Westport Country Playhouse’s Family Festivities Series Opens with
“Madeline and the Bad Hat” on Sunday, November 17
Westport Country Playhouse will open its 2013-14 Family Festivities Series with the musical, “Madeline and the Bad Hat,” based on Ludwig Bemelmans’ “Madeline” classic books, on Sunday, November 17, 1 and 4 p.m. The story traces the adventures of a young Parisian girl who, despite starting off on the wrong foot with a mischievous new neighbor, eventually learns that first impressions aren’t everything. Produced by ArtsPower, the show is recommended for grades K – 2. Running time is approximately one hour. Family Festivities shows are presented on selected Sundays from November through March, at 1 and 4 p.m. Pre-show activities begin one hour before each performance at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are $20.
Focusing on the unbreakable bonds of friendship and family, “Madeline and the Bad Hat” begins when the Spanish Ambassador moves into the house next door to Madeline’s boarding school. Madeline, Miss Clavel, who is the caretaker of the girls at the school, and the other girls quickly discover that his son Pepito is a true horror. Rude and conceited, Pepito seems at first to be nothing but trouble. But when Pepito unexpectedly finds himself in real danger, it’s up to the resourceful Madeline to get him out of it. Can she teach Pepito a lesson in the bargain, and does he have a hidden good side after all? This gently amusing tale of enemies-become-friends will charm and entertain children and parents alike.
ArtsPower was founded by identical twins Mark and Gary Blackman in 1985. Its 27 original, professional touring musicals and dramas have been seen by 12 million people in 48 states in hundreds of the nation’s top regional theaters, including The Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center.
To kick-off the 2013-14 Family Festivities series, the Playhouse invites the community to a free-of-charge party on Sunday, November 10, from 1 to 4 p.m. The fun will include an opportunity for kids to dress up and pose on the Playhouse stage, face painting, and activities from Sportsplex Fairfield and Westport Library. In addition to information about the upcoming Family Festivities shows, there will be companion books for sale, and special, one-day-only ticket offers. Tasty nibbles will be offered with free samples from Planet Fuel, Yumnuts and o.a.t.s granola, along with additional concessions available for purchase.
Upcoming Family Festivities presentations include “Circo Comedia” on Sunday, December 15, “Dino-Light, on Sunday, January 18, “Sleeping Beauty Dreams,” on Sunday, February 9, “Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly,” on Sunday, March 9, and “Seussical,” on Sunday, March 23.
In conjunction with the Family Festivities Series, the Playhouse will host a book collection of gently used and new children’s books for Read to Grow, Inc.
Family Festivities Partners are Meredith and David Bukzin, Galia Gichon and Adam Clemens, and Darlene Krenz.
Everyone in the audience requires a ticket. For more information or tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 at www.westportplayhouse.org. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse) or get an insider’s peek on The Playhouse Blog (www.theplayhouseblog.org).
About Westport Country Playhouse
Westport Country Playhouse is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, professional theater under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos and management leadership of Michael Ross. The Playhouse creates five live theater experiences, produced at the highest level, from April through October. Its vital mix of works—dramatic, comedic, occasionally exploratory and unusual—expands the audience’s sense of what theater can be. The depth and scope of its productions display the foremost theatrical literature from the past—recent as well as distant—in addition to musicals and premieres of new plays. During the summer, the Playhouse is home to the Woodward Internship Program, renowned for the training of aspiring theater professionals. Winter at the Playhouse, from November through March, offers events outside of the main season—Family Festivities presentations and Script in Hand play readings. In addition, businesses and organizations are encouraged to rent the handsome facility for their meetings, receptions and fundraisers.
As an historic venue, Westport Country Playhouse has had many different lives leading up to the present. Originally built in 1835 as a tannery manufacturing hatters’ leathers, it became a steam-powered cider mill in 1880, later to be abandoned in the 1920s. Splendidly transformed into a theater in 1931, it initially served as a try-out house for Broadway transfers, evolving into an established stop on the New England straw hat circuit of summer stock theaters through the end of the 20th century. Following a multi-million dollar renovation completed in 2005, the Playhouse became a state-of-the-art producing theater, preserving its original charm and character.
Today, the not-for-profit Westport Country Playhouse serves as a cultural resource for patrons, artists and students and is a treasure for the State of Connecticut. There are no boundaries to the creative thinking for future seasons or the kinds of audiences and excitement for theater that Westport Country Playhouse can build.
Currently playing through October 27 is the madcap comedy, “Room Service,” by John Murray and Allen Boretz, directed by Mark Lamos. Westport Country Playhouse’s upcoming 2014 season: Noël Coward’s “A Song at Twilight,” an exquisite battle of wits, exploring the nature of passion, the cruelty of love, and the price of hidden secrets, directed by Mark Lamos, April 29 – May 17, 2014, a co-production with Hartford Stage; the season’s second production will be either a comedy or a world premiere musical event, to be announced at a later date, directed by Mark Lamos, playing June 10 – 28, 2014; “Nora,” Ingmar Bergman’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” a story of love, blackmail, and the little lies people tell, translated into the English language by Frederick J. Marker and Lisa-Lone Marker, directed by David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, July 15 – August 2, 2014; “Things We Do for Love,” Alan Ayckbourn’s wickedly funny play that questions just how sane anyone really is when it comes to love, August 19 – September 6, 2014; and “Intimate Apparel” by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, an intricate tapestry of the joys, sorrows, tragedy, and triumph of a gifted but lonely African-American seamstress in early 20th century Manhattan who’s negotiating the choice between a love that is accepted and one that is true, October 7 – 25, 2014.
For more information or tickets, call the box office at (203) 227-4177, or toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Tickets are available online 24/7 at www.westportplayhouse.org. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), view Playhouse videos on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse) or get an insider’s peek on The Playhouse Blog (www.theplayhouseblog.org).