Noël Coward’s classic comedy Fallen Angels comes to the Pasadena Playhouse January 29 through February 24, 2013. Directed by Art Manke the cast features (in alphabetical order) Elijah Alexander as Maurice Duclos, Pamela J. Gray as Julia Sterroll, Mary-Pat Green as Saunders, Loren Lester as Willy Banbury, Katie MacNichol as Jane Banbury and Mike Ryan as Fred Sterroll.
“This Noël Coward comedy is a light-hearted and delightful way to start the New Year,” said Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps. “Art Manke has brought together a cast with the requisite wit, charm and cleverness to deliver this winning play in great style.”
“I’m delighted to be returning to The Pasadena Playhouse, where I’ve had the privilege of directing two other Noël Coward plays (his masterpiece, Private Lives, and the American premiere of Star Quality) and Somerset Maugham’s The Constant Wife,” said director Art Manke. “The Playhouse has a long history of staging the works of ‘The Master’ – as Coward became known in his lifetime – and I’m proud to be a part of that tradition. Noël Coward pre-dated the antics of Lucy and Ethel in this play and added – as only he could do – the sparkling comic banter that all of his great plays are known for.”
Fallen Angels is Coward at his inimitable best – debonair, sophisticated and insanely hilarious. Julia and Jane are the best of friends and happily married to Fred and Willy. But before tying the knot, they each had a brief affair with Maurice, a handsome and charming Frenchman. While their husbands are away for a day of golf, guess who is back in town and requesting the pleasure of the ladies company? Giddy with anticipation of seeing their former lover and terrified of having their husbands discover their secret, Julia and Jane drink, quarrel and nervously await Maurice’s arrival.
While Coward’s plays may seem light and fun on the surface, in actuality there is always a layer below the laughter and silliness that gives way to characters chomping at the bit of their social, sexual, political or spiritual confinement. The comedic antics that unfold become enormous fun as traditional boundaries that society has set are gleefully poked fun at.
As a gay man, Coward also wove in clues within his works that his gay audience members could recognize in between the lines and see a world where their sexuality was joyful and normal. Strong female characters are also a dominant force in most Coward plays. At a time when women’s rights were a hot-button political and social topic, he created roles for very strong and funny actresses that transcended traditional boundaries.
Coward’s career as a playwright, composer, director, actor and singer spanned six decades. Known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called “a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise,” his works remain as universal and relevant as ever and continue to influence pop culture today.
Fallen Angels will play from January 29 – February 24, Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets range from $22-$62, with premium sating available for $100. Rush tickets are available for $20 one hour prior to the performance time and are subject to availability. Rush tickets must be purchased at The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office. Call 626-356-7529 or visit www.pasadenaplayhouse.org or The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office.
The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue in Pasadena.
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