Philly stars and Barrymore award winners Scott Greer and Ian Merrill Peakes team up to play brothers Dale and Tony, who run an animation studio in Hollywood's Golden Age. Opening night in Philadelphia is April 15.
According to Arden notes, "Set in Hollywood in 1941, Something Intangible explores issues of family and creative genius, and how the two can tug at one another. Two very different brothers, Tony and Dale, run a movie studio famous for its cartoon dog, Petey Pup. Tony is an extravagant and gifted visionary who longs to move beyond Petey and create a feature-length animated film set to classical music. His loyal brother Dale is a plain-speaking numbers man who manages everything: unrealistic budgets, unpredictable Tony and unrelenting deadlines while trying not to lose himself or his family in the wake of Tony's feverish genius."
Greer and Peakes were last seen together at the Arden in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead. Greer starred as Dr. Pangloss in Candide at the Arden and was recently Mitch in the Walnut Street Theatre's A Streetcar Named Desire. Something Intangible marks Peakes' 14th show at the Arden.
Arden newcomer Walter Charles plays the dual role of banker Bartelli and superstar conductor Von Meyerhoff. Charles has appeared on Broadway in The Apple Tree, Woman in White, Big River, Boys From Syracuse, Kiss Me, Kate, Cats, Sweeney Todd, Grease and many others, in addition to a variety of television and movie credits.
The cast also features Doug Hara (Arden's in Go, Dog. Go! and Sleeping Beauty who plays Leo, the young animator rising through the studio's ranks. Sally Mercer (Arden's Sleeping Beauty and The Grapes of Wrath) plays Dale's psychoanalyst, Sonia. Arden's producing artistic director Terrence J. Nolen directs. He stated, "I have been a fan of Bruce's work since I saw Belmont Avenue Social Club at the Philadelphia Festival Theatre for New Plays back in the '80s. It was a great production of a great script, and I remember thinking that it was a distinctly Philadelphian play. Since then, I've learned that wherever Belmont Avenue is performed audiences think it is about their city. That's one of the wonderful things about Bruce's work. It's both specific and universal. The Philadelphia community is developing a reputation for fostering new plays and new playwrights. In my mind, Bruce is a pioneer in this movement. He's the original 'Philadelphia playwright.' I am thrilled to have this chance to direct Bruce's newest play."
Bruce Graham commented, "I started Something Intangible on a fishing trip to Alaska my wife gave me for my 50th birthday. I wrote the first (draft of) act one in one week. My notebook smelled like bait. I had actually started making notes on this play 15 years before. Back then it was called Those in Authority. And instead of the Wiston brothers in Hollywood 1941 it was the Van Gogh brothers in France circa 1886. Funny how a play can change 15 years."
A resident of South Philadelphia, Graham is both an acclaimed playwright and a Hollywood screenwriter. His one-man show, The Philly Fan, was recently revived for a run at the Act II Playhouse. His plays include According to Goldman, Moon Over The Brewery, Belmont Avenue Social Club and Desperate Affection. His Hollywood screenwriting credits include "Dunston Checks In," "Anastasia" and "Steal This Movie."
Something Intangible's creative team also James Kronzer (set designer), Mitch Dana (lighting designer), Rosemarie McKelvey (costume designer), Jorge Cousineau (sound designer).
For tickets and information, call the Arden box office at (215) 922-1122 or visit www.ardentheatre.org.
This production marks the 30th world premiere at the Arden and the 15th play under the auspices of The Independence New Play Showcase. Launched in 1999, the New Play Showcase generates support for the creation and development of new works of American theatre. Arden productions that have been developed through the Showcase include Wittenberg by David Davalos; The Dinosaur Musical by Robert and Willie Reale; Opus by Michael Hollinger; and Baby Case by Michael Ogborn.
Something Intangible is a recipient of the Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award. This funding program provides selected Theatre Communications Group (TCG) member theatres with financial resources for increased rehearsal time with the full production team onsite at the theatre.