TACT/The Actors Company Theatre (Scott Alan Evans, Cynthia Harris and Jenn Thompson, Co-Artistic Directors), the critically-acclaimed company "dedicated to presenting neglected or rarely produced plays of literary merit," and named "2012 Company of the Year" by Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal, announces the cast and creative team for Happy Birthday by Anita Loos, the final production of the company's 20th Anniversary Season. Directed by TACT Co-Artistic Director Scott Alan Evans, performances begin at Theatre Row's Beckett Theatre (410 West 42nd Street - between 9th & 10th Avenues) on Tuesday, March 12th, 2013. Opening night is set for Thursday, March 21st at 7:30pm. Performances will continue through April 13th, 2013.
In Happy Birthday, the Jersey Mecca cocktail lounge in Newark, NJ really starts jumping one rainy evening when Addie Bemis, a soft-spoken librarian, decides its time to live it up.
The cast will include TACT Company Members Mary Bacon (Arcadia, The Late Christopher Bean), Todd Gearhart (Incident at Vichy, Semi-Monde), Cynthia Harris (Lost in Yonkers, The Cocktail Party), Darrie Lawrence (Dead Accounts, Children), Victoria Mack (Venus in Fur, A Little Journey), Ron McClary (The Late Christopher Bean, Incident at Vichy), James Prendergast (Incident at Vichy, The Late Christopher Bean), Margot White (The Farnsworth Invention, Semi-Monde) and Guest Artists Tom Berklund (The Addams Family, The Normal Heart - US Tour), Hannah Cheek (Goodbar, First You're Born), Anderson Matthews (Arcadia, Moose Murders), Joseph Masi (Better Lucky Than Smart, Billy Camaro), Lesley Shires (Off Broadway debut), Joe Tippett (Fish Eye, The Young Left), and Karen Ziemba (Contact - Tony winner, Chicago).
The creative team is comprised of Brett J. Banakis (sets), Campbell Baird (costumes), Paul Hackenmueller (lights), Bart Fasbender (sound), Valerie Wright (choreography), James Cunningham (musical direction) and Lauren Madden (properties). Jeff Meyers is Production Stage Manager and Andrew Slater is Assistant Stage Manager.
Anita Loos wrote Happy Birthday for her friend Helen Hayes, who was "fed up with hoop skirts and wigs" and wanted to do something contemporary. Hayes loved the script and brought it to Richard Rodgers, who was looking for something to produce. Rodgers brought on Oscar Hammerstein II and they wrote an original song for the production. Directed by Joshua Logan, the production ran for a total of 564 performances at the Broadhurst Theatre. Ms. Hayes received the first-ever Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play in 1947.
Happy Birthday will play the following performance schedule: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 & 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. There will be a special matinee performance on Wednesday, April 10th at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 - $58.00 and are available by visiting www.telecharge.com or calling (212) 239-6200. Tickets are also available at the Theatre Row box office (410 West 42nd Street (between 9th & 10th Avenues) between 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. daily.