Following Tragic Death of Actor, Chicago-Area Women on the Verge Postpones Opening

News   Following Tragic Death of Actor, Chicago-Area Women on the Verge Postpones Opening The Theatre at the Center production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown has postponed the start of performances and its opening night following the tragic death of cast member Bernard Yvon, who was killed in a car accident Sept. 6.

Bernard Yvon, known as Bernie to friends and colleagues, was to play the taxi driver central to the intertwining storylines in Women on the Verge. The 50-year-old actor was killed on the way to his rehearsal for the production in Munster, IN.

Previews were originally to begin Sept. 11 toward a Sept. 14 opening night. Actor George Andrew Wolff has assumed the role of the Taxi Driver. Tony nominee Danny Burstein created the role on Broadway.

The Theatre at the Center has announced that previews for Women on the Verge will now begin Sept. 13 with an opening night rescheduled for Sept. 21. Performances will continue as scheduled through Oct. 12.

A tribute reception honoring Yvond will follow the production's Sept. 21 opening night performance.

"Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown has the same exuberance, wit and zest for life that embodied Bernie's stage work and his personality - the cast and creative team dedicate the show to his memory," Theatre at the Center general manager Richard Friedman said in a statement. Theatre at the Center, along with theaters around Chicago, will dim their lights Sept. 11 at 7:30 PM in tribute to Yvon as well as theatre professionals including actors Molly Glynn, Sati Word, Trinity P. Murdock, properties designer Joel Lambie and WGN broadcaster Roy Leonard, who died last week.

As previously reported, the production will reflect a revised version of the musical that is based on the Academy Award-nominated film by Pedro Almodovar. Creators Jeffrey Lane (book) and David Yazbek have revised the script and re-ordered several songs in the new version.

The Theatre at the Center production is directed by William Pullinsi with choreography by Danny Herman and musical direction and orchestrations by William Underwood. The musical will be staged in the Center's intimate 400-seat theatre, which features a proscenium with a large thrust stage.

The cast also features Cory Goodrich as Pepa, Hollis Resnik as Lucia, Larry Adams as Ivan, Summer Naomi Smart as Candela, Nathan Gardner as Carlos, Dina DiCostanzo as Marisa, Colette Todd as Paulina, Hillary Marren as Anna, David Schlumpf as Ambite, Jake Mahler as Chief Inspector, Scott Stratton as The Detective, Regina Webster as Pepa's concierge, Missy Aguilar as Ivan's concierge, Eric Lewis as Malik, Chris Carter as Telephone Man, Sheri Mocheit as Young Lucia and Ryan Naimy as Young Ivan.

The Theatre at the Center creative team also includes scenic designer and production manager Ann Davis, lighting designer Shelley Strasser-Holland, costume designer Brenda Winstead, sound designer Barry G. Funderburg, associate sound designer Michael J. Patrick, hair and wig designer Kevin Barthel and props designer Jessie Howe.

Here's how the regional premiere is billed: "Set in 1980’s Madrid, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown introduces actress and singer Pepa (Jeff Award winner Cory Goodrich) who is heartbroken by her charming yet deceitful lover, Ivan (Jeff Award nominee Larry Adams). The plot thickens as his ex-wife of questionable sanity Lucia (Jeff Award winner Hollis Resnik) and their passionate and curious son Carlos (Jeff Award nominee Nathan Gardner) show up. Chaos ensues when Pepa’s naïve best friend Candela (Jeff Award winner Summer Smart) falls in love with a possible terrorist and is wanted by the police. The show is comically narrated by a wise taxi driver (Jeff Award nominee Bernie Yvon) who provides tissues, mints and advice to the colorful characters along the way."

The Broadway production of Women on the Verge, which opened Nov. 4, 2010, at the Belasco Theatre was short-lived. The musical played 30 previews and 69 performances when it closed Jan. 2, 2011.

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