James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Emily Bergl (Southland), and Theatre World Award winner and three-time Olivier Award nominee Adam Godley head the cast when L.A. Theatre Works records "SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER or The Mistakes of a Night" for radio. Also in the cast are Rosalind Ayres, Julian Holloway, Christopher Neame, Paula J. Newman, Ian Ogilvy, Darren Richardson and Moira Quirk. Martin Jarvis directs Oliver Goldsmith's bad and bawdy comedy of manners June 16-20 at the Skirball Cultural Center.
Oliver Goldsmith's classic comedy of disguise has been entrancing audiences for over two centuries. First performed in 1773, She Stoops to Conquer stands as one of the most frequently-performed and well-received plays of the 18th Century. Goldsmith disliked the plays of the time which promotEd Morality and virtue, maintaining that human follies were much more amusing and more suitable to the theater. He defied convention to craft this hilarious comedy of manners, a boisterous satire of class, courtship and dysfunctional families that parodies English social conventions and plays like an 18th century episode of Fawlty Towers.
The plot follows the misadventures of Charles Marlowe (Marsters), a young man painfully shy, awkward, and tongue-tied in the presence of his prospective fiancée, Kate Hardcastle (Bergl). When deceived by the mischievous Tony Lumpkin (Godley) into believing the house of Kate's father to be an inn, complications accrue and misconceptions increase exponentially. The resulting mess combines slapstick with perfectly-phrased wit to create a uniquely comedic brew.
Oliver Goldsmith was born in 1730 in Ireland, the fifth of seven children of an Anglo-Irish clergyman. He trained at Trinity College in Dublin and prepared to take holy orders, but was rejected by the bishop. He then left Ireland in pursuit of a medical degree in Edinburgh but eventually arrived in London, worn out and destitute. In London, Goldsmith worked as an apothecary's assistant, school usher, physician and hack writer. In 1758 he published a two-volume translation of The Memoirs of a Protestant, Condemned to the Galleys of France for His Religion. Known as an essayist, poet and novelist, Goldsmith authored two plays: The Good Natur'd Man and She Stoops to Conquer. The latter has outlived almost all other English comedies from the early 18th to late 19th centuries.
Each of the five performances will be recorded in front of a live audience, and the final CD will broadcast on L.A. Theatre Works' nationally syndicated radio theater series. L.A. Theatre Works airs locally in Southern California on KPCC 89.3 every Saturday from 10 pm - midnightand can be streamed on demand at www.latw.org.
For three decades, L.A. Theatre Works has been the leading radio theater company in the United States, committed to using innovative technologies to preserve and promote significant works of dramatic literature and bringing live theater into the homes of millions. L.A. Theatre Works' radio theater series can be heard locally in Southern California on Saturday from 10pm to midnight on KPCC 89.3 FM, and can also be streamed on demand at www.latw.org/. The series can also be heard on the following stations (check local listings for broadcast times): 89.7 WGBH, Boston; 91.5 WBEZ, Chicago; 94.9 KUOW, Seattle; 90.1 WABE, Atlanta; 94.1 KPFA, Berkeley; 91.1 KRCB, North Bay (San Francisco); 89.3 KVPR, Fresno; 89.1 PRX, Bakersfield; and many other stations nationwide.
Performances of She Stoops to Conquertake place on Wednesday, June 16 at 8 pm; Thursday, June 17 at 8 pm; Friday, June 18 at 8 pm; Saturday, June 19 at 2:30 pm; and Sunday, June 20 at 4 pm. Tickets range from $20.00 to $48.00. L.A. Theatre Works at the Skirball Cultural Centeris located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the Santa Monica Mountains (exit Skirball Center Drive). For tickets and information, call the L.A. Theatre Works box office at (310) 827-0889 or go to www.latw.org.