Charming Billy, Inspired by Award-Winning Novel, Opens in MD World Premiere Feb. 7 | Playbill

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News Charming Billy, Inspired by Award-Winning Novel, Opens in MD World Premiere Feb. 7 Charming Billy, Blake Robison's adaptation of Alice McDermott's novel about a community's memory of a dead man, gets its world premiere by Round House Theatre in Bethesda, MD, Feb. 7-20. Previews began Feb. 2.

McDermott is a Bethesda writer. Her novel won the 1998 National Book Award for Fiction. Producing artistic director Robison also directs the production.

Here's how Round House bills the production: "In a small Bronx bar, a funeral party has gathered to honor Billy Lynch. Through the night, his friends and family weave together the tale of a husband, lover, dreamer, and storyteller, but also that of a hopeless drunk whose immense charm was but a veil over a lifetime of secrets and all-consuming sorrow. Charming Billy is a masterful look at how a community can pin its dreams to one man, and how good intentions can be as destructive as the truth they were meant to hide."

The cast includes Julie-Ann Elliott, Conrad Feininger, John Feltch, Kate Guesman, Molly Cahill Govern, Mitchell Hébert, Erin Jacobs, Kathryn Kelley, Brianna Letourneau, Amy McWilliams, Kathie Mack, Jane Papish, Talia Silber, Michael Tolaydo, David Whalen and Joey Wolf.

The production team includes scenic and lighting designer Kevin Rigdon, costume designer Kevin Rigdon, sound designer Matthew M. Nielson, properties designer Andrea Moore and stage manager Jennifer Schwartz.

Round House Theatre is at 4545 East-West Highway. Tickets are $10- $60 and may be purchased by phone at (240) 644-1100 or online at

John Feltch and David Whalen
John Feltch and David Whalen Photo by Danisha Crosby

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