The play, which plays with the eternal academic question of who really wrote Shakespeare's works, stars Juliet Mills, Jeremey Webb, Brad Bellamy, Arnie Burton, Grace Gonglewski, Ian Kahn, Andy Phelan and John Robert Tillotson. Russell Treyz directs.
In The Beard of Avon, a lowly Elizabethan wannabe artist named Will Shakspere [sic] escapes from his chore-giving, homebound wife to London in search of his dream. Did he then become one of the greatest storytellers to ever live? Or was the Bard a beard for Sir Francis Bacon, the Earl of Oxford, and even Queen Elizabeth?
Pete 'n' Keely, the Off-Broadway musical comedy showbiz spoof which played Off-Broadway in 2001, will take root at the Playhouse Aug. 14-26, starring its original New York duo, Sally Mayes and George Dvorsky. They play the "America's swingin' sweethearts" (now divorced) Pete Bartel and Keely Stevens, who reunite in 1968 for a live television special. The show is written by James Hindman and directed by Mark Martino. The last slot of the season, Aug. 28-Sept. 9, will be filled by A.R. Gurney's Man and Wife and Dog comedy Sylvia. Pamela Hunt will direct Linda Dano as the wife and Colleen Quinlan as pooch Sylvia in the piece.
The Playhouse was founded by Raymond Moore. A former Unitarian Meeting House, the quaint, white shingled, 600-seat theatre features a wrap-around balcony. The theatre opened in 1927 with a production of The Guardsman starring Basil Rathbone. Among the many noteworthy productions to be staged there over the years was a 1937 Hamlet starring Eva LeGallienne in the title role and Uta Hagen, in her professional debut, as Ophelia. Bette Davis, who spent teenage summers on Cape Cod, acted there, as did Tallulah Bankhead, Helen Hayes and Gertrude Lawrence, who met and married her husband Richard Aldrich (who ran the theatre for many years) at the Playhouse. Shirley Booth acted there so often, she kept her Oscar there.
The Cape Playhouse is located in Dennis, MA, at 820 Route 6A. For more information, call (508) 385-3911.