Light Up The Sky
by Moss Hart, directed by Scott Edmiston
Running Time: 2 hours, inclusive of a 15 minute intermission
Box Office: 617-585-5678 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Production Sponsored by Jo-An Heileman
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|Limited number of $25 tickets available at every performance. Ticket prices subject to change at any time.|
Jordan Clark (Miss Lowell) returns to the Lyric Stage having last appeared in Death of a Salesman. Other Boston credits include: You For Me For You and She Kills Monsters (Company One), Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Pinocchio(Wheelock Family Theatre), Blue Window (Brown Box Theatre Project), and Smile! (New Exhibition Room). She also works with educational and interactive theatre companies such as Theatre Espresso, The Bok Players, and True to Life Training. Jordan holds a B.A. in Vocal Performance from the University of the Incarnate Word in her hometown of San Antonio, TX.
Will LeBow (Sidney) returns to Lyric Stage, having appeared in Superior Donuts. NY credits: Act One (Lincoln Center Theater). As an American Repertory Theatre company actor, Will appeared in more than 55 productions in over 17 seasons, Merchant of Venice, Full Circle (Elliot Norton Award), Nocturne, Endgame, David Mamet’s Romance, Copenhagen, and Steve Martin’s Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Other credits include The Rivals, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and Sonia Flew(Huntington Theatre) and Once in a Lifetime (American Conservatory Theatre). He has performed extensively with the Boston Pops, narrating Casey at the Bat, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and world premieres of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Polar Express, and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. With Boston Baroque he performed the role of the Pasha in Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio, and with Boston Lyric Opera he appeared as The Major Domo in Ariadne Auf Naxos. Film and TV credits include Next Stop Wonderland, What Doesn’t Kill You, Second Sight, and six seasons as “Stanley” on Comedy Central’s Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist.
Will McGarrahan (Carleton Fitzerald) returns to the Lyric Stage where he performed in Into The Woods, Death of a Salesman, Becky’s New Car, 33 Variations, The Chosen, The Temperamentals, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Grey Gardens, November, Souvenir, and Dirty Blonde. Other local credits include A Raisin in the Sun (Huntington Theatre), Big Fish, Far From Heaven, Next Fall, The Drowsy Chaperone, Reckless, Some Men, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Five By Tenn, Company, The Last Sunday in June, Elegies: A Song Cycle, Ruthless!, A Class Act, A New Brain (SpeakEasy Stage), The Wind in the Willows, Happy Days (Gloucester Stage), Nine Circles (Publick Theatre and Gloucester Stage), The Moon For The Misbegotten, Buried Child (Nora Theater), and The Wrestling Patient (SpeakEasy Stage/Boston Playwrights/40 Magnolias). Will worked as an actor, singer, and pianist for many years in Seattle before moving to Boston’s South End in 2001.
Bob Mussett (Shriner/William H. Gallagher) is making his Lyric Stage debut. Recent credits include Winter Panto 2015: KerPlop! The Tale of the Frog Prince (Imaginary Beasts), The Real Thing, Translations (Bad Habit Productions), Far Away, The After-Dinner Joke (Whistler in the Dark), Neighbourhood Watch (Zeitgeist Stage), The Eight: Reindeer Monologues (Happy Medium Theatre). He has also worked with Vaquero Playground, Fresh Ink Theatre, Independent Drama Society, Exquisite Corps Theatre, and Holland Productions. Bob is also a new works advocate, helping with new play development through WordBRIDGE Playwright’s Laboratory, the O’Neill Young Playwrights’ Festival, and numerous companies throughout Boston. All his love to Sarah.
Terrence O’Malley (Tyler Rayburn) was previously seen at the Lyric in Epic Proportions and 1776. He can also be seen at the Museum of Science in a large elevated Farraday cage. Please take another look at the Lyrics posters, as they are designed by his wife, of whom he is extremely proud!
Paula Plum (Irene Livinston) returns to the Lyric Stage shaving been seen in 33 Variations, The Goat, Private Lives, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Blithe Spirit, Sideman, The Heiress, Mercy Seat, Miss Witherspoon, Three Tall Women, and Death of a Salesman (IRNE Award, Best Actress). In March she jumped into four performances as Molly Ivins in Red Hot Patriot. As a founding member of Actors’ Shakespeare Project, she has played Cleopatra, Beatrice, Lady Macbeth, and Phèdre. Ms Plum has appeared in The New Century, Savannah Disputation, History Boys, Body Awareness, Divine Sister (SpeakEasy Stage), No Exit, Ivanov, Mother Courage, Lysistrata, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, Picasso at the Lapin Agile (American Repertory Theatre), and Julius Caesar (Elm Shakespeare). Film work includes The March Sisters At Christmas, Sins of the Preacher, Malice, Mermaids, Next Stop Wonderland, and the upcoming Woody Allen movie Irrational Man. Paula is the recipient of five IRNE Awards, the 1995 & 2007 Eliot Norton Award for Best Actress, the 2004 Eliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, and the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University. In 2009 she was one of five actors nation-wide to receive the prestigious Fox Actor Fellowship in association with SpeakEasy Stage Co. She is married to actor Richard Snee.
Alejandro Simoes (Peter Sloan) returns to the Lyric Stage having last appeared in One Man, Two Guvnors. Recent credits include The Motherf**ker with the Hat (SpeakEasy Stage, IRNE Best Supporting Actor), Our Country’s Good, Recent Tragic Events, Aunt Dan and Lemon (Whistler in the Dark), Hideous Progeny, Melancholy Play (Holland Productions),Paperbag Princess, Shh! (New Exhibition Room), Travesties, Romeo & Juliet, Misalliance (Publick Theatre), Titus Andronicus(Actor’s Shakespeare Project), The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth (Commonwealth Shakespeare), King John (Shakespeare & Company), Olly’s Prison, Dido, Queen of Carthage (A.R.T.), as well as productions with Stoneham Theatre, Theatre on Fire, Zeitgeist Stage, and Imaginary Beasts. He trained at Shakespeare & Company, Southwick Studio, and Northeastern University.
Richard Snee (Owen Turner) returns to the Lyric Stage having appeared in The Goat, Boithe Spirit, Baltimore Waltz, Lend Me a Tenor, Communicating Doors, November, Epic Proportions, and Red Herring. He has also appeared at the Huntington Theatre, the Wilbur Theatre, the American Repertory Theatre, the Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare, and several others, including the Gloucester Stage Company, where he will be appearing this summer in Out of Sterno. Richard joined the Boston company of Shear Madness in 1987, and is a founding member of The Actors’ Shakespeare Project. His film credits include Gone, Baby Gone, The Company Men, My Best Friend’s Girl, and Never Met Picasso. He has voiced animated characters for Dr. Katz, Home Movies, Hey, Monie!, and Science Court. With his wife, Paula Plum, Richard starred in the animated FX series The Dick and Paula Celebrity Special. She was “Paula.” He was “The Dick.”
Bobbie Steinbach* (Stella Livingston) returns to the Lyric Stage where she performed in Follies, The Importance of Being Earnest, Arms and the Man, Spitfire Grill, Over the River and Through the Woods, and Assassins. Bobbie is an Actors’ Shakespeare Project Founding Member/Resident Actor where she has performed in sixteen plays in the Canon, including Richard III , Twelfth Night, All’s Well That Ends Well The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth, Coriolanus, Othello, Henry I, and Henry VIII. Regional credits: Rose Tattoo, Dead End, The Corn is Green (Huntington Theatre), Collected Stories, The Clean House, Romeo & Juliet, A Girl’s War, The Waverly Gallery, Stonewall Jackson’s House (New Repertory Theatre),Deported/a dream play, A Girl’s War (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), It’s A Wonderful Life, Rimers of Eldritch, A Prayer for Owen Meany (Stoneham Theatre), Anna in the Tropics (SpeakEasy Stage), Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company), Christmas Revels at Sanders Theatre. Directing credits: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth (Shakespeare Now!), Our Town (Boston Conservatory), Diary of Anne Frank (New Repertory Theatre Touring Company). Bobbie received the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress for Stonewall Jackson’s House, Over the River and Through the Woods, and Sailing Down the Amazon, IRNE Best Actress Award for Collected Stories, and IRNE Best Supporting Actress Award for Over the River and Through the Woods and A Girl’s War. Her work was recognized in Boston Magazine’s 2012 Best of Boston. Bobbiesteinbach.com
Kathy St. George (Frances Black) previously appeared at the Lyric Stage in Follies, Blithe Spirit, The Gig, Adrift in Macao, and Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Jerome Robbins (1991 Tony Award). Off-Broadway: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and five National Tours. Boston area credits include The Divine Sister (2012 Elliot Norton Award), Dear Miss Garland, Menopause the Musical, Das Barbecu (IRNE Award) and And Now Ladies and Gentlemen, Miss Judy Garland (IRNE Award). Most recently, Kathy performed at New Repertory Theatre in Closer than Ever and King of Second Avenue. KATHYSTGEORGE.COM
Scott Edmiston (Director) returns to the Lyric Stage where he directed Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Water by the Spoonful, Time Stands Still, My Name Is Asher Lev, Miss Witherspoon, The Scene, Lobby Hero, and Private Lives. He has directed more than 60 Boston area productions at SpeakEasy Stage Company, American Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, Opera Boston, Underground Railway Theatre, New Rep, and Gloucester Stage, among others. Highlights include: Long Day’s Journey into Night, The History Boys, Far from Heaven, Brundibar, Other Desert Cities, Nixon in China, Five by Tenn, Sunday in the Park with George, In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play), A Marvelous Party, The Light in the Piazza, The Women, Dear Miss Garland, Next Fall, Jacques Brel, and Betrayal. Four of his productions have received Elliot Norton Awards as Outstanding Production or Musical, and he has received three Norton Awards and two IRNE Awards for his direction. He is also the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from Penn State, the StageSource Theatre Hero Award, and the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence in Theatre. Scott is a Professor of the Practice and Chair of the Department of Theatre at Northeastern University. He will return to Lyric Stage this fall to direct My Fair Lady.
Janie E. Howland (Scenic Design) returns to the Lyric Stage for her 22nd season having recently designed Sweeney Toddand Death of a Salesman. Recent productions include Edge of Peace (Central Square Theatre), Taste of Sunrise (Wheelock Family Theatre), Whipping Man (New Repertory Theatre), Romeo and Juliet, Henry VIII (Actors’ Shakespeare Project), Diary of Anne Frank, Flat Stanley (Boston Children’s Theatre). Previous work seen at Consenses, Art Festival, conceived by Sally Taylor, at Wellesley College, Davis Square and Martha’s Vineyard. Other venues include: SpeakEasy Stage, Weston Playhouse, North Shore Music Theatre, A.R.T. Institute, Boston Conservatory, Company One, Stoneham Theatre, Seacoast Rep, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Huntington Theatre Studio 210. M.F.A. from Brandeis University MFA. Co-founder CYCO SCENIC. 2009, 2006, and 1997 Elliot Norton Award winner. 2007 and 2006 IRNE Award winner. Adjunct faculty at Emerson College, Wellesley College. USA Local 829. JANIEHOWLAND.COM
Gail Astrid Buckley (Costume Design) returns to the Lyric Stage having designed many shows including last season’s Death of a Salesman. Recent designs include Comedy of Error, God’s Ear (Actor’s Shakespeare Project,) L’italiana in Algeri (Boston Conservatory), The Fabulous Lipitones (Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre), Something’s Afoot, That Hopey Changey Thing (Stoneham Theatre), and A Christmas Carol (Hanover Theatre). Gail received the 2002 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Costume Design, the 2010 Elliot Norton for best design for The Adding Machine (SpeakEasy Stage), the 2002 IRNE Award for Costume Design for Twelfth Night (Commonwealth Shakespeare), the 2006 IRNE Award for Costume Design for her work on both Caroline, or Change and The Women (SpeakEasy Stage). Gail is a member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.
Karen Perlow (Lighting Design) returns to the Lyric Stage where favorite productions include Death of a Salesman, Water by the Spoonful, Time Stands Still, My Name Is Asher Lev, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Miss Witherspoon, Urinetown, the Musical, Dirty Blonde, and Lobby Hero. This past season she designed Far From Heaven, Big Fish (SpeakEasy Stage), Reconsidering Hannah (Boston Playwrights’ Theater), Dear Elizabeth (Lyric Stage), and The Little Prince (New Repertory Theater). A three-time winner of the IRNE Award (2009, 2007, 2002), Karen teaches Lighting Design at Northeastern as well as English to Speakers of Other Languages with the YMCA. Member USA 829. KARENPERLOWLIGHTDESIGN.COM
Nerys Powell (Production Stage Manager) has been the stage manager this season for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, and Intimate Apparel. Last season Nerys was the production stage manager for One Man, Two Guvnors, Becky’s New Car, and Death of a Salesman. She was also the A.E.A. assistant stage manager for Into the Woods before assuming the mantle and stage managing the final three weeks of the extended run. Nerys holds a B.A. in English Literature from the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY and is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association.
Pablo Hernandez Basulto (Assistant Director) just finished his second year as a theatre major at Northeastern University with a double concentration in performance and production. He has acted in The Importance of Being Earnest, Antigone, and Elephant’s Graveyard. He also designed projections for columbinus, and masks for Romeo and Juliet. Originally from Cuernavaca, Mexico, he has interned at the National Theatre Company of Mexico and is interested in directing.
Samuel Hanson (Sound Design) makes his artistic debut at the Lyric Stage this season as an audio engineer and sound designer. Originally from Williamsburg, MA, Mr. Hanson currently resides in Jamaica Plain, where he attends Northeastern University as a Music Composition and Technology major in his senior year. Recently, Mr. Hanson collaborated with Boston Modern Orchestra Project musicians to record his mixed work, Voyageur, which is in post-production. Mr. Hanson works avidly in the Boston area as an audio/visual technician, composer, audio engineer, sound designer, and musician.
Greg Nash (Assistant Stage Manager) returns to Lyric Stage after being A.S.M. for last season’s Death of a Salesman. Most recently, Greg stage managed Neville’s Island (Stoneham Theatre), Uncle Jack (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre/Boston Center for American Performance co-production), and Chosen Child (Boston Plawrights’ Theatre). Off-Broadway, Greg stage-managed Tennessee Williams performing in his play, Small Craft Warnings. Regional theatre credits include the Goodman Theatre and the Long Wharf Theatre. Local credits include the Nora Theatre, Underground Railway Theater, Boston Theatre Works, The Publick Theatre, New Repertory Theatre (PSM for Waiting for Godot and Sweeney Todd), and many seasons stage-managing and acting at the Wheelock Family Theatre. Greg holds a B.F.A. from the BU School of Theatre.
* denotes member of Actor’s Equity Association
** denotes member of United Scenic Artists (USA-Locat 829)
*** denotes member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)
Director Scott Edmiston casts these 10 roles beautifully, eliciting topnotch performances from his hardworking cast. They deliver much merriment to the audience with their wild and crazy antics, leading to nonstop laughter all night long. […] Playing the diva-like actress, Irene Livingston is Paula Plum who is superb in this role. She goes from being faint to madcap to manic to depressed to sickly in a wink of an eye. She is reminiscent of Katherine Hepburn with her delivery of lines as this 1940’s actress. […] The other scene stealers in this play are Will LeBow who plays Sidney Black and Kathy St. George who plays his blonde ice skating wife, Frances. Will is a whirlwind of power and energy as this rich producer. His line delivery is flawless and he commands the stage with his presence. Kathy is another human dynamo with her excellent Brooklyn accent. Her funny one liners stop the show with hilarity.
[…] artfully and hilariously on point, led by a quartet of divas. Those headliners would include the trio of madcap actresses, locally beloved, by the names of Plum, St. George and Steinbach, each with her singular opportunity to light up this particular sky. The fourth, and most surprisingly adept diva, is none other than McGarrahan, who adds to an amazingly varied roster of his roles, that of the hyperventilated director. And attention must be paid to the other luminaries in this milky way of star turns, including LeBow and Snee. It’s the rare production in this day and age that provides such a cornucopia of corn, and exquisite corn this is.
Chief among the virtues of “Light Up the Sky’’ is the juicy showcase it provides for the aforementioned cast of always-welcome local stalwarts. Handed an opportunity to shamelessly ham it up while reeling off snappy ’40s patter, performers like Paula Plum, Will McGarrahan, Kathy St. George, and Will LeBow respond with the considerable wit at their disposal.
The craftsmanship here is at a high level. It’s found in the brisk pacing, comic timing, sharp costumes (by Gail Astrid Buckley), handsome set (by Janie E. Howland) and in the easy rapport among these skilled actors.
The fun that the veteran cast of Moss Hart’s ‘Light Up the Sky’ is having in each other’s company leaps across the proverbial fourth wall, making you feel more like a guest at a family reunion than a member of a theater audience.
Director Scott Edmiston orchestrates the stage brilliantly. He makes all 10 characters seem to dance to and fro, with various twists and turns, that deftly make the audience continually laugh and often chortle.
The play is full of jokes with a ‘40s flair woven throughout the lines, many colorful, wacky characters, and a setting ripe for comedy.
The cast is a “who’s who” of marvelous Boston veterans who routinely light up our stages: Paula Plum as soignee leading lady Irene Livingston, Will LeBow as money-grubbing, piano-playing producer Sidney Black, Richard Snee as Owen Turner the writer who’s written it all, Will McGarrahan as the giddily grandiose, piano-playing (who doesn’t play?!) director Carleton Fitzgerald, Kathy St. George as Sidney’s champagne-swigging and still sprightly skating star wife Frances, and Bobbie Steinbach– funnier than I’ve ever seen her as the diva’s wisecracking, curler-clad mother Stella!
PREVIEWS & INTERVIEWS
And then “Light Up the Sky” (May 15 to June 13) assembles a cast of lovable loonies from the theater world, as they gather in a room at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Boston, awaiting the opening-night reviews for their Broadway-bound play. Playwright Moss Hart conjures up the clichés: a cynical playwright, an overbearing producer and the diva-esque leading lady. But these are just stereotypes, right? Real actors aren’t like this, are they?
“These comedies aren’t revived as often as dramas from the period because we worry the jokes are dated,” LeBow says. “But Hart wrote a style of comedy along the lines of vaudeville sketch comedy rather than the simple set-up and punch line we’re more familiar with. I actually find Hart’s style easier to dig into as an actor because it requires personality as well as timing. “With comedy, as actors, we are trying to create characters that are a little larger than life, going for something a little bit over the top,” he says, “but you still have to fill that character with honesty and reality.”