Thursday, August 11, 2011

Richard Thomas Stars in One-Night Performance at Westport

In celebration of Tennessee Williams’ centennial year, Westport Country Playhouse will stage a special performance by acclaimed actor Richard Thomas in A Distant Country Called Youth, based on a collection of lively and evocative letters written by a young Tennessee Williams, on Monday, Aug. 29 at 7 pm.Tickets to the one-night-only performance are $15.
The theatrical event will be a part of the enhanced programming surrounding the Playhouse’s production of Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last Summer Aug. 23 – Sept. 10.
A Distant Country Called Youth begins as the boy Thomas Lanier Williams moves through family travails and professional rejection to his first success, and concludes with the triumphal Broadway opening of The Glass Menagerie. The letters are a remarkable blend -earnest, hilarious, anguished, touching - as the chameleon Williams writes to family and friends, lovers and celebrities during an  obscure 25 years in Williams’life.
The production is adapted by Steve Lawson from "The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams, Vol. I, 1920-1945," edited by Albert J. Devlin and Nancy M. Tischler. When Lawson (who also directs the production) read these letters, he immediately sensed they contained the seeds of a theatrical event. He was granted permission to proceed by the Williams estate, and the adaptation premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2001. It has since played at Hartford Stage (where Richard Thomas first performed it), and subsequently at theaters across America including the Kennedy Center as well as in England and Ireland.
Thomas appeared in Westport Country Playhouse’s Critic’s Choice and Whose Life Is It Anyway?  Most recently, he was in a reading of A. R. Gurney’s The Golden Age on the Playhouse stage. Thomas captured the public’s heart starring in the Emmy Award-winning TV series,“The Waltons” and also has numorous Broadway and stage credits.

For more information or tickets, call the box office at 203-227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available at www.westportplayhouse.org.

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