The Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director and Elizabeth Doran, Executive Director) announced Bruce Davison, Sharon Lawrence and Roxanne Hart to star in A SONG AT TWILIGHT by Noël Coward, the fifth production of its 2013 – 2014 Season. A SONG AT TWILIGHT is performed March 18 to April 13; the press opening is Sunday, March 23.
Following last season’s smash-hit production of Coward’s comedy, Fallen Angels, director Art Manke – recognized as the region’s current leading director of Coward — returns to The Playhouse to direct this rarely produced and final play of Coward’s illustrious career. In A Song At Twilight, first produced in 1966, an elderly closeted writer hesitantly accepts a visit from his former mistress, leading to a confrontation of past secrets, forbidden affections and surprising confessions. Song was greeted with rapturous reviews, and provided a triumphant end to Coward’s long and remarkable career.
Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse, said, “In 1966, when A Song at Twilight premiered, England was a year away from decriminalizing homosexuality. Coward, who retiscent about this topic through most of his career, also played the part Hugo Latymer, and earned critical and audience praise. Now, almost fifty years later, with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings this past year overturning the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8, this is a perfect time to revisit the play which dates from the beginning of the gay rights movement.”
Manke said, “We have assembled a first-rate cast led by the incomparable Bruce Davison, whose heartbreaking humanity – on display in so much of his work – will bring emotional nuance and great wit to the role of Sir Hugo Latymer. Sharon Lawrence could not be more suited to the glamorous, seductive Carlotta, and Roxanne Hart’s warmth and clear-eyed intelligence is a perfect fit for Hilde.”
The set designer is Tom Buderwitz; costumes by David K. Mickelsen; lighting by Peter Maradudin; and sound by Steven Cahill.
Bruce Davison, one of America’s best known actors, appeared on Broadway as John Merrick in the original production The Elephant Man and as Tom Wingfield, opposite Jessica Tandy, John Heard and Amanda Plummer in The Glass Menagerie, directed by John Dexter, and made his Broadway debut in the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center production of Tiger at the Gates directed by Anthony Quayle. He also appeared off-Broadway in Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive and A.R. Gurney’s The Cocktail Hour, and in Los Angeles in Streamers, The Normal Heart (LADCC Award), The Caine Mutiny Court Marshall, directed by Henry Fonda, A Life in the Theatre and a stage adaptation of To Kill A Mockingbird.
Davison has appeared in over fifty feature films, and has made 200 appearances on television (both episodic and TV films), and starred for three seasons on Harry and the Hendersons, and currently plays Rear Admiral Arthur Shepard in the series Last Resort. For his work in the film Longtime Companion, Bruce was nominated for an Academy Award, won a Golden Globe, the New York and the National Film Critics Award and a Spirit Award. Other notable film roles include Runaway Jury, Apt Pupil, as Senator Robert Kelly in the X-Men series, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, Robert Altman’s Short Cuts, for which the cast was honored with a special Golden Globe and by the Venice Film Festival, Six Degrees Of Separation, The Strawberry Statement, and the cult favorite Willard.
Sharon Lawrence returns to The Playhouse where she was acclaimed in Orson’s Shadow. On stage, she starred as Velma Kelly in the Broadway revival of Chicago in 2000. Lawrence is best known for the role of Sylvia Costas Sipowicz in the ABC drama series NYPD BLUE. Appearing in 99 episodes from 1993 to 1999, the role garnered her three Emmy Award nominations Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. In 2009, she was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal as Izzie Stevens’ mother on Grey’s Anatomy.
In film, she co-starred in Gossip (2000), Little Black Book (2004), The Alibi (2006). Lawrence starred with Betty White and Alfred Molina in Ladies Man from 1999 to 2001 and had series regular role on the CBS supernatural drama Wolf Lake from 2001 to 2002. Lawerence played Maisy Gibbons, a housewife/prostitute in season one of Desperate Housewives. She also appeared in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Boston Legal, Monk, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Mentalist, and Body of Proof.
In October 2010, she began a recurring role on One Tree Hill as Sylvia Baker, the mother of Julian Baker (Austin Nichols); she played the lead character’s mother in the Lifetime comedy-drama Drop Dead Diva from 2009 to 2010; and she played the birthmother of Dr. Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander) in Rizzoli & Isles.
Roxanne Hart, best known for her role as Brenda Wyatt in the 1986 film Highlander and as nurse Camille Shutt on Chicago Hope, appeared on Broadway in stage Loose Ends by Michael Weller, directed by Alan Schneider, and opposite Kevin Kline; British playwright Peter Nichols’ Passion, opposite Frank Langella and directed by Marshall W. Mason, for which she received a
Tony nomination in 1983, and opposite Philip Bosco and Victor Garber in Shaw’s The Devil’s Disciple at Circle in the Square.
Her films include The Verdict, Oh, God! You Devil, Once Around with Holly Hunter, The Good Girl with Jennifer Aniston and The Last Innocent Man with Ed Harris. Her television appearances include on ER, Law & Order, Criminal Minds and Oz. She had recurring roles on the 1990s HBO sitcom Dream On and, more recently, NBC’s Medium.
About A Song at Twilight
In A Song at Twilight, celebrated author Hugo Latymer has reached the autumn of his days with everything a man could wish for: wealth, success, fantastic friends, and a life filled with laughter, luxury and travel. A profound fear of intimacy and public scandal, however, kept him from embracing the one true love in his life, and now he wonders if he would trade the success for a chance to do it all again.
“Songwriters and poets have taught us that greatest joy of life is to love and be loved in return,” said director Manke. “In A Song at Twilight, celebrated author Hugo Latymer didn’t heed that lesson, choosing instead to live a life bound by societal expectations and fear. Now he wonders how his life might have been different had he made room for love.”
“Despite several decades of audiences roaring with laughter at his plays, Noel Coward was often the target of critics who found his work to be thin, at best. With his final play, A Song at Twilight, he had the last laugh and proved that in addition to the usual sparklingly witty dialogue, he could craft characters of great depth and pathos.”
Art Manke (director) With A Song at Twilight as the seventh of Noel Coward’s plays on his resume – including the American premiere of Star Quality – Art Manke has earned the moniker, “L.A.’s Coward specialist” from the Los Angeles Times. His recent hit revival of Coward’s Fallen Angels broke box office records at the Pasadena Playhouse, and transferred for an extended run at Laguna Playhouse.
A five-time winner of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his productions of a wide range of classics and new work, Mr. Manke’s productions are in demand across the country. Recent productions include The Three Musketeers for the Denver Center Theatre Company, Sense and Sensibility for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and the world premiere of Amy Freed’s The Monster-Builder for Portland’s Artists Repertory Theatre at the top of 2014.
Mr. Manke is a co-founder and former artistic director (1991-2001) of the acclaimed classical theatre company, A Noise Within, where he directed the work of Shakespeare, Moliere, Wilde, Sheridan and Sophocles. Other credits include work with South Coast Repertory, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Magic Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, American Players Theatre, Connecticut Repertory Theatre and Red Bull Theatre off-Broadway, among others. He directs for television, holds a B.F.A. from the University of Illinois and an M.F.A. from the American Conservatory Theatre.
A SONG AT TWILIGHT will play March 18 – April 13, 2014. The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tickets, priced from $26 to $72, are available by calling The Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529 or by visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, Tuesday – Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during non-performance dates. On performance dates the Box Office is open Tuesday – Saturday from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit www.PasadenaPlayhouse.org.