NOOSA ARTS THEATRE
The Gingerbread Lady
By Neil Simon
23 February to 4 March
Directed by Ian Mackellar
By special arrangement with Dominie Pty Ltd
Neil Simon is the world's most successful modern playwright. He has been showered with more Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer and is the only playwright to have had four Broadway productions running simultaneously. His screenplays include Barefoot in the Park, The Odd Couple I and II, Last of the Red Hot Lovers and I Ought to be in Pictures. He is famous for his collaboration with Danny Simon and Mel Brooks in the creation of The Phil Silvers Show.
The Gingerbread Lady is an adult comedy and was first presented in1970, at the Plymouth Theatre, New York. It continues to play globally to full houses, three and a half decades on.
Theatre reviewers and critics alike have echoed The Gingerbread Lady to be one of Neil Simon's finest works and, although the play is set in the 1970's, it is still considered to be as relevant and poignant today.
Evy Meara, a recovering alcoholic, is welcomed home from rehab by her loyal friends and teenage daughter. Evy's closest male friend is Jimmy Perry, an extravagant 40 year old actor who is still waiting for his big break. Her best girlfriend is Toby, an ageing glamour queen who is having problems with her husband. Evy's ex-boyfriend is a self-centered freeloader who tries to weasel his way back into her affections when he is dumped by his latest 18 year old conquest. Ironically, the only relatively well adjusted person in this play is Evy's sweet and loving daughter, Polly, who comes to live with her mother to help her survive the time after rehab.
The genius of Neil Simon is that he can write deep, thought provoking, moving plays with great humour. Neil Simon is also the master of the one-liner and they abound in The Gingerbread Lady. For almost forty years he has invigorated the stage with touching stories and zany characters, but possibly his greatest contribution has been the ability to create humour from the lives and troubles of everyday people.
Ian Mackellar, the director of this Noosa Arts production, will be familiar to local audiences for his brilliant portrayal of the Emcee in the 2005 Noosa Arts musical Cabaret. In his debut with Noosa Arts Theatre earlier in 2005, Ian won Best Male Actor in the One Act Play Festival for his role as the local police sergeant, Dan Basker, in Keeping Mum and has recently enjoyed performing the role of Bill in The Love List..
Ian has also written several musicals (book, music and lyrics) and in 2003 wrote, produced and directed a multimillion dollar musical, which had its world premiere at Star City Casino in Sydney and starred the legendary Normie Rowe.
Blossom Goodchild plays the leading role of Evy Meara and has made a name for herself in her short time in Noosa with the engaging and wonderful one-woman show Shirley Valentine, her portrayal of Annie in The Diary of Frank Annie and as Margaret in David Williamson's Birthrights.
Blossom heads up a strong cast including Ian Mackellar as Jimmy Perry, Sean Dunne as Manuel, Jannine Ritchie as Toby Landau, Madison Thew-Keyworth as Polly Meara and Joe Jurisevic as Lou Tanner.
The multi award winning Nelson Tomlin is designing the set and creating the lighting effects for The Gingerbread Lady.
The Gingerbread Lady will be a terrific social outing for associations and clubs and there are generous concessions for groups of 10 or more patrons.
Performances are on 23, 24, 25 February and 2, 3, 4 March at 7.30pm and there is a matinee on Sunday 26 February at 2.00pm. Tickets are $25 with concessions and group bookings at $20 with First Night at $30 with no concessions. Bookings on 5449 9343 or on Saturday mornings at Noosa Arts Theatre 9.00am to noon. See Tickets page for seating plan at www.noosaartstheatre.org.au
The Gingerbread Lady will be the first of four shows that the First Nighters Club will see in 2006. For $100, First Nighters will also get guaranteed tickets to the first night of the One Act Play Festival, this year's musical, Now That's Entertainment, and A Christmas Revue. They will also enjoy a sumptuous supper and two free drinks at each show.
Noosa Arts is grateful to The Ginger Factory for sponsoring this production and each ticket to the show will be accompanied by a voucher for one free scoop of Gingerbread ice cream and entitling adults to enjoy the ride 'Overboard - Adventures of a Stowaway' at children's prices.
Noosa Arts Theatre, Noosaville, Not Assigned
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