Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook Star in Southern Comforts; Foglia Directs

By Kenneth Jones
07 Feb 2006

Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook.
Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook.

Longtime widow meets cantankerous widower in Kathleen Clark's new play, Southern Comforts, starring married acting stars Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook in South Florida.

Starting performances at Miami's Coconut Grove Playhouse Feb. 7 prior to a weeklong March run at Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale, Southern Comforts is directed by Leonard Foglia, who directed Carter in Broadway's Master Class.

"When long-time widow Amanda Cross visits a small northern New Jersey town, she isn't prepared to have her peaceful life turned upside down," according to Coconut Grove. "Then she meets Gus Klingman, a cantankerous widower. Beautiful and deliciously Southern, Amanda peels away the rough layers of Gus' unhappy heart to reveal the silenced passions of a man and a lover. Can love between opposites last?"

Performances play to Feb. 26 at Coconut Grove. Parker Playhouse hosts it March 1-5. Opening night is Feb. 10.

Playwright Kathleen Clark has twice been selected to have her plays presented at the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference. Judith Ivey directed her play, Soccer Moms in New York City.



Director Foglia staged the 2005 Tony Award-nominated On Golden Pond and the recent The Subject Was Roses at the Kennedy Center.

Southern Comforts is expected to have an Off-Broadway run in fall 2006 by a not-for-profit company, according to Coconut Grove.

Holbrook is widely known for his Tony Award-winning turn in Mark Twain Tonight, which he devised. He appeared Coconut Grove Playhouse production of Death of a Salesman.

Carter is known for playing strong and opinionated Julia Sugarbaker on TV's "Designing Women." She recently starred in Washington, D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre's Lady Windermere's Fan. She was Maria Callas in Broadway's Master Class and stepped into Thoroughly Modern Millie in its last months.

The creative team includes Thomas Lynch (sets), Jane Greenwood (costumes), Brian D. Nason (lighting), Steve Shapiro (sound). Original music is by Paul Schwartz.

Coconut Grove Playhouse is at 3500 Main Highway, Coconut Grove, FL. For more information, visit www.cgplayhouse.org or www.ParkerPlayhouse.com.