NC's Triad Stage Unearths a Broadway Smasheroo From the Past — Tobacco Road

News   NC's Triad Stage Unearths a Broadway Smasheroo From the Past — Tobacco Road
 
Triad Stage's 2006-07 season in Greensboro, NC, ends June 10-July 1 with Tobacco Road, a major title of the American commercial theatre that is not widely performed these days.
Gordon Joseph Weiss, Elisabeth Ritson and Ali Bayless (seated) in Tobacco Road.
Gordon Joseph Weiss, Elisabeth Ritson and Ali Bayless (seated) in Tobacco Road. Photo by NyghtFalcon Photography

Inspired by the controversial Erskine Caldwell novel, Jack Kirkland's adaptation still holds the record as the second longest-running (non-musical) play in Broadway history.

Running more than seven years in its original engagement (1933-41), and enjoying several Broadway revivals, the Georgia-set play (according to Triad Stage) "is the story of dirt poor farmer Jeeter Lester, scheming to hold onto his ramshackle home and plot of land. His wife just wants a 'purty' dress to be buried in and something to eat. Their son wants a car and might just wed a lusty female evangelist to get one. And the rest of the family? Don't ask. Twisted, outrageous, disturbing, Tobacco Road is a fascinating family portrait. Meet the Lesters and see what made America sit up and take notice!"

Opening night is June 14. Preston Lane, Triad's artistic director and co-founder, directs the revival.

Triad Stage announced that its Tobacco Road is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. This is the second NEA "Access to Artistic Excellence" Grant awarded to the resident Equity theatre, after the award to its hit original production Brother Wolf.

Triad's Tobacco Road includes participation by University of North Carolina-Greensboro students and faculty, both onstage and behind the scenes. The cast of Tobacco Road is Ali Bayless as Pearl, Zac J. Campbell as Lov Bensey, Michael Flannery as Captain Tim, David Harrell as George Payne, Lesley Hunt as Grandma Lester, Stephen Losack as Dude Lester, Mack McClain as Henry Peabody, Rosie McGuire as Sister Bessie Rice, Rebecca Nerz as Ellie May Lester, Elisabeth Ritson as Ada Lester and Gordon Joseph Weiss as Jeeter Lester.

The creative team includes scenic designer Howard C. Jones, costume designer Kelsey Hunt, lighting designer John Wolf and sound designer David E. Smith.

All performances are at Triad Stage at The Pyrle Theater, located at 232 South Elm Street in historic downtown Greensboro.

For tickets or information, call (336) 272-0160 or visit www.triadstage.org.

Gordon Joseph Weiss, Ali Bayless and Elisabeth Ritson in Triad Stage's production of <i>Tobacco Road</i>.
Gordon Joseph Weiss, Ali Bayless and Elisabeth Ritson in Triad Stage's production of Tobacco Road. Photo by NyghtFalcon Photography
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