Varla Jean Merman Portrayer Stars in The Mystery of Irma Vep at Hartford Stage, Jan. 8-Feb. 8

News   Varla Jean Merman Portrayer Stars in The Mystery of Irma Vep at Hartford Stage, Jan. 8-Feb. 8
 
Varla Jean Merman — or rather the actor behind the supposed love child of Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman, Jeffery Roberson — will co-star with James Lecense in the Hartford Stage Company production of Charles Ludlam's The Mystery of Irma Vep - A Penny Dreadful, starting Jan. 8.
(L-R) Jeffery Roberson and James Lecesne in Irma Vep.
(L-R) Jeffery Roberson and James Lecesne in Irma Vep. Photo by Frank Marchese

Hartford Stage artistic director Michael Wilson (Enchanted April) directs the work which is slated to run at the Connecticut stage through Feb. 8.

The Mystery of Irma Vep finds the new bride Lady Enid adjusting to her husband Lord Edgar's mansion, as a portrait of his previous wife, Irma Vep, and other inhabitants watch her every move.

Roberson and Lecesne will play four different characters each in this comedy written by Ridiculous Theatrical Company writer-director-star Charles Ludlam.

Roberson has created and performed as his alter ego Varla Jean Merman in seven shows. He has appeared as Mary Sunshine in the Broadway staging of Chicago as well as ABC's "All My Children" and in cabarets opposite Betty Buckley singing excerpts from Carrie.

Lecesne has performed Off-Broadway in Word of Mouth as directed by Eve Ensler. Other credits include Cloud 9 (directed by Tommy Tune), Extraordinary Measures (written and directed by Ensler), the film "Home for the Holidays," and HBO's "Sex & The City." He penned the Academy Award-winning short film, "Trevor," which received the Oscar for Best Live Action Short. Director Wilson made his Broadway directorial debut with the Tony nominated Enchanted April. His stagings of the premieres of Horton Foote's The Carpetbagger's Children and Eve Ensler's Necessary Targets both transferred to Off-Broadway in 2002. Other productions include 8 By Tenn, What Didn't Happen, Camino Real, Tea at Five and The Glass Menagerie.

The design team for The Mystery of Irma Vep features Jeff Cowie (sets), Rui Rita (lighting), Joe Pino (sound) and Alejo Vietti (costume).

Tickets to The Mystery of Irma Vep at Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street in Hartford, CT are available by calling (860) 527-5151 or visiting www.hartfordstage.org.

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