Champlin, Wiley, Buckley and Dratch Set for Westport Playhouse's Summer Season

News   Champlin, Wiley, Buckley and Dratch Set for Westport Playhouse's Summer Season
Donna Lynne Champlin, Shonn Wiley, Candy Buckley and Rachel Dratch are among the actors who will spend a part of their summer at the Westport Country Playhouse.
Donna Lynne Champlin
Donna Lynne Champlin

Complete casting has been announced for the Westport productions of Hot 'n Cole: A Cole Porter Celebration!, directed by two-time Tony Award winner James Naughton, and David Wiltse's comedy Scramble!.

Westport has also announced the line-up of talent for its "Classical Series" readings and "Artists in Conversation" series that will feature Jane Curtain, Kathleen Turner, Joanna Gleason, Edward Albee, Chris Sarandon and Kristine Nielsen.

The first offering of the summer will be Hot 'n Cole: A Cole Porter Celebration!, running June 10-28. The Hot 'n Cole cast will include Whitney Bashor (The Fantasticks), Donna Lynne Champlin (Sweeney Todd), Lewis Cleale (Spamalot), Andrea Dora (Tarzan), Peter Reardon (Urinetown) and Shonn Wiley (No, No, Nannette).

Naughton directs the musical revue created by David Armstrong, Mark Waldrop and Bruce W. Coyle that boasts 48 Porter songs, including "You're the Top," "It's De-Lovely," "Night and Day," "I Love Paris," "Just One of Those Things," "I've Got You Under My Skin," "Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love" and "In the Still of the Night." Choreographing Hot 'n Cole is Lisa Shriver, with musical direction by Mark Berman.

"Saturday Night Live" veteran Rachel Dratch will head the cast of the office comedy Scramble!, which runs July 9-26. Penned by Westport Country Playhouse playwright in residence David Wiltse (Sedition), press notes for Scramble! state, "When a rumor spreads that a golf magazine may be sold, the howlingly incompetent staff suspects a new hire is actually a 'hatchetman,' brought in to decide whether or not certain employees are pulling their weight." Joining Dratch will be Tom Beckett (Turn of the Screw), Candy Buckley (Bernarda Alba), Colin McPhillamy (Sedition), Jennifer Mudge (Dutchman) and Matthew Rauch (Prelude to a Kiss) under the direction of Tracey Brigden.

The final summer offering will be Karoline Leach's two-hander Tryst, running Aug. 5-23. Joe Brancato, who staged the 2006 Off-Broadway production, will repeat his duties for Westport Audiences.

As previously announced, Mark Shanahan (The 39 Steps) stars opposite Andrea Maulella (One Shot, One Kiss) in the dark thriller. The play, according to press notes, follows George Love, who "has a habit of marrying simple, well off women who become inexplicably poor and husbandless the day after their honeymoons. He's come to London to con his next bride into marriage, and happens upon Adelaide, a milliner's assistant who is sitting on a small nest egg of 50 pounds. He woos her and two days after they've met, he convinces her to get married that evening and bring the total of her bank account. Once they get to the honeymoon, however, the situation changes, as Adelaide appears to be not such a simple girl. She too has her own agenda in marrying Mr. Love and will try anything to get what she wants."

In addition to full-scale productions, Westport's "Classical Series" commences with Jane Curtin, Joanna Gleason, Kristine Nielsen and Chris Sarandon reading the Noel Coward comedy Fallen Angels on June 16. (An additional work will be announced for the Aug. 25 slot).

On June 23 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? star Kathleen Turner joins Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Edward Albee for Westport's "Artists in Conversation" series at the Westport Arts Center.

Subscription tickets for the Westport Country Playhouse's 2008 season are currently on sale. Tickets are available by calling (203) 227-4177 or by visiting

In its 78-season history, the Westport Country Playhouse — located in Westport, CT — has produced more than 700 plays, 35 of which have transferred to Broadway.

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