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Ovation-winner Gigi Bermingham directs ‘An Ideal Husband’ at SMP

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Fresh from winning the Ovation Award as Best Actress (in “Master Class” at International City Theatre), Gigi Bermingham returns to Sierra Madre Playhouse (where she starred in “Arcadia”) as director of Oscar Wilde’s classic comedy “An Ideal Husband.” Produced by Sherrie Lofton for Sierra Madre Playhouse the show features (in alphabetical order) Nicola Bertram, John Combs, Ata Farhadi, Albert Garnica, John Hays, Jonathan Lamer, Michael Matthys, Alexandria Napier, Ann Noble and Lizzie Zerebko.

A government capital is shaken with plots, insider trading, sexual intrigue, greed, blackmail, back-stabbing, and a scandal so shocking it threatens to topple the established order. Is it Washington in 2013? No, it’s London in 1895. A politician on the rise is threatened with the destruction of his career and the loss of his adoring wife’s love if a sexy, vixen extortionist reveals an appalling secret from the legislator’s youth. There are betrayals on top of betrayals and romances on top of romances in Oscar Wilde’s funny, witty, sharply observant comedy.

Fans of Oscar Wilde will be thrilled with this mounting. Those new to Wilde will understand why he is considered the greatest English writer (though born in Dublin) of his time (1854-1900).

Bermingham’s previous directing credits include “You Can’t Take it With You,” “Thin Man,” and “”It Can’t Happen Here,” all for Antaeus Company. In addition to her Ovation Award for “Master Class,” she won another Ovation Award for her solo comedy “Non-Vital Organs.” She also won the Natalie Schafer Award (for emerging comedic actress) from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle.

“An Ideal Husband” opens 8 p.m. Friday, January 17 and performs 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday through February 23, 2014. Opening Night Gala performance on January 17 is followed by Champagne reception and light buffet. Admission is $25, $22 seniors (65+) and students (13-17) and $15 children 12 and under. Call 626-355-4318 or visit www.sierramadreplayhouse.org.

Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. in Sierra Madre. Ample free parking is available behind the playhouse.

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