Directed by Krissy Vanderwarker, the Paul Oakley Stovall drama will play the Celebration Theatre through Jan. 27 with an official opening Jan. 4. Wes Ramsey co-stars in a cast that also includes Yassmin Alers, J. Nicole Brooks, Andrew Kelsey, playwright Stovall and J. Karen Thomas.
As Much As You Can, according to press notes, is described as such: "When Jesse returns home to Chicago for his brother's wedding, he surprises — or, as his best friend Nina says, 'ambushes' — his family by bringing along his Swedish boyfriend, Christian. Jesse's three siblings have varying reactions to the couple: half-sister Ronnie is supportive and anxious for the family to fully accept Jesse and Christian as a couple; younger brother Tony, once he conquers his initial homophobia, is resistant to welcoming a white man into their African-American family; deeply religious sister Evy thinks that Jesse is betraying the memory of their deceased parents by 'choosing' what she considers a sinful, unnatural lifestyle. Through card games, language lessons, and literature, they all strive to live, love, and give as much as they can."
The design team comprises Heather Graff and Richard Peterson (set and lighting design) and Josh Horvath and Andre Pleuss (sound design). Hendel West Productions and David Tarlow produce.
Tonya Pinkins, a Tony nominee for her performance in Caroline, or Change, received her Tony Award for her performance in Jelly's Last Jam. Her other Broadway credits include Radio Golf, Merrily We Roll Along, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Play On! (Tony nomination) and The Wild Party. Pinkins starred in the City Center Encores! mounting of Harold Arlen's House of Flowers, and plays Livia Frye Cudahy on the ABC serial "All My Children."
The Celebration Theatre is located at 7051-B Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood, CA. For tickets call (323) 212-4119 or visit celebrationtheatre.tix.com. *
Pinkins will not appear in the Jan. 17 or 18 performances.