The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey announced today it was extending the run of its critically acclaimed comedy Tovarich through September 1st. Added performances of this long-forgotten treasure, by French playwright Jacques Deval and adapted by the American author Robert E. Sherwood, are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 29th, 30th and 31st at 8 p.m.; and Saturday August 31st and Sunday, September 1st at 2 p.m.
“Our audiences and the critics have raved about this production and we are thrilled to be able to extend its run so that even more people can experience this rarely-produced and extraordinary theatrical gem,” said Shakespeare Theatre Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte. “There has not been a significant revival of Tovarich in more than 50 years, and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is the only theatre in the nation and perhaps the world where this play can be seen! It’s a special gift for our audiences and I am delighted by the enormously enthusiastic response that it’s getting.”
Performances of Tovarich take place at The Shakespeare Theatre’s Main Stage – The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre located at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison. Tickets range from $42 to $70; student rush tickets are available 30 minutes prior to curtain for $15. For tickets or more information, call 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org. Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounts.
Written by Jacques Deval in 1933, Tovarich was adapted in 1935 by Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winning writer Robert E. Sherwood, renowned American author of numerous plays including Idiot’s Delight and Abe Lincoln in Illinois. Rarely-seen since the first half of the 20th century, this rich theatrical piece tells the improbable tale of an indomitable Russian Grand Duchess and her dashing Prince of a husband living in exile in Paris after the Russian Revolution. In the years between its premiere and the start of World War II, Tovarich was one of the most popular and widely produced plays in Europe and America.
Shakespeare Theatre Artistic Director Bonnie J. Monte directs the production which is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.
The original Broadway production of Tovarich premiered in 1936 at the Plymouth Theatre, starring Marta Abba and John Halliday. City Center’s 1952 revival starred three-time Tony Award-winner Uta Hagen and Luther Adler. Warner Brothers brought Tovarich to the “silver screen” in 1937, with Claudette Colbert and Charles Boyer. A musical adaptation premiered in 1963 with book by David Shaw, music by Lee Pockriss, and lyrics by Anne Croswell. Vivien Leigh starred in the musical and took home the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.
Four-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert E. Sherwood, a New York native, was an original member of the Algonquin Round Table, a New York City social group for actors, writers, critics, and wits. Sherwood began his career as an editor for Life magazine and went on to an illustrious career as a playwright. His notable works include The Road to Rome (1927), Waterloo Bridge (1930), and The Petrified Forest (1935). He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his plays Idiot’s Delight (1936), Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1938), and There Shall Be No Night (1940). His intense interest and involvement in politics led him to write speeches for President Franklin D. Roosevelt and later pen the intimate portrait, Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History (1948) for which he received his fourth Pulitzer Prize. He wrote the screenplay for Hitchcock’s Academy Award Winning film Rebecca (1940) and won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the 1946 Best Picture-winner The Best Years of Our Lives.
The cast features Shakespeare Theatre leading man Jon Barker as Prince Mikail Alexandrovitch Ouratieff and Carly Street, making her Shakespeare Theatre debut, in the role of the Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna. Shakespeare Theatre veteran Colin McPhillamy plays Chauffourier-Dubieff; Alison Weller and Matt Sullivan play Charles and Fernande Dupont, and Seamus Mulcahy plays their son Georges. Mary Dierson plays Madame Van Hemert and Anthony Cochrane is Commissar Gorotchenko.
The cast also includes, Blythe Coons, John Greenbaum, Einar Gunn, Christy Richardson, and Rachael Fox.
About the Director
2013 marks director Bonnie J. Monte’s 23rd season as Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Since 1990, she has directed more than 50 productions for the company, including most recently As You Like It, Trelawny of the Wells, Man of La Mancha, Measure for Measure, A Christmas Carol, The Misanthrope and Othello,No Man’s Land, The Taming of the Shrew, and Hamlet.
The Artistic Staff
Creating the world of Tovarich are set designer Brittany Vasta, costume designer Paul Canada, sound designer Karin Graybash, and lighting designer Steven Rosen. Alison Cote serves as production stage manager.Tickets & General Information
Performances are Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. For tickets or more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey’s Main Stage, the 308-seat F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, is conveniently located in Madison at 36 Madison Avenue (Route 124) at Lancaster Road (on the Drew University campus), just minutes from routes 287, 78 and 10. Parking is free. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is barrier free with access into the Theatre via a ramp and elevator access to all floors. Wheelchair seating and transfer seating is available. Braille and large print programs are available. Infrared listening devices are available free of charge. Some performances are audio described. Contact the theatre for more information.