Aussie Hit Mr. Bailey's Minder Makes U.S. Debut in Philly Feb. 19

News   Aussie Hit Mr. Bailey's Minder Makes U.S. Debut in Philly Feb. 19 The American premiere of Australian playwright Debra Oswald's Mr. Bailey's Minder, billed as a life-enhancing, soul-shaking and heartfelt look at the beauty of redemption and forgiveness, begins Feb. 19 at Walnut Street Theatre's intimate Independence Studio on 3 in Philadelphia.

Opening is Feb. 21, and performances continue to March 9.

According to production notes, "Leo Bailey (played by Bev Appleton) is Australia's greatest living artist, but his genius battles to survive the effects of alcohol, cynicism and self-loathing. He is a national treasure, but can't seem to stop himself from falling deeper into his destructive cycle. Only one of his many children, his daughter Margo (played by Catherine Slusar), still cares enough to help…but she does so at arm's length. After a string of caretakers that have come and gone, Margo finds a tenacious live-in-minder in Therese (played by Erin Reilly). Fresh out of prison and a little rough around the edges, Therese's no-nonsense attitude could be just the thing Mr. Bailey needs to turn his life around."

William Zielinski plays one of Mr. Bailey's opportunistic "friends." Jeb Kreager plays a well-meaning handyman.

It's said to be a "deeply moving play about friendship, ego and the power of forgiveness."

* Mr. Bailey's Minder broke box-office records during its premiere presentation in the summer of 2004. It was the recipient of the 2004 Griffin Award, given to the most outstanding new Australian play or performance text.

Debra Oswald will be in residence in Philly from final technical rehearsals through opening night.

Oswald is a Sydney-based playwright and author. She began writing as a teenager and her first play was workshopped at the Australian National Playwrights Conference when she was 17, and it was later broadcast on ABC Radio. Since then she has made her living as a writer for film, television, stage and radio. Her novels for children have also been published. Her plays include Dags, Sweet Road, Gary's House and Peach Season.

Mr. Bailey's Minder is directed by long-time Walnut stage manager and South Philadelphia native Debi Marcucci. Her design team includes set designer Adam Riggar, lighting designer Shon Causer, costume designer Rob Paluso and sound designer Christopher Colucci.

Tickets are $28 and are now available at (215) 574-3550 or (215) 336-1234. For more information visit WalnutStreetTheatre.org or Ticketmaster.com.