Westport Country Playhouse Presents Script in Hand Playreading of Comedy RIPCORD
Westport Country Playhouse will present a Script in Hand reading of the comedy “Ripcord,” written by David Lindsay-Abaire on Monday, November 14 at 7 p.m. Lindsay-Abaire is currently represented on Broadway with a book and lyrics for the musical “Kimberly Akimbo.” Directing “Ripcord” is Mark Shanahan, curator of Playhouse’s Script in Hand series and Playhouse Radio Theater. Script in Hand plays offer intimate storytelling as professional actors bring the words to life without sets or costumes.
In “Ripcord”, sparks begin to fly when the perpetually cantankerous Abby is forced to accept the ever-cheerful Marilyn as her new roommate at the Bristol Place Senior Assisted Living Community. A harmless bet for a bed by the window quickly escalates into an epic contest of wills involving Sudoku, skydiving, the complications of extended family, and a generous helping of peach cobbler. As the relationship between this incompatible couple grows, long-buried secrets resurface and the power of true friendship is revealed.
“In the great tradition of mismatched and odd couples in theater, Abby and Marilyn can proudly stand tall,” Shanahan said. “I am thrilled to present this clever, funny and deeply satisfying play for our Script in Hand audience. Of course, playwright David Lindsay-Abaire is an expert craftsman when it comes to bringing laughs. heart that beats under his humor.”
Shanahan added, “‘Ripcord’ never pulls its punches, even though Abby and Marilyn hilariously fight each other as two worthy adversaries. And yet the piece manages to dig surprisingly deep, revealing hidden truths about fears and the frustrations of growing old.Whether it’s visiting a haunted house for Halloween or braving a parachute jump from an airplane, Abby and Marilyn are sure to provide a wickedly funny and heartfelt night of laughter for all who join us. at The Playhouse.”
The cast includes Jan Neuberger as Abby and Tina Johnson as Marilyn. Jan Neuberger was part of the original Broadway cast of “Wicked,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Big,” “A Change in the Heir,” and the 1974 production of “Gypsy,” starring Angela Lansbury. She has appeared in numerous Off-Broadway, regional and stock productions, national tours, a few films and concerts at the Royal Albert and Carnegie Halls. Neuberger was in Westport Country Playhouse’s “My One and Only” in 1988. www.boomergirl.net.
Tina Johnson was in Broadway’s “State Fair,” “Damn Yankees,” “She Loves Me,” “South Pacific,” “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”; “Anna Christie”, “Into the Woods”, “The Skin of Our Teeth” from Delacorte/Public Theater and other Off-Broadway shows; “Radio City Christmas Spectacular” as Mrs. Claus; national tours of “White Christmas”, “42nd Street” and “Footloose”; as well as film and television. She was in Westport Country Playhouse’s Script in Hand reading of “The Savanah Disputation” and Playhouse Radio Theater’s “Spirits and Spectres” in 2021.
Also in the cast are Bruce Warren as Benjamin (actor, director, and teacher whose theatrical creations have played scenes across North America); Stephen Mark Lukas as Scotty (current Broadway revival of “Funny Girl” -u/s Nick Arnstein, and “The Book of Mormon”; Westport Country Playhouse’s “Camelot” as Lancelot in 2017); Florencia Lozano as Colleen (played Tea Delgado on daytime TV series “One Life to Live”; several prime-time TV shows; Netflix’s “Narcos”); and Derrick Cobey as Derek (second Broadway revival of “Kiss Me Kate,” Kander and Ebb’s “The Scottsboro Boys”; “Ragtime”; Barrymore Award for “Parade”).
Megan Smith is a production manager (of numerous Westport Country Playhouse productions and Script in Hand and New Works play readings since 2005). Megan McDermott will read the stagings (actor/playwright who has performed with theaters in NY, NJ and PA).
Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter, lyricist and librettist. His play, “Good People”, premiered on Broadway, received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play, the Horton Foote Prize, the Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award and two Tony nominations. His previous play, “Rabbit Hole,” received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, five Tony nominations, and the Spirit of America Award. He also wrote the book and lyrics for “Shrek The Musical” (Jeanine Tesori, composer), which was nominated for eight Tonys, four Olives, a Grammy, and won Lindsay-Abaire the Ed Kleban Award as America’s most promising musical theater lyricist. In addition to “Ripcord”, his tracks include “Kimberly Akimbo”, “Fuddy Meers”, “Wonder of the World”, and “A Devil Inside”, among others. In addition to her theater work, Lindsay-Abaire’s screen credits include her film adaptation of “Rabbit Hole,” Dreamworks’ “Rise of the Guardians,” and “The Family Fang,” starring Nicole Kidman, Christopher Walken, and Jason. Batman. He is also, along with Marsha Norman, co-chair of the playwriting program at the Juilliard School.
Script in Hand curator and director Mark Shanahan has appeared at the Westport Country Playhouse in ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, ‘Tryst’, ‘Sedition’, ‘David Copperfield’, ‘Journey’s End’ over 20 readings from Script in Hand and has done readings from “Butterflies Are Free”, with Blythe Danner and Jonathan Groff, and playwright Weston David Wiltse’s “The Greatest Gift”. He is the creator and curator of the Westport Country Playhouse Radio Theater and writer/director of the Playhouse radio adaptation ‘A Merry Little Christmas Carol’. New York’s acting credit includes “The 39 Steps”, “Small World”, “Checkers”, “Tryst”, “The Shaughraun”, “As Bees in Honey Drown”, and “The Internationalist”. His directorial work has been seen at the Alley Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Virginia Stage, Arkansas Rep, White Heron, Fulton Opera House, Weston Playhouse, Florida Rep, Penguin Rep, Merrimack Rep, The Cape Playhouse and many more. He has written numerous radio plays for White Heron’s Ghost Light series (starring Christopher Plummer and Judith Ivey, among others), and is the playwright/adaptor of the hit Off-Broadway and regional comedy, “The Dingdong”; as well as “A Merry Little Christmas Carol”; “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd”; “See the monsters of the depths”; and “A Sherlock Carol,” which was nominated as Best Play 2022 by the Off-Broadway Alliance Awards and is playing this holiday season at New World Stages Off-Broadway and Marylebone Theater in London. www.mark-shanahan.net
Tickets to attend the reading in person are $20. The duration is approximately one hour and fifty minutes, with an intermission.
Before the reading, members of the Drop Party band will play music in the lobby starting at 6 p.m. Drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.
Upcoming Script in Hand readings will be the comedy “Bad Jews” by Joshua Harmon, directed by Jen Waldman, on Monday, December 12; and on February 13, March 13 and June 12, the titles will be announced.
The Script in Hand Playreading series is supported by Stephen Corman and the Lucille Lortel Foundation’s White Barn program.
For details on playing the in-hand script of “Ripcord”, visit https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2209028®id=60&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.westportplayhouse .org %2Fshow%2Fripcord%2F?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1