Looped Tour Will Reunite Valerie Harper and Brian Hutchison in 2013
By Kenneth Jones
Brian Hutchison will return to the role of secretive recording engineer Danny Miller, recreating his Broadway performance, in the national tour of Matthew Lombardo's seriocomic biographical play, Looped, starring Emmy Award winner and Tony Award nominee Valerie Harper as a late-career Tallulah Bankhead.
The tour begins Jan. 24-Feb. 6, 2013, at The Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford, CT. Engagements have also been announced for Fort Lauderdale, FL (Parker Playhouse, Feb. 26-March 3) and Baltimore (Hippodrome. March 5-17). The playwright told Playbill.com that producers are in negotiations with other markets, as well.
Hutchison created the role in the 2010 Broadway production, directed by Rob Ruggiero (Make Me a Song; Ella; Goodspeed Musicals), who helms the tour. Hutchison's Broadway credits include Man and Boy, Exit the King, Proof and The Invention of Love. He has performed in the Off-Broadway productions of From Up Here, Mr. Marmalade, People Be Heard, The Hiding Place and She Stoops To Conquer.
"Based on a true story," according to producers, "Looped takes place in the summer of 1965, when an inebriated Tallulah Bankhead (Harper) stumbled into a sound studio to re-record (or 'loop') one line of dialogue for her last movie 'Die, Die, My Darling.' Given her intoxicated state and her inability to loop the line perfectly, what ensues is a hilarious showdown between an uptight and conservative film editor, Danny Miller, (Hutchison), and the outrageous legend."
Looped played a brief Broadway engagement in 2010, closing after 27 previews and 25 regular performances at the Lyceum Theatre. The tour is produced by Tony Cacciotti, Ann Cady Scott & The Tallulah Organization in association with The Pasadena Playhouse.
Looped received its world premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2008, followed by a stop at the Cuillo Center for Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Arena Stage in Washington, DC and finally Broadway. Harper received a 20102 Best Actress Tony Award nomination for her performance.
Lombardo is author of the plays High and Tea at Five.
Harper is a four-time Emmy Award winner famous for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and the spin-off series, "Rhoda." She performed with various companies of Second City in many venues all over North America. In 1970 she was a member of the original stage production of Story Theater in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Forum and on Broadway. During the run at the Ambassador Theater, Paul Sills opened his second production: Ovid's Metamorphoses, also featuring Harper, to run in repertory with Story Theater. In the mid-1970s she played Los Angeles' James Doolittle Theatre and later toured in Dear Liar with Anthony Zerbe.
She and her husband, Tony Cacciotti, began developing a one-woman play based on the life and work of Pearl S. Buck, the Nobel Prize-winning author of, among many works, "The Good Earth." She co-wrote and performed that play All Under Heaven (directed by Ruggiero) in New York (1999), in Los Angeles (2000) and across the country. In 2001 Harper was back on Broadway starring in Charles Busch's comedy The Tale of the Allergist's Wife. She played "the Wife" (Marjorie Taub) for a year on Broadway and then for another year in the national tour. She completed her cross-country tour of Golda's Balcony and is continuing as Golda Meir for the film version of William Gibson's play.
The design team includes Adrian Jones (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes) Michael Gilliam (lighting) and Michael Hooker (sound).
Hartford performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 PM; Friday at 8 PM; Saturdays at 2 PM & 8 PM; and Sundays at 1:30 PM and 6:30 PM. Ticket prices start at $35.
Tickets are available online at www.bushnell.org , by phone at (860) 987-5900 or visit The Bushnell Box Office at 166 Capitol Avenue.
Check out Playbill.com's video feature with Valerie Harper.
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