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Westport Country Playhouse announces cast for 'The Philadelphia Story' reading

Published 5:50 pm, Thursday, November 15, 2012

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  • James Naughton Photo: Contributed Photo
    James Naughton Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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Westport Country Playhouse has announced the cast for its Script in Hand playreading of "The Philadelphia Story," a romantic comedy by the late playwright Philip Barry, on Monday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. at the playhouse, 25 Powers Court.

In "The Philadelphia Story," Tracy Lord, a spoiled daughter of the privileged Philadelphia Lords, is about to marry for the second time, according to a release. Just days before the wedding, a reporter and a camerawoman arrive to document the event for a gossip magazine as part of a deal to cover up Tracy's father's affair with a Broadway dancer. At the same time, her ex-husband turns up, forcing Tracy to confront the four men in her life: the very appealing reporter, her ex-husband, her fiance and her father. "The Philadelphia Story" has been a play, a film, and a Broadway and movie musical as "High Society," with music and lyrics by Cole Porter.

The cast will feature members of the Naughton family, including Weston actor James Naughton, daughter Keira Naughton, son Greg Naughton and Greg's wife, Kelli O'Hara. Other cast members will include Blythe Danner, Jordan Coughtry, Edward Herrmann, Chad Kinsman, Jake Robards and Mark Shanahan.

Coughtry, portraying Sandy (Alexander) Lord, was in the playhouse's production of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," and a Script in Hand playreading of Philip Barry's "Holiday." New York theater credits include "Murder in the Cathedral" at hoi polloi, and "Be Story Free" at Inverse Theater.

Danner, playing Margaret Lord, appeared at the playhouse in the world premiere of "Butterflies Are Free," which transferred to Broadway, earning her a Tony Award. To celebrate the playhouse's 80th anniversary in 2010, she returned in a Script in Hand playreading of the same comedy. Herrmann, playing William Tracy, was at the playhouse in "A Holiday Garland" and a Script in Hand playreading of "Morning's at Seven." Broadway credits include "The Philadelphia Story," "Plenty" and "Mrs. Warren's Profession."

Kinsman, playing the servant, appeared at the playhouse in "Children" and the Script in Hand playreading of "Holiday." Other Connecticut theater includes "The Irish Curse" at New Milford Theatre Works and "The Laramie Project" at Bridgeport Theatre Co.

Greg Naughton, who portrays C.K. Dexter Haven, is best known as one-third of the folk-rock band the Sweet Remains. He founded and was artistic director of New York City's Blue Light Theater Co. for six seasons.

James Naughton, playing Seth Lord, was at the playhouse in "Street of Dreams" and "Ancestral Voices" and directed several playhouse productions. He won two Tony Awards as best actor in a musical for "City of Angels" and "Chicago," and directed twice on Broadway.

Keira Naughton, portraying Elizabeth Imbri, was in the playhouse's "Morphic Resonance" and a Script in Hand reading of "Chapter Two." Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include "The Rivals," "Hunting and Gathering," "All My Sons," "The American Clock" and "Dance of Death."

O'Hara, playing Tracy Lord, is starring opposite Matthew Broderick in "Nice Work If You Can Get It" on Broadway. Other Broadway credits include "South Pacific," "The Pajama Game" and "The Light in the Piazza."

Robards, portraying George Kittridge, appeared at the playhouse in "Our Town" and Script in Hand play readings of "Golden Boy" and "Dial `M' for Murder." On Broadway, he was in "Our Town" with Paul Newman. Off-Broadway credits include "Ancestral Voices" and "Speakeasy."

Credits for Shanahan, playing Macauley Connor, at the playhouse include "Around the World in 80 Days," "Tryst," "Sedition," "David Copperfield," "Journey's End," and numerous Script in Hand playreadings. He has also directed Script in Hand playreadings of "Butterflies Are Free" and "The Greatest Gift."

Steingold, portraying Dinah Lord, played Little Red Riding Hood in Westport Country Playhouse's "Into the Woods." Broadway and national tours include "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." Off-Broadway and other New York credits include "The Visit," and "Anyone Can Whistle."

All artists for the reading are subject to change.

Barry, who lived from 1896 to 1949, graduated from Yale University and went on to Harvard University. He is primarily known for his satirical, somewhat unconventional comedies of manners, such as "Holiday" (1928), "The Animal Kingdom" (1932) and "The Philadelphia Story" (1939).

Keefe, the reading's director, was artistic director of the playhouse, with Joanne Woodward, in 2008 and associate artistic director from 2000 to 2006, also with Woodward.

Tickets to the playreading are $15. Tickets for the reading and post-performance "Meet the Cast" dessert reception to include champagne and strawberries, in the playhouse's Sheffer Studio, are $50.

For information or tickets, call the box office at 203-227-4177, go to the playhouse or visit www.westportplayhouse.org.