Bavarian King and Texas Teen Ascend in New Rudnick Comedy Valhalla, Opens Feb. 5

News   Bavarian King and Texas Teen Ascend in New Rudnick Comedy Valhalla, Opens Feb. 5
The worlds of mad Bavarian King Ludwig II and a teenager from 1940s Texas collide in the New York Theatre Workshop's staging of the new Paul Rudnick comedy, Valhalla, opening Feb. 5.
Sean Dugan and Samantha Soule in Valhalla
Sean Dugan and Samantha Soule in Valhalla Photo by Joan Marcus

Christopher Ashley directs the work, which began Jan. 16 at the downtown company's 79 East 4th Street venue and is currently slated to run through April 4.

Valhalla follows two young men from (very) different worlds, from their introduction to sexuality to their journey into adulthood. One of the men, Ludwig of Bavaria, is dealing with the pressures of marrying to satisfy his mother's desire and one day becoming king, while the rebellious James Avery (of Dainsville, Texas) is formulating plans to leave town with his childhood friend.

Marie Antoinette, a battle scene on horseback, a Long Island woman who serves as a tour guide, World War II, Richard Wagner's opera "Lohengrin" and the recreation of the castle Versailles are all featured in the the new comedy.

Peter Frechette (Our Country's Good) and Sean Dugan (Flesh and Blood) star as Ludwig and James, respectively. Scott Barrow (The Shape of Things at DC's Studio Theatre), Candy Buckley (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Samantha Soule (Dinner at Eight) and Jack Willis (The Crucible) also star in a variety of roles.

The design team for Valhalla includes Thomas Lynch (set), William Ivey Long (costume), Kenneth Posner (lighting) and Mark Bennett (sound). Rudnick and Ashley are longtime collaborators, having teamed up on The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told (which began at NYTW), Rude Entertainment, The Naked Truth and Jeffrey. The playwright's latest comedy, Valhalla, received a two-week workshop at the downtown theatre space in 2002 with Ashley directing.

Rudnick's other works include I Hate Hamlet and Poor Little Lambs. Ashley received a Tony Award nomination for his direction of the revival of The Rocky Horror Show. Other credits include The Smell of the Kill, Mondo Drama, Wonder of the World and Newyorkers.

For tickets to Valhalla at NYTW, 79 East Fourth Street, click the link below. For more information, visit the website at

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