, led by Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, is the only year-round classical repertory company in Southern California and one of only a handful in the entire country dedicated solely to producing classical dramatic literature in the repertory tradition of rotating productions with a resident company of professional artists. It has been lauded by critics as a "premiere classical theatre company," and an "outstanding ensemble" whose "vibrantly theatrical" "brilliant productions" are "freshly imagined," "exceptional," "invigorating," "riveting," "brilliantly atmospheric," "inspired," and "masterfully crafted." Founded 21 years ago, ANW quickly established itself as one of the region's key theatre companies, attracting fiercely loyal audiences and consistently high praise from the media for its productions and as a key force in arts education. The company has presented more than 140 plays from the classics of world literature, each season producing works from authors ranging from Shakespeare and Molière to Ibsen, O'Neill and Shaw to Miller and Williams. A Noise Within completed its milestone 2011-12 Season and 20th Anniversary in its permanent new home, a 33,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art venue in Pasadena, in May 2012.
A Noise Within's production of The Grapes of Wrath is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
Media sponsors for ANW's 2012-13 Season are Pasadena Star-News and KPCC 89.3 FM.
A NOISE WITHIN is located on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue at 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107. Single tickets currently range from $40 - $52. "Pay What You Can" tickets for the Thursday, February 21 performance, which allow patrons to pay what they can afford, are sold at the box office the day of the performance for cash only on a first-come, first-served basis based on availability, with a limit of two per person. Contact the A Noise Within box office in-person, via phone at 626-356-3100, or online at www.anoisewithin.org for updated pricing and seating availability.