Brit Comedy Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis Makes American Debut

News   Brit Comedy Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis Makes American Debut
Charlotte Jones' Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis — the British comedy about a 40-year-old dominatrix — gets its U.S. premiere Nov. 6 in a production by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC.

John Vreeke directs the play by the author of Humble Boy and The Woman in White. The staging features Woolly veteran Sarah Marshall, along with the newest Woolly company member Kimberly Gilbert.

The run of Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis begins with two Pay-What-You-Can performances on Nov. 6 and 7 at 8 PM. Opening is Nov. 12 at 8 PM. Performances continue to Dec. 10.

The play is "an eccentric and hilarious collection of Bolton, England misfits," according to Woolly Mammoth notes. "Josie, a dominatrix who feels ready to hang it all up, is dreading her 40th birthday — so her favorite client Lionel throws a party with a special musical guest! But the real surprise comes when a ghost from the past barges in, propelling this outrageous mix of edgy comedy, heart-throbbing humanity, and sheer ridiculousness — about the sort of love that gets you all shook up."

The cast features Woolly acting company members Kimberly Gilbert and Sarah Marshall, along with Tiffany Fillmore, Beth Hylton, David Bryan Jackson and Tony Nam.

"Charlotte Jones has created a memorable collection of eccentric characters — a dominatrix, an obsessive compulsive, a Chinese Elvis impersonator, and more — but she has the empathy and sense of detail to make them totally human," said artistic director Howard Shalwitz in production notes. "The play is hilariously funny, but what comes through, above all, is its sense of compassion and hopefulness. Woolly Mammoth is thrilled to be launching this unique holiday treat to American audiences." The comedy premiered at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton, England in April 1999, heralding Charlotte Jones as an exciting new voice in British theatre. The production transferred to the Liverpool Everyman in May 1999 and won the Manchester Evening News Best Play Award.

The design team for Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis includes Dan Conway (set), Kate Turner-Walker (costume), Colin K. Bills (lighting), Matthew N. Nielson (sound), Jennifer Sheetz (properties).

Woolly Mammoth is located at 641 D Street, NW (7th & D).

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