Dear Ruth, a WWII-Era Comedy, Resurfaces in NYC Revival May 4-21

News   Dear Ruth, a WWII-Era Comedy, Resurfaces in NYC Revival May 4-21
Dear Ruth, Norman Krasna's wartime comedy about teen-age girl's morale-boosting pen-pal relationship with a soldier, gets an Off-Off-Broadway revival by Retro Productions May 4-21 at the Spoon Theater.

Richard Roland (Phoenix Theatre's No Way to Treat a Lady) directs the screwball comedy, which had a 19-month run in 1944-46, amusing war-weary audiences. A film version starring William Holden followed. Retro Productions was a six-time 2010 New York Innovative Theatre Awards nominee for its revival of The Desk Set, a 1955 comedy by William Marchant.

Here's how Dear Ruth is billed: "It's WWII, and teenager Miriam Wilkins can't keep her nose out of other people's affairs. Fired up by patriotism Miriam begins a pen pal relationship with an Air Corps officer. Using her older sister Ruth's name and image, Miriam presents herself as a morale-boosting love interest, never thinking for a moment that the officer would live to return home. Return he does; to the Wilkins home in Queens, to an astonished Ruth, and to Ruth's fiancé!"

The Dear Ruth revival cast includes Becky Byers (2010 Person of the Year), Heather E. Cunningham (2007 Back Stage Performance to Remember for Still Life, Retro Productions), Shay Gines (The Lady in Question, TOSOS), Douglas B. Giorgis (Three Wishes for Jamie), Joe Mathers (The Vigil, or the Guided Cradle, Impetuous Theater Group and Brick Theater), David Sedgwick (Pearl Theatre Company and New York Classical Theatre), Alisha Spielmann (As You Like It and Native Speech, Boomerang Theatre Company), Matilda Szydagis (The Desk Set, Retro Productions), and Matthew Trumbull (The Desk Set, Retro Productions and Viral, Gideon Productions).

The Dear Ruth production team includes Jeff Stander (scenic design), Jack Cunningham (scenic consultant), Rebecca Cunningham (scenic design), Viviane Galloway (costume design), Jeannette Aultz (military costume design), Jacqueline Reid (lighting design), Jeanne Travis (sound design), Cassie Dorland (properties design) and Heather Cunningham (properties design). Ricardo Rust serves as the production stage manager.

Krasna (1909-1984) was an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, playwright and director. His Broadway credits include Louder, Please; Small Miracle; Time for Elizabeth; and Sunday in New York. He wrote the screenplays for "Wife vs. Secretary," "The Richest Girl in the World," "Princess O'Rourke" (Academy Award), "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," "Indiscreet" and "White Christmas." The Spoon Theater is at 38 W. 38th St., 5th Floor. Performances of Dear Ruth run Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8 PM with special performances Monday, May 9 at 8 PM and Sunday, May 15 at 3 PM.

Tickets are $18 (general admission), $15 for seniors and $5 for student rush, based on availability, at or (212) 352-3101.


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