The Understudy, Westport Country Playhouse, Westport, CT, USA
Written by Debra C. Argen   
Westport Country Playhouse - Brett Dalton, Andrea Syglowski, Eric Bryant -The Understudy -by c rosegg Theresa Rebeck's play The Understudy directed by David Kennedy at the Westport Country Playhouse in Westport, Connecticut had the audience rolling in the aisles! Theresa Rebeck's witty lines expertly delivered by the cast: Brett Dalton, Eric Bryant, and Andrea Syglowski and deft directing by David Kennedy made the play one to see for a night of gaiety and laughter. The Understudy runs until September 1, 2018.

  

Westport Country Playhouse - The Understudy - Brett Dalton, Andrea Syglowski, Eric Bryant - photo by Carol Rosegg
Brett Dalton (Jake), Andrea Syglowski (Roxanne)
Eric Bryant (Harry)
The Understudy

 

On Saturday, August 18, 2018 we had the pleasure of seeing Theresa Rebeck's play, The Understudy, the third play of the Westport Country Playhouse's 2018 season. The three-person cast of Brett Dalton as Jake, a full-of-himself film actor whose latest action film grossed an incredible sum of money on its opening weekend, Eric Bryant as Harry, a theatre actor hired to be the understudy to Jake, and Andrea Syglowski as Roxanne, the harried stage manager, come together one late night to rehearse the understudy's lines, and there in lies the plot of Theresa Rebeck's entertaining play, The Understudy.

 

Westport Country Playhouse - The Understudy - Brett Dalton - photo by Carol Rosegg

Brett Dalton (Jake)
The Understudy
 

 

As a way of introduction, an understudy is an actor that learns the lines, blocking, and choreography of the regular actor or actress featured in the role, in case that said actor or actress cannot appear. Although it is the hope of the understudy to have their moment to shine as a replacement, most actors appear at every performance and understudies never have the chance to go onstage. 

 

Westport Country Playhouse - The Understudy - Brett Dalton, Eric Bryant - photo by Carol Rosegg

Brett Dalton (Jake), Eric Bryant (Harry)

The Understudy 

 

While Playwright Theresa Rebeck's entertaining lines kept the audience laughing, it also provided an interesting look at the hierarchy of actor versus understudy and their precarious and often times adversarial relationship, as well as the wage disparity of film actor versus stage actor. 

 

Westport Country Playhouse - The Understudy - Brett Dalton, Andrea Syglowski - photo by Carol Rosegg

Brett Dalton (Jake), Andrea Syglowski (Roxanne)
The Understudy
 

 

Eric Bryant whom we had previously seen in Westport Country Playhouse's productions of Ayad Akhtar's political thriller, The Invisible Hand, and John Murray's and Allen Boretz's hilarious Room Service, delivered an engaging performance as Harry the understudy. Eric Bryant's heavy stage experience helped him bring a vivid character portrayal to the role.  

 

Westport Country Playhouse - The Understudy - Brett Dalton, Andrea Syglowski, Eric Bryant - photo by Carol Rosegg

Andrea Syglowski (Roxanne), Eric Bryant (Harry),

Brett Dalton (Jake)

The Understudy 

 

Actor Brett Dalton's heavy film experience as well as stage experience, plays Jake with the perfect mix of bravado and swagger, which expands into a range of emotions as the play unfolds and his relationship and attitude towards his understudy changes from his presumed superiority and Harry's deference to Jake, as demanded by Roxanne, to one of camaraderie as they explore different ways to play a scene based on their interpretation of how Frantz Kafka, the playwright of the play they are rehearsing, would have wanted it performed.  

 

Westport Country Playhouse - The Understudy - Andrea Syglowski, Eric Bryant - photo by Carol Rosegg

Andrea Syglowski (Roxanne), Eric Bryant (Harry)

The Understudy 

 

Andrea Syglowski brings extensive stage experience to her role as Roxanne, the harried and bitter stage manager, whom the audience learns was once engaged to Harry. Add to the mix the challengeof getting the two actors to work together during the understudy rehearsal, as well as sound, lighting, and scene issues that are key components of the play, created the perfect scenario for uproarious entertainment.  

 

Westport Country Playhouse - The Understudy - Brett Dalton, Andrea Syglowski, Eric Bryant - photo by Carol Rosegg

Brett Dalton (Jake), Andrea Syglowski (Roxanne),
Eric Bryant (Harry)
The Understudy 

 

Skillfully directed by David Kennedy, the three actors fully did justice to Theresa Rebeck's play, The Understudy, with their rich character portrayals that created an evening of laughter that resulted in a standing ovation. Bravo! The play runs until September 1, 2018.

 

Approximate Run Time: 100 minutes without an intermission

 

Watch the teaser trailer: The Understudy: Official Trailer

 

The Understudy Cast:

 

Eric Bryant

Harry

Brett Dalton

Jake

Andrea Syglowski

Roxanne

 

The Creative Team:

 

David Kennedy

Director

Andrew Boyce

Scenic Designer

Maiko Matsushima

Costume Design

Matthew Richards

Lighting Design

Fitz Patton

Sound Designer

Noah Racey

Choreographer

Michael Rossmy

Fight Director

Megan Schwarz Dickert

Production Stage Manager

Tara Rubin Casting

Casting

Michelle Lauren Tuite

Assistant Stage Manager

Tara Rubin Casting

Casting

Mark Lamos

Artistic Director

Michael Barker

Managing Director

 

 

The Understudy performance schedule is Tuesday at 7:00 pm, Wednesday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm, Thursday and Friday at 8:00 pm, Saturday at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 3:00 pm.  Special series feature Taste of Tuesday, LGBT Night OUT, Opening Night, Sunday Symposium, Open Captions, Thursday Talk Back, Together at the Table Family Dinner, Playhouse Happy Hour, and Backstage Pass. 

 

For information on the play or to purchase tickets, please call the box office at +1-203-227-4177 or call the toll-free number at 1-888-927-7529, or visit them on the website at www.WestportPlayhouse.org.

 

The Westport Country Playhouse Box Office is open during Performance Days Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 pm until 8:30 pm, Saturday from 11:00 am until 8:30pm, Sunday from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm, and is closed on Monday.N on-Performance Days, the Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday from 12:00pm until 6:00 pm, and is closed on Monday.

 

The Westport Country Playhouse named as "Theatre Company of the Year" in December 2013 by The Wall Street Journal, opened in the 1930s in a transformed 1835 cowbarn, which has, and continues to attract, a "who's who" of prominent actors. Looking at the framed posters of past shows that line the lobby walls was like entering an encyclopedia of the arts. A few of the many renowned actors who have appeared on the stage there include Ethyl Barrymore, Dorothy and Lillian Gish, Tallulah Bankhead, Gloria Swanson, Don Ameche, Hume Cronin and JessicaTandy, Jane Fonda, Danny Aiello, Blythe Danner, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Dreyfus, Whoopi Goldberg, Liza Minnelli, Bernadette Peters, Lynn Redgrave, Gene Wilder, and Westport residents Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman.

 

"Westport Country Playhouse, a not-for-profit theater, serves as a cultural nexus for patrons, artists and students and is a treasured resource for the State of Connecticut.  There are no boundaries to the creative thinking for future seasons or the kinds of audiences and excitement for theater that Westport Country Playhouse can build."

 

For information on upcoming events and other performances, please visit the website:www.WestportPlayhouse.org.

 

Upcoming Performances- 2018

 

Plays 2018 Season

Dates Running

 

 

The Understudy

August 14 - September 1, 2018

Man Of La Mancha

September 25 - October 13, 2018

Thousand Pines

October 30 - November 17, 2018

The Pianist of Willesden Lane

December 5 - 22, 2018

 

Westport Country Playhouse - Westport, CT, USA

 

Westport Country Playhouse  

25Powers Court

Westport,Connecticut 06880
United States

BoxOffice:          +1-203-227-4177

Toll-Free:             +1-888-927-7529

Fax:                     +1-203-454-3239

BoxOffice:          +1-203-227-4177

Website:              www.WestportPlayhouse.org

Facebook:           www.Facebook/WestportCountryPlayhouse

 

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ŠAugust 2018. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com.  All rights reserved.