Town Players present spring show 'Sweet Bird of Youth'
Published 4:17 pm, Tuesday, April 24, 2012
In the Town Players' spring show Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth, Lynne Bolton will portray Princess, the no longer young movie star who has a raging tiger in her soul. "Tennessee Williams' makes it so easy to create the character, providing particular, clear, unique, very specific and detailed circumstances," Bolton said. "Princess is falling off the cliff in her late 40s and needs to come to grips with her innate vs. her superficial value as an actress and woman." Lynne brings to Princess years of acting experience in Louisville, New York and Connecticut, most recently the title role of Candida with the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket's January 2012 production of the George Bernard Shaw classic, which as co-artistic director of the White Heron Theatre Company she is taking to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. Lynne directed TPNC's productions of "Amadeus" and "The Twenty Fifth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee."
Town Players director Gary Battaglia believes Williams is the quintessential American playwright.
"His play is about loss of youthful beauty and innocence and the effect this loss has on all the characters, `that bird that sails away with your youth.' He treats our vulnerabilities in ways that are more identifiable and brings his plays closer to real people," he said. "His characters are representative of life, not larger than life as are those of Eugene O'Neill. The audience will see themselves in Sweet Bird of Youth. I don't see how anybody will not relate to the show."
Performances will take place the Powerhouse Theatre in Waveny Park, 677 South Avenue, New Canaan on Friday and Saturday, May 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. with Sunday matinees on May 6 and 13 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Call 203-966-7371 for tickets.
When the lights come up, Chance Wayne, an actor whose career has hit the skids, has become a beach boy and been picked up in Palm Beach by fading movie star Alexandra Del Lago, who is travelling incognita as Princess Kosmonopolis. Now her gigolo/caregiver, Chance takes Princess to St. Cloud, his home town, so that he can reunite with the love of his life Heavenly, daughter of Boss Finley, and also boast to all that Princess is sponsoring his movie comeback.
Bolton will join Rowayton's Gave Morrow as his leading lady. Princess and Chance recognize in each other the tortured soul not respected and valued by society and are complex, fascinating characters From the first rehearsal, Bolton and Morrow had an immediate chemistry on stage and share a kinship. Each originally from Louisville, Morrow said they understand "the Southern genteel way of being and speaking, and underneath is a disturbing pathology."
"You get the light, airy world of the south," Bolton said. "They own their own oddities, quirks and circumstances and embrace themselves. The fun is watching them come alive and taking the journey with them. I have known people like this and smile in knowing these people are archetypes."
Morrow loves the play.
"TW writes in a dramatic way for the theatre and so many contemporary playwrights write as if writing for movies," he said. "Any play that engages an audience has to tell a story that the audience will buy in to. Chance is a tragic character: his speech at the end of the play, `recognize yourself in me,' resonates."
Completing the cast are Michael Kopko as Boss Finley, Bobby Pavia, who appeared as Amadeus last fall as Boss's son, Tom, Jr., a chip off the old block, Tim Cronin as Scudder, Kyle Runestad as Scotty, and Kathleen Klatte as Aunt Nonnie.