LONG BEACH - The International City Theatre production of "The Robber Bridegroom," described as "funny, rowdy and sexy," opens Oct. 14 at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center.Low-priced previews take place Oct. 11-13. Based on the 1942 Eudora Welty novella, "The Robber Bridegroom" is a comic, adult fairy tale loaded with symbolism, innuendo and double entendre. It's the story of a charming gentleman bandit, the rich plantation owner's daughter he loves, the wicked, sex-starved stepmother who wants her dead, and an evil thief who carries his brother's head around in a trunk - all set to an infectious Broadway/bluegrass score. "It's a Southern, country Appalachian, bluegrass celebration," enthused director Todd Nielsen. "It's been beautifully adapted from the novella, bringing out all the colorful, rough and ready characters that Eudora Welty created, and with a wonderful sense of romance and humor." "The Robber Bridegroom" originated at the Musical Theatre Lab in 1970, pioneering the "workshop" process during its developmental stages. The 1975 Broadway production received a Tony nomination for "Best Book of a Musical" and six Drama Desk nominations, including "Outstanding Musical" and "Unique theatrical Experience." The production established the career of playwright Alfred Uhry, who would later write the acclaimed "Driving Miss Daisy" and "The Last Night of Ballyhoo," and catapulted the careers of its two stars, Kevin Line and Patti LuPone, both recent graduates of Juilliard making their professional debuts. Following a successful national tour, a second Broadway run was mounted just one year later, earning Barry Bostwick the Tony Award for lead actor in a musical and another eight Drama Desk nominations. The New York Times called the "The Robber Bridegroom" a "modern fairy tale, where irony and humor, outright nonsense, deep wisdom and surrealistic extravaganzas become a poetic unity through the power of a pure exquisite style." "The Robber Bridegroom" runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m., from Oct. 14 through Nov. 6. Tickets are $37 on Thursdays and $44 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, except opening night which is $55 and includes a reception with the actors following the performance. Preview tickets are $29. For tickets and information, call (562) 436-4610 or go to ictlongbeach.org.
********** Published: September 22, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 23