This past Friday, December 9th saw a particularly glittering celebrity audience at Off-Broadway's newest hit THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, including Tony Award winner Dick Latessa, legendary MGM star Marge Champion, Sondheim favorite Teri Ralston, and Ballroom composer Billy Goldenberg. After the show, they happily posed for photos with their close friends and colleagues, DINNER stars Jim Brochu and Cady Huffman.
The award-winning Peccadillo Theater Company is presenting the Off-Broadway debut of Moss Hart & George S. Kaufman's classic American comedy through this Sunday, December 18th at Theatre at St. Clement's, 423 West 46th Street (between Ninth & Tenth Aves.)
THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER opened at the Music Box Theatre on October 16, 1939 and ran for 739 performances. In the hilarious comedy satire, celebrated critic and radio personality SheriDan Whiteside slips on an icy doorstep while on a December lecture tour. Confined for several weeks of recovery at the Midwestern home of the utterly conventional Mr. and Mrs. Stanley, he proceeds to turn the family's life inside out with his incessant demands, long-distance phone calls and parade of eccentric celebrity guests. As Whiteside's secretary Maggie says, "He would see his mother burned at the stake if that was the only way he could light his cigarette!"
Jim Brochu received the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Best Solo Performance for his portrayal of the legendary Zero Mostel in Zero Hour. Since its premiere in 2006, he has been touring the country with the show, garnering both unanimous critical raves and major theatrical honors. In addition to the Drama Desk, Jim Brochu won the Ovation Award in Los Angeles (Best Play), the Carbonell Award of South Florida (Best Actor) and the Helen Hayes Award in Washington, DC (Best Actor). A native of Brooklyn, he made his Broadway debut as Christopher Sly in The Taming of the Shrew. He is the author of ten plays including the hit Off-Broadway musical The Last Session written with partner Steve Schalchlin, which he also directed. His caricature hangs on the wall of the legendary Sardi's Restaurant, a tribute to a 40-plus year show business career as an actor and playwright.
Cady Huffman is a Tony Award winner for her performance as Ulla in The Producers and her other Broadway credits include The Will Rogers Follies (Tony nomination), La Cage aux Folles, Bob Fosse's Big Deal, and Dame Edna: The Royal Tour. Her films include The Company Men, Romance & Cigarettes, Hero, The Nanny Diaries and Dare. Cady is a regular judge on the Food Network's "Iron Chef America," having been described by host Alton Brown as the "Kitty Carlisle Hart of Kitchen Stadium." Other TV appearances include "The Good Wife," "Frasier," "Mad About You," and "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
Under the direction of Obie Award winner Dan Wackerman, the 24-member cast of THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER also features Joseph R. Sicari, Amy Landon, Dave Bobb, Ray Crisara, Ira Denmark, Scott Evans, Thursday Farrar, Kevin Fugaro, Jenna Gavigan, Kristin Griffith, Einar Gunn, Susan Jeffries, Kristine Nevins, John Seidman, Carolyn Seiff, Jay Stratton, Tony Triano, Susan Varon, Reggie Whitehead, DaRon Lamar Williams, and John Windsor-Cunningham.
Founded in 1994, The Peccadillo Theater Company is a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to the rediscovery of classic American theater, particularly those works which, despite their obvious literary and theatrical value, are not regularly revived. Beginning with Eugene O'Neill (generally considered the starting point of modern American theater), Peccadillo concentrates on the era of the so-called well-made play, a period of sparkling wit and sophistication in comedy as well as deepening realism in the drama. It encompasses such diverse and little-known works as The Silver Cord by Sidney Howard, Jane by S.N. Behrman, The Shanghai Gesture by John Colton as well as the neglected plays of celebrated authors like Dorothy Parker and John O'Hara. Collectively, this work represents nothing less than the American experience itself in all its contradictions and screwball energy.
In recent years, Peccadillo has broadened its mission to include original plays and musicals that share some of the virtues of classic American theater such as period style, well-defined characters and strong plotting. Such was the case with The Talk of the Town, an original musical about the legendary wits of the Algonquin Roundtable, several of whose plays Peccadillo has produced. And Zero Hour, about the actor/comedian Zero Mostel, whose appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee was just as explosive as his stage performances. Peccadillo's most recent production was its critically acclaimed revival of the George Abbott/Arthur Schwartz/Dorothy Fields musical A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Outer Critics Circle nominee Best Musical Revival).
The performance schedule for THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER is Wednesday at 7 pm, Thursday through Saturday at 8 pm, with matinees Saturday at 2 pm and Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets are $25 and are available by calling 212-352-3101 or through www.ThePeccadillo.com.
Teri Ralston, Marge Champion, Jim Brochu, Ira Denmark, Joseph R. Sicari, Composer/Performer Steve Schalchlin, Billy Goldenberg
Cady Huffman, Dick Latessa, Jim Brochu
Cady Huffman, Dick Latessa
Teri Ralston, Jim Brochu