A Noise Within (ANW), the acclaimed classical repertory theatre company, concludes its 21st season with the West Coast premiere of George Farquhar'S THE BEAUX' STRATAGEM, a hilarious period yet contemporary "buddy road trip" filled with eccentric characters adapted by Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig, opening Saturday, April 6 and closing Sunday, May 26, 2013 (previews begin Saturday, March 30). Set in the early 1700's in the English countryside, two girl-crazy young adventures are on the road-trip of their lives when, out of the blue, they find themselves hopelessly in love. Co-Producing Artistic Director Julia Rodriguez-Elliott directs the play, which is the remarkable creation of three playwrights working in three different centuries. Described as "sheer laugh-out-loud fun" (The Free Lance-Star), the play "glides confidently from silly to wry, from the pratfall to the riposte" (The Washington Post) and is "a delightful romp that seamlessly reaches across the centuries to combine the old with the new" (Theater Mania). The run includes a "Pay What You Can" date on Thursday, April 4.
Irish dramatist Farquhar wrote the original script of The Beaux' Stratagem, with its colorful and bawdy cast of characters skewering the institution of marriage, in 1707. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Thornton Wilder decided to adapt the late-Restoration comedy for Broadway in 1939 shortly after his classic Our Town became a hit on Broadway. He never completed the project, and it languished until 2004 when Tappan Wilder, the playwright's nephew and literary executor, discovered the uncompleted handwritten adaptation among Wilder's papers and sent a copy to Ken Ludwig, whose playwriting credits include Lend Me a Tenor and Crazy for You, suggesting he complete the adaptation. Ludwig jumped at the chance to "collaborate" with Wilder. With each succeeding playwright's touch, The Beaux' Stratagem was streamlined and characters were further developed - and some cut and a few added - making it ever livelier and more fun. States the Baltimore Sun, "Three centuries after Farquhar and almost seven decades after Wilder, this collaborative Stratagem is charming audiences with its comical characters, farcical shenanigans and uplifting moral."
"I loved the exuberance of the characters, and you get caught up in the story, right away," notes Ludwig, of his decision to adapt the muscular comedy and maintain Farquhar's and Wilder's tone. "With The Beaux' Stratagem, I had two plays to work with." Among Ludwig's contributions are the additions of several soliloquies in which some of the characters address the audience directly "in the spirit of Wilder."
Rodriguez-Elliott says, "After a chance meeting several years ago with Tappan Wilder, he introduced me to the Wilder/Ludwig version, and I was enchanted with the way they adapted George Farquar's wonderful Restoration comedy, breathing new life into it with a modern flair."
The Beaux' Stratagem cast features Abby Craden (Mrs. Sullen), Deborah Strang (Lady Bountiful), Apollo Dukakis (Boniface), Freddy Douglas (Aimwell), Alison Elliott (Cherry), Alan Blumenfeld (Scrub), Robertson Dean (Sullen), Joel Swetow (Sir Charles Freeman), Luke Peckinpaugh (Hounslow), Time Winters (Gloss/Foigard), Blake Ellis (Archer) and Malia Wright (Dorinda).
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 Beaux' Stratagem 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 - $60. "Pay What You Can" tickets for the Thursday, March 14 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.