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Thursday, 10 December 2009 14:51

LOOPED Starring Valerie Harper as Tallulah Bankhead Headed to Broadway this Spring

VALERIE HARPER RETURNS TO BROADWAY
AS TALLULAH BANKHEAD IN LOOPED

MATTHEW LOMBARDO’S NEW COMEDY
DIRECTED BY ROB RUGGIERO

AT THE LYCEUM THEATRE
PREVIEWS FEBRUARY 19, OPENING NIGHT MARCH 14

Tony Cacciotti, Chase Mishkin, David Steiner and Leonard Soloway announced today that Valerie Harper will return to Broadway this spring in Matthew Lombardo’snew comedy Looped, directed by Rob Ruggiero.   It will play the Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45th Street). Previews begin on February 19 and opening night is Sunday March 14.

Looped tells the story of Tallulah Bankhead, the internationally celebrated actress, being called into a sound studio in 1965 to re-record (or "loop") one line of dialogue for what would be her last film -- the dreadful Die, Die My Darling . Southern, but by no means a belle, Ms. Bankhead was known for her wild partying and convention-defying exploits that outshone even today's celebrity bad girls. And given her inebriated state (and inability to loop the line perfectly), what ensues is a hilarious showdown between an uptight and conservative sound editor, Danny Miller, and the outrageous legend.

The creative team for Looped includes set designer Adrian W. Jones, costume designer William Ivey Long, wig designer Charles LaPointe, lighting designer Ken Billington, and sound designer Michael Hooker /Peter Fitzgerald  

Four time Emmy winner Valerie Harper (“Rhoda,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”), returns to Broadway where she last starred in Charles Busch’s The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. She also starred in that show’s first national tour, as well as in the tour of William Gibson’s acclaimed one-woman play, Golda’s Balcony, winner of the 2006 Touring Broadway Award. Other Broadway credits include Paul Sills’ Story Theatre; Paul Sills’ production of Ovid’s Metamorphoses; Carl Reiner’s Something Different, Subways are for Sleeping, Wildcat, Take Me Along, Destry Rides Again and Li’l Abner. Off Broadway, she starred in Death-Defying Acts by Elaine May and Woody Allen and All Under Heaven, a one-woman play which she co-wrote based on the life and work of Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck. She originated the role of Tallulah in the world premiere production of Looped at the Pasadena Playhouse and reprised the role at the Cuillo Centre and at Arena Stage. On TV, she achieved worldwide acclaim playing Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Rhoda,” earning four Emmys, a Golden Globe, Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year and the Hollywood Women’s Press Club Golden Apple Award. She starred in the NBC series “Valerie,” as well as in CBS’ “The Office,” and “City” and in the feature films Blame it on Rio, Neil Simon’s Chapter Two, Freebie and the Bean and The Last Married Couple in America. She is the author of a book published by Harper Collins entitled “Today I am a Ma’am: And Other Musings on Life, Beauty and Growing Older,” a light-hearted look at aging.  Since 1977, she’s been an active participant in The Hunger Project, a strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger.

Playwright Matthew Lombardo is the author of Tea at Five, the Katharine Hepburn bio-play which starred actress Kate Mulgrew. The play, which won the IRNE Award for Best Solo Play) had a successful run Off-Broadway at the Promenade Theatre and continues to tour the country. Other Off -Broadway credits include directing the hit comedy End Of The World Party by Chuck Ranberg at the 47th Street Theatre; Mother and Child at Second Stage; and Guilty Innocence at The Actors’ Playhouse, serving the latter two productions as both playwright and director.

Rob Ruggiero directed the world premiere of Loopedlast summer at the Pasadena Playhouse, as well as the productions that played both The Cuillo Centre and The Arena Stage.  Ruggiero conceived and directed the highly successful production of Ella, a musical portrait of Ella Fitzgerald which has played (and continues to play) numerous regional theaters nationally (receiving three Kevin Kline Awards and three Joseph Jefferson Awards including two for Outstanding Director.)  He conceived and directed the original musical revue, Make Me A Song: The Music of William Finn, which received an off-Broadway run as well as a 2008 London production. The New York production received nominations for both the Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Awards. He made his Off-Broadway directorial debut with the Pearl Buck solo play All Under Heaven (also starring Valerie Harper), which toured regionally and also ran in Los Angeles. Ruggiero’s work on both plays and musicals has been seen at regional theaters around the country, including critically acclaimed revivals of 1776, Big River and Camelot for Goodspeed Musicals, where he will be directing a 2010 revival of Annie Get Your Gun.  Mr. Ruggiero has been a key partner in the Artistic Leadership of TheaterWorks in Hartford, Connecticut since 1992.

Looped will play Tue at 7, Wed-Fri at 8, Sat at 2 & 8, and Sun. at 3 PM.

www.loopedtheplay.com
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