The Powerhouse stage is transformed into the old Royal Palms Hotel in a town called Saint Cloud, somewhere along the Gulf Coast. The Town Players of New Canaan’s spring show, Tennessee Williams’ evocative play Sweet Bird of Youth, opens May 4th and plays weekends thru May 19th.
Following a grueling eight week rehearsal schedule for Tennessee Williams’ evocative play Sweet Bird of Youth and a tech weekend that brought actors, lighting, costumes and sound together for the first time, Town Players of New Canaan’s producer Robert Doran wearily, but proudly, stated Sunday night, “Everything’s going great and we are going to have a good show!” With vibrant color and faux painting, scenic artist Anthony Medagliaz has transformed the Powerhouse stage into the Royal Palms Hotel. Light Designer Jeff Klein has enhanced the old South, Gulf Coast atmosphere with a light plot both realistic and impressionistic, while music and sound designer Ray Stephens has subtly enriched the ambiance with church bells, sea gulls, thunder storms, pop songs of the 50s, and a lament that drifts in and out, reminiscent of lost youth, “a sweet bird that suddenly some day, flies away from your heart.”
Two years after Sweet Bird of Youth’s Broadway debut in 1959, the playwright said, “And the whole meaning of all my work is that there is no such thing as complete right and complete wrong, complete black, complete white. That we’re all in the same boat and really the boat is the world, you might even say it’s the universe.” His beautifully drawn, flawed, oh so human characters are portrayed by Lynne Bolton and Gabriel Morrow as Chance Wayne and Princess, Michael Kopko as Boss Finley, Janet Rathert as Heavenly, Bobby Pavia as Tom, Jr., Tim Cronin as George Scudder, Susan Doran as Miss Lucy, Kathleen Klatte as Aunt Nonnie, Michael Hodges as Fly/Stuff, Kyle Runestad as Scotty/Bud, and Ed Donahue as Heckler/Hatcher.
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.
Sweet Bird of Youth, directed by Gary Battaglia, will be performed on May 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 & 19 at 8PM and May 6 and 13 at 2:30 PM at the Powerhouse Theatre, 677 South Avenue, Waveny Park, New Canaan. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors (age 62). Please call (203) 966-7371 to reserve seats.