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Noël Coward’s Classic Comedy ‘Hay Fever’ Opens Culver City Public Theatre Summer Season
By Editor
from Culver City,CA

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Culver City, California-- Noël Coward’s classic madcap comedy ‘Hay Fever’ will open Culver City Public Theatre’s 2004 Summer Season in Dr. Paul Carlson Memorial Park on Saturday, July 10th at 2pm. Mayhem ensues as the charming and eccentric Bliss family each invite a guest to their country home for a summer weekend. The visitors struggle to make sense of bizarre antics and a hilarious game of romantic musical chairs ensues. Performances are scheduled for weekend afternoons at 2pm from July 10-25.

The original success of ‘Hay Fever’ in 1925 confirmed Coward’s talent as a young playwright of promise when it became a smash hit in London. Now entering its 6th season, The Public is pleased to present this uproarious gem as part of its tradition of bringing free, professional classical theatre to Los Angeles-area audiences.

Heading the cast as the unconventional Bliss family members is Terra Shelman as the flamboyant and overwhelming actress Judith Bliss, a diva who can’t leave her theatrics on stage and Culver City resident Jack Winnick as her husband, popular novelist David Bliss. Fresh talents Rissa Brutus and Corey Scott portray their spoiled but highly amusing children, Sorel and Simon. The production also features Company Members Markus Cummings as the earnest young amateur boxer Sandy Tyrell and Kyra Lin as the hapless flapper Jackie Coryton. Rounding out the cast are Erica Frené as the alluring Myra Arundel, Dean Edward as befuddled diplomatist Richard Greatham and Liz Federico as Clara, the housekeeper with attitude.

“Coward had a delightful, original, cutting-edge take on the world and he was able to win popular acclaim in a post-World War I society eager to embrace the unconventional,” notes director Alexander Wells. Mr. Wells returns for his fifth consecutive season having previously mounted The Public's memorable productions of ‘The Braggart Soldier’, ‘Tom Thumb’, the Italian Renaissance classic comedy ‘The Deceived’ and last season's daring and well-received production of ‘Oedipus Rex’.

Culver City Public Theatre Board President Laura Neufeld is particularly excited that The Public is staging this “Bliss-ful” comedy. Neufeld explains, “This is certainly one of my personal favorite plays. Additionally, I have been trying to get some Noël Coward on our schedule for years. His contributions to the art-form are brilliant. The general public deserves to enjoy them.”

Long-time Company Member Andrea Westby (‘Medea’, ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’, ‘Tom Thumb’) takes a turn as Assistant Director for this production. Susan Deeley Wells returns for a fifth season (‘Braggart Soldier’, ‘Tom Thumb’, ‘The Deceived’, ‘Oedipus Rex’) as Set and Costume Designer.

Next, The Public will present Henrik Ibsen's prescient cautionary tale, ‘An Enemy Of The People’, adapted by American theatrical icon Arthur Miller. In this explosive drama, an unforgettable tale of betrayal, greed, corruption and the courageous fight for truth reminds us that integrity and freedom of speech remain essential. Performances are scheduled for weekend afternoons at 2pm from July 31-August 8th.

The Public will round out its mainstage season with Anton Chekhov's timeless, wistful classic ‘The Cherry Orchard’. With this humorous, passionate portrait of a disappearing way of life, re-discover the grace and humor of this masterpiece of the modern theatre. Performances are scheduled for weekend afternoons at 2pm from August 14-29.

The debut of the newly developed “Children’s Popcorn Theatre” will run in tandem with The Public’s mainstage season, announced earlier this spring, and admission will be Free for children of all ages. Board Chairman and Founding Company Member Kyle Nudo directs ‘Rumpelstiltskin’, the classic Grimm’s fairy tale. Performances are scheduled for weekend afternoons at 12:00pm from July 24th-August 15th.

Culver City Public Theatre, which operates under a Letter of Agreement with Actors’ Equity Association (the union of American theatrical actors and stage managers), continues an 18-year tradition of presenting an annual summer season of free, outdoor, classical theatre in beautiful Dr. Paul Carlson Memorial Park, located at the corner of Motor Avenue and Braddock Drive (near the 405 and 10 Freeways) in historic Culver City, CA. The public is invited to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to attend the productions that are intended for young and adult audiences alike.
The Public has experienced enormous artistic and financial growth during each year of operation. Its productions are attended by approximately 2,000 patrons each season.

Culver City Public Theatre is an incorporated, not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization that is sponsored by the Culver City Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services and by the generous contributions and grants from the City of Culver City, The Cultural Affairs Commission and The Culver City Parks and Services Foundation. Additional funding comes from donations from local businesses and patrons.

For general information call (310) 712-5482 or visit the official website at www.CCPT.org.

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