Beowulf Alley Theatre announces the opening play of their 2011-2012 season, Rough Crossing, by Tom Stoppard with select music by Andre Previn and directed by Dave Sewell. It's the late 1920s and the famous playwrighting team of Turai and Gal are onboard the cruise liner Italian Castle bound for New York. They are facing a deadline: the final act of their next smash hit is not yet finished, and their young composer and protégé, Adam Adam is hitting rough seas with his fiancée, Natasha Navratilova, the love interest in the play. It seems Natasha has just rekindled a romance with former boyfriend and current co-star Ivor Fish, and Adam is about to tear up the score and jump ship. Will Turai and Gal avert disaster, calm their neurotic composer and finish the play before ship arrives in New York? Of course they will: it's a romping 20s-style farce! The hero may well turn out to be Dvornichek, the amazingly resourceful cabin steward with the unpronounceable name.
When asked why he wanted present this play to Tucson audiences, Director Dave Sewell replied, "Rough Crossing features a delectable assemblage of show business egos, preposterous situations, and silly musical numbers delivered in a semi-coherent but hilarious soufflé by acclaimed British playwright Tom Stoppard. The inspiration for this insanity comes from Ferenc Molnar's Play at the Castle. Stoppard adapted Molnar's script and contributed lyrics to musical numbers scored by noted composer/conductor Andre Previn. The result could best be described as no less than a retro-romp on the high seas! I think we need a little comedy. Don't you?"
The playwright, Tom Stoppard, born Tomas Straussler, is a Czech-born British playwright. He is considered to be a master of comic invention, visual humor, and remarkably witty wordplay, using his considerable skills to investigate philosophical questions in an extremely entertaining manner. After living in East Asia with his family during World War II, he moved to England and adopted his stepfather's surname. His first play, A Walk on the Water, was televised in 1963, and he won fame with the absurdist Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (1966; film, 1990). His later plays, marked by verbal brilliance, ingenious plotting, and a playful interest in pivotal historical moments, include Jumpers (1972), Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1977; with music by André Previn), The Real Thing (1982), and Arcadia (1993). He has also written radio plays and screenplays for films such as Empire of the Sun (1987) and Shakespeare in Love (1998, Academy Award). Stoppard was knighted in 1997.
Dave Sewell has over thirty-five years of theatre experience. A native of Southern California, Dave received his degree in Theatre from the University of California, Riverside. He has directed over thirty productions and participated in countless others as an actor, set designer, production manager or technician. Since moving to Tucson in 1995, Dave has worked with Catalina Players, Desert Players, Old Pueblo Playwrights, Stark Naked Productions, Tucson Theatre Ensemble, and Stories that Soar! He has directed plays in a wide variety of genres, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, ‘night, Mother, Measure for Measure, Galileo, and Deathtrap, among others,and has designed many of the sets for the shows he has directed. For Beowulf, Dave has directed Arcadia, Wait Until Dark, and The First Third, and this past season Dave directed and co-designed The Transylvanian Clockworks. Dave also has experience in nonprofit theatre management, having served as board member, managing director, and grant writer, among other roles. Dave currently serves on Beowulf Alley's Artistic Development Committee.
The cast includes Bree Boyd-Martin, Matt Brown, Richard Chaney, Amy Gallegos, Bri Giger, Brian Hale, Shannon Rzucidlo, David Swisher, and David Zinke.
The production team includes Jim Ambrosek, Susan Arnold, SaraLynn Cano, Bill Dell, Bill Galbreath, Meagan Jones and Taryn Wintersteen.
For more information and to order tickets, visit online at www.beowulfalley.org or by phone during box office hours at 882-0555 until 4 hours before the performance, then tickets are available by phone or at the door only for $23.
Photo Credit: Creatista/Scott Griessel
Bree Boyd, David Swisher, Brian Scott Hale, Richard Chaney, â€œZinkâ€? aka David Zinke
Richard Chaney, Matt Brown, David Swisher, Brian Scott Hale
David Swisher, Breezy Giger; Center â€“ Amy Gallegos; Front â€“ Shannon Rzucidlo
BWW Hi-Res Gallery - Original Version