ARROW ROCK, MO – Fifty years after the groundbreaking film inspired the world, the Lyceum Theatre is thrilled to present Todd Kreidler’s electric stage adaptation of the iconic Academy Award-winning film Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. The production poignantly reflects on who we are as a nation – past, present and future. Based on the original screenplay by William Rose, this captivating, witty, romantic comedy opens September 2, and runs through September 10.
A handsome, prestigious doctor meets a beautiful young woman. The two begin a whirlwind romance and their swift courtship leads to a happily accepted proposal. The catch? It’s 1967 and the handsome doctor, John Prentice, is an African-American man and his intended, Joanna Drayton, is white. When Joanna surprises her progressive parents with the engagement, their values are put to the test in this moving story that deftly challenges the notion that love can conquer all. Playing it now, 50 years after its first flicker of life on the silver screen, offers us a chance to reflect back on a threshold moment in our country’s history and the state of our nation today where the struggle for race equality continues. “We are pleased to be staging this story at a time when we as a nation need it desperately,” said Lyceum Producing Artistic Director, Quin Gresham. “Thanks to the brilliant work of Mr. Haney and his cast, this show will resonate with audiences while warming their hearts and making them laugh.”
Michael Haney returns to the Lyceum to direct Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. The production features JAMAL JAMES as Dr. John Prentice, HANLEY SMITH as Joanna Drayton, ROBERT ELLIOTT as Matt Drayton, AMY WARNER as Christina Drayton, CEDRIC CANNON as John Prentice Sr., PERRI GAFFNEY as Mary Prentice, NANCY BELL as Hilary St. George, THURSDAY FARRAR as Matilda Binks and MICHAEL ROTHHAAR as Monsignor Ryan.
Jamal James makes his debut at The Lyceum playing Dr. John Prentice. Most recently, he closed a workshop of Illa: A Hip-Hop Musical at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. A proud member of AEA and the Hedgepig Ensemble some of his favorites shows include Peter and the Starcatcher, The Last Five Years, Beauty and the Beast, Violet, For Vixens…,The Seven, Jedi Training, Minor Character and, of course, Illa. Also making her Lyceum debut, Hanley Smith plays Joanna Drayton.
Favorite credits include: Vanda in Venus in Fur (The Fulton); Laura in The Glass Menagerie (Pioneer Theatre); Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest (Gulfshore Playhouse); Luisa in The Fantasticks (Virginia Stage); Fantine in Les Mis (The Fulton); and Sally in The Voice of the Turtle at Merrimack Rep. Hanley is also a proud member of the folk trio, A Band Called Honalee, as well as the comedy troupe, A Drinking Game NYC.
Last seen at The Lyceum as Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial and as Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol, Robert Elliott plays Matt Drayton, Joanna’s father. Mr. Elliott began his career as a company member at the Missouri Repertory Theatre and at the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival. He has done extensive work over the years at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Indiana Rep. Other theatres include: Syracuse Stage, Asolo Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, PCPA Theatrefest, Cleveland Playhouse, Roundabout Theatre. Amy Warner returns to the Lyceum to play Christina Drayton, Joanna’s Mother. Amy previously performed at the Lyceum in An Unexpected Guest, Black Coffee, Boeing Boeing and You Can’t Take It With You. Recently she played Winnie in Beckett’s Happy Days at the Open Eye Theater of Minneapolis. Previous work includes leading roles in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Goat, A Little Night Music and Angels in America. She was a company member for three years with the Off-Broadway Classic Stage Company. Television work includes roles in The Practice, Ally McBeal, and E.R. She played Cate Blanchett’s mother-in-law in the film Carol.
Cedric Cannon makes his Lyceum debut as John’s Father, John Prentice Sr. Cedric’s credits include: Sweetee, In Dahomey, Cats, Goddess, Mikado, Carmen Jones, Three Willies, Man of LaMancha, The Pirates of Penzance, Camelot, Porgy and Bess. An accomplished opera performer, his credits include Houston Grand Opera, Metropolitan Opera, NYC Opera, Frankfurt Opera, New Orleans Opera, Atlanta Opera, Edmonton Opera, Opera Carolina. Concert: Carnegie Hall, Israel Kibbutz Orchestra, Dayton Philharmonic, Pushkin Festival, Polish Radio Orchestra, Filarmonica De Montevideo Pittsburgh Symphony and Reykjavik Symphomy. TV/film: Blind, The Slap, Good Funk, Right of Way, Moon and Sun, Seven Lovers, Old 37 Know Your Logic, Raw Nerve, Cosby, Oz, All My Children, As the World Turns, Jon Benjamin has a Van and Porgy and Me. Also making her Lyceum debut, Perri Gaffney plays Mary Prentice, John’s Mother. Perri’s stage credits include: Having Our Say, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (St. Louis Rep.), The Road Weeps The Well Runs Dry, Steel Magnolias, A Raisin in the Sun, Macbeth, Music Man, Death and The King’s Horseman, The Resurrection of Alice, Intimate Apparel, Polk County, Fences. Film/TV; As The World Turns (Nurse Bentley), Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU.
Thursday Farrar makes her Lyceum debut by playing Matilda Binks, the Drayton family’s maid. Her Broadway credits include: Aida, Parade, Once Upon a Mattress. Off-B’way: Regrets (MTC) St. Louis Woman, Golden Boy (City Center), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Pecadillio Theater). Nat’l tours: Flashdance, Les Miserables, Carousel, Dream Girls. Regional: First Wives Club (Old Globe), Merrily We Roll Along (Kennedy Center), Harmony (La Jolla Playhouse), Kiss Me Kate, Urinetown, Hairspray, Damn Yankees, To Kill a Mockingbird (Weston Playhouse). TV: Gotham, Bull, The Blacklist, The Americans, Ugly Betty, 30 Rock, Film: Across The Tracks, Brother, Only Time Will Tell, Lucky Day. Returning to The Lyceum, Nancy Bell plays Hilary St. George, an employee of Joanna’s Mom. Nancy’s was last seen on The Lyceum stage in the 2015 production of Rumors. Credits include Manhattan Theatre Club, NY Theatre Workshop, Berkeley Repertory, South Coast Repertory, McCarter Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis among many others. On TV, she portrayed the role of Susan Bates on the soap opera, Guiding Light. Other television credits include: Numbers, The Medium, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, and Star Trek Voyager, among others. Michael Rothhaar, a Lyceum regular, plays Monsignor Ryan, a longtime family friend of the Draytons. Mr. Rothhaar just recently directed the Lyceum production of Greater Tuna and has also directed Murder on the Nile, South Pacific, Witness For the Prosecution, A Murder is Announced, My Fair Lady and Spider’s Web, as well as appearing in such Lyceum shows as The Man Who Came To Dinner, You Can’t Take It With You, Black Coffee, Run For Your Wife and And Then There Were None. As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in various feature films, as well as in numerous television series.
Michael Haney returns to direct the production. At the Lyceum he has directed The Nerd, The Unexpected Guest, You Can’t Take It With You, The Man Who Came To Dinner, Black Coffee, Lend Me A Tenor, Driving Miss Daisy and The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial. He has acted and directed more than 200 productions including directing Around the World in 80 Days Off-Broadway, appearing in Elie Wiesel’s Zalmen on Broadway, and the first American production of Nicholas Nickleby. His regional directing credits include Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Westport Country Playhouse and Kansas City Rep. Internationally, Mr. Haney has directed productions at the English Theatres of Vienna and Frankfurt as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He was the Associate Artistic Director with The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park for 15 years, where he directed the award winning productions of Speaking in Tongues, The Clean House, Blackbird, The Syringa Tree, Love Song, As You Like It, Crime & Punishment, Speaking In Tongues, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and the world premieres of The History of Invulnerability (a play about Superman and the Holocaust), Hiding Behind Comets, A Delicate Ship and Summerland. He resides in Minnesota with his wife Amy Warner. They appear in the movie Carol, with Cate Blanchett and Kyle Chandler playing their parents.
Scenic design is by Lyceum Theatre Resident Scenic Designer Ryan J. Zirngibl. Mr. Zirngibl has designed many productions at The Lyceum including Les Misérables, A Christmas Carol, Million Dollar Quartet, Around the World in 80 Days, The King and I, and Fiddler on the Roof. Costume Designer Rachel Wahl has worked as the assistant costume shop manager and Youth Tour Designer (The Paperbag Princess) at the Merry Go Round Playhouse. Resident Lighting Designer Randy B. Winder has designed close to 100 Lyceum productions including Cats, A Christmas Carol, Les Misérables, Million Dollar Quartet, and The Fantasticks. Ivan Dario Cano returns as Production Stage Manager and Andrea Miller is the Assistant Stage Manager.
Single Tickets for Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner are priced at $37.00 for adults. Senior, student and children discounts are available. Special Group Rates are available as well. Performances are September 2 – September 10, 2017, Evening performances are at 8pm and matinees are at 2pm. For tickets: www.lyceumtheatere.org, (660) 837-3311 x1, or in person at the Lyceum’s box office at 114 High Street, Arrow Rock, MO 65320.
The Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre is a non-profit 501(c)(3), professional theatre located in the unique village of Arrow Rock, Missouri, a 19th century National Historic Landmark. The Lyceum has been entertaining audiences in the heart of Missouri for 57 years producing a variety of musicals, dramas and comedies. Each year, this 408 seat theatre attracts professional talent from across the country to produce an eight show season (June-December). Performers, designers, directors, and technicians take residence in Arrow Rock for five months to bring its patrons Broadway caliber productions throughout the summer. The Lyceum receives much needed support from the Missouri Arts Council.
The Lyceum Theatre is affiliated with Actors’ Equity Association, the Union for Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States, and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.
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