Long Wharf Theatre presents The Underpants by Steve Martin from October 16 through November 10, 2013
Long Wharf Theatre, in association with Hartford Stage, presents The Underpants by Steve Martin, adapted from the play by Carl Sternheim, directed by Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein.
The play will take place October 16 through November 10, 2013 at The Claire Tow Stage in the C. Newton Schenck III Theatre before moving to Hartford Stage January 9 through February 9, 2014. The Long Wharf Theatre press opening is Wednesday, October 23 at 7:30 pm. The production sponsor is Better ITS.
Pretty, young Louise is bored. Bored with her stuffy bureaucrat of a husband and with her small life. Dreaming of adventure and romance, she goes out to see the King on parade and an unexpected thing happens – her lacy bloomers accidentally fall to her ankles, winning her notoriety, a series of smitten suitors, and more excitement than she’s had in years.
Adapted by film actor and legendary comedian Steve Martin, The Underpants is a stylish and giddy farce where one learns to never underestimate the power of a glimpse of lingerie. “This is a hilarious and off-kilter comedy about desire and decorum,” Edelstein said. “Everyone can relate to making fools of themselves because they were taken with someone.”
The cast is George Bartenieff (Klinglehoff), Didi Conn (Gertrude), Jenny Leona (Louise), Jeff McCarthy (Theo), Burke Moses (Versati), and Steve Routman (Cohen). The creative team is comprised of Lee Savage (sets), Jess Goldstein (costumes), Robert Wierzel (lights), and David Budries (sound.) Melissa M. Spengler is the Stage Manager.
The Underpants is an adaptation of German playwright Carl Sternheim’s 1911 farce called Die Hose. Martin’s version of the play debuted in 2002 at the Classic Stage Company in New York. “Sternheim’s play is ribald, self-referential, and quirky. I hope I have retained those elements and assured my place in heaven – I mean, served the playwright’s intentions,” Martin wrote in his introduction to the play.
Martin’s prolific and noteworthy career began as a standup comedian and ventured into film and television, all the while maintaining an ever growing writing career. The progression, Martin claimed, was a simple one. A love of words cultivated in high school and college turned into writing comedy routines. Those sketches turned into screenplays, which further evolved into writing for the theatre.
“I remember being in New York and seeing a comic play, and I thought, “I should be able to do that. I’ve written screenplays and I’ve performed live.” So I started fooling around, writing my first play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile. The play had more, let’s say, thoughtful passages. And those thoughtful passages encouraged me to be able to write. For example, in Pure Drivel there are a few stories that are more thoughtful, and I have these thoughtful sentences. And those few sentences encouraged me to be able to write Shopgirl,” Martin told The Believer magazine in 2005.
For more information about The Underpants or to purchase tickets, visit www.longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.
Mr. Bartenieff has just returned from London where he starred in Another Life. As a teenager he was featured in two Broadway shows, The Whole World Over, (director, Harold Clurman) and Lillian Hellman’s Montserrat. In the Sixites he became intensely involved in the experimental theater movement off-and off-off Broadway. The original 1960 New York Krapp’s Last Tape and The Zoo Story, and then he played both parts back to back in the 1965 revival. He played several roles in the year and a-half run of The Brigg with the Living Theatre; another year and a-half in Andre Gregory’s company in Philadelphia; the original Lincoln Center Company (Kazan, Whitehead); and a dozen plays with Joe Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater. All the while, he worked at Judson’s Poets Theater and La Mama, sometimes in two plays at the same time. He founded Theater for the New City in 1970 and was co-artistic director; then founded Theater Three Collaborative, 1995, which will co-produce a new eco-drama Extreme Whether by artistic partner Karen Malpede, spring 2014. Recent Broadway: Merchant of Venice, Fiddler on the Roof; off-Broadway, American Dream and Sandbox, Prophecy, I Will Bear Witness (two one-man shows that also toured Europe). Films include: Julia and Julie, The Dictator. TV: “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “30 Rock,” “Law & Order.” He is the recipient of four Obies, two for acting, two for producing, a Drama Desk and a Philly award for best actor 2005-’06 season.
Ms. Conn is best know as Frenchy, the beauty school drop-out, in Grease and Grease II and starring roles in You Light Up My Life, The Magic Show, Violet, Frida, Oh Baby!, and Thomas and the Magic Railroad. Television: “The Practice”, “Benson”, “Shining Time Station”, Law and Order”. Broadway: Lost in Yonkers, Say Goodnight, Gracie!, The Green Bird, A Christmas Carol, Off Broadway: Love, Loss and What I Wore, Souls of Naples, The Vagina Monologues, The Lesson, and Consequence. Regional: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Birdbath, Room Service, It Had to be You, Anything Goes, Enter Laughing, and A Heap of Livin’. She is the national celebrity spokesperson for the Autism Speaks. Ms. Conn is the creator of the new animate Pre-School musical, Didilightful, with music and lyrics by her award winning husband, composer, David Shire.
Ms. Leona is thrilled to be making her regional theater debut at Long Wharf Theatre. A recent graduate of The Juilliard Drama Division, Jenny’s previous credits include: Fire.Water.Night. (Ellen Stewart Theater; La Mama), Little Murders (The Bootleg Theater), Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen (The Juilliard School), and The Cripple of Inishmaan(The Juilliard School). Jenny would like to thank her parents, her boyfriend Ben, and everyone at Harden-Curtis for all their love and support.
Previous Long Wharf credits: Mr Edelstein’s productions of The Front Page and The Price. Broadway: Chicago (Billy Flynn), The Grinch Who…(Grinch), The PirateQueen (Dubdhara), Urinetown (Lockstock), Side Show (Terry), Beauty and the Beast (Beast), Smile (Big Bob), Zorba (Niko) L.A.: Les Misérables (Javert), The Three Sisters (Vershinin), Search and Destroy (Martin), A Little Night Music (Frederick), City of Angels (Stone). Off-B’way:Southern Comfort (CAP21) Sympathetic Magic (2nd Stage), Dream True (Vineyard), On the 20th Century (York). Regional: Kunstler (Hudson Stage), Fox on the Fairway (Signature Theater), You, Nero (Berkeley Rep); All My Sons, Sweeney Todd, Follies (Barrington Stage); The Beggar’s Opera (Santa Fe Opera), Bed and Sofa (Wilma Theater) Arms and the Man (Huntington), Bedroom Farce (Center Stage), The Misanthrope (Guthrie), Buried Child and Pantegleize (ACT, San Francisco), Henry IV (Indiana Rep.), Sunday in the Park (Seattle Rep), A Lie of the Mind (Denver Center). International: Iphenigia in Aulis (Athens Theater Center), Lady Be Good (La Fenice, Italy) TV: “The Good Wife”, “Schweitzer” (title role), “Love Monkey,” “Star Trek: TNG” and “Voyager,” “Ed,” “Law & Order(s),” “Cheers,” “Designing Women,” “L.A. Law,” “In the Heat of the Night.” Film: Starting Out in the Evening, Consent, RoboCop 2, Eve of Destruction, Rapid Fire, Cliffhanger. Jeff is the voice of the great Chuck Jones’ creation, Michigan J. Frog.
Burke Moses, made his Broadway debut as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, and then went on to create the character of Gaston in the original Broadway, London, and Los Angeles production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Also on Broadway, he played Fred Graham in the smash revival of Kiss Me Kate, and Herecles in Stephen Sondheim’s Frogs at Lincoln Center. He was seen in Duberry was a Lady, and played the title character in Lil’ Abner at City Center’s Encore series, and made his New York Musical debut at the NY City Opera as Joey in The Most Happy Fella. Recent credits include Von Trapp in the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Mirvish production of The Sound of Music in Toronto, Babe Ruth in Johnny Baseball at the A.R.T, and Trevor Greydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie at the Papermill Play House. Mr. Moses is making this Long Wharf Theatre debut.
Recent appearances include Fiorello!; Pipe Dream (Encores!); The Shaggs (Playwrights Horizons); La Bete (Broadway); The Fantasticks (The Snapple Center); Harold and Maude, The Game of Love (York Theater). He made his Broadway debut in Broadway directed by the legendary George Abbott. Steve received a Helen Hayes nomination in Eleanor (Ford’s) and a Kevin Kline nomination in Much Ado (STL Shakespeare). TV/Film includes The Wolf of Wall Street; The Left Overs; True Story; Boardwalk Empire; Inside Llewyn Davis; The Bourne Legacy; The Good Wife; I Don’t Know How She Does It ; L&O/SVU/CI; Arthur 3: The War of Two Worlds; Welcome to New York and “Ed”. Regionally he has performed in Shakespeare, Chekhov, Feydeau, Odets, Guare, Stoppard, Coward and numerous musicals in over 20 regional theaters. He is a proud graduate of Northwestern, a lyricist in the BMI workshop with composer Joy Son (Harrington Award), and a new resident of New Haven.