CAROL BURNETT'S “HOLLYWOOD ARMS”
DELIVERS HUMOR AND HEARTBREAK
Award-Winning Creative Team Presents the Tale of a Young Girl’s Journey from Hardship to Hollywood Legend at
Kelsey Theatre October 2, 2009
West Windsor, NJ (September 2, 2009) – The Perry Award-winning creative team at Maurer Productions OnStage will bring the true story of Carol Burnett’s fascinating childhood to life in the comedy-drama Hollywood Arms, presented at Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre October 2-11, 2009. A public reception, with an opportunity to meet the cast and crew, will be held on opening night.
Written by comic legend Carol Burnett and her daughter Carrie Hamilton (See feature article), this moving comedy-drama is based on Burnett’s best-selling memoir One More Time. Set in California in 1941 and 1951, it tells the story of Burnett (called “Helen” in the play) as she grows up in a poor and troubled family. Ultimately, this is the funny and deeply moving story of three generations of women pursuing their dreams; dreams that end in disappointment, tragedy, and ultimately – for one young girl – triumph. While this plays reads like a blend of Neil Simon, Carol Burnett and Tennessee Williams, in the end Hollywood Arms is a wholly original story that tells a tale of humor, heartbreak, love and courage.
The creative team that staged 2008’s five-time Perry Award-winning production of Driving Miss Daisy at the Kelsey Theatre has been reassembled to bring that same magic to Hollywood Arms. Dan Maurer of Robbinsville, who’s work on Driving Miss Daisy won him the NJACT Perry Award for Outstanding Direction of a Play, is once again in the director’s chair.
“The first time I read this play, I couldn’t put it down,” Maurer said. “Its theme of pursuing dreams is universal, but to see all that Burnett had to overcome – the poverty, the abuse, her parents’ alcoholism and illness – and to see her come out of all that with talent, drive, humor and a generous spirit is truly inspirational.”
Maurer spent many long months searching for a good follow-up to the company’s production of Driving Miss Daisy. He was looking for a story that delivered the same balance of humor and humanity that Daisy offered and was thrilled when he stumbled upon Hollywood Arms.
“This story has it all,” Maurer said. “There are moments that will have you rolling on the floor with laughter, and there are moments that are so heartwrenching they take your breath away. That’s what Burnett’s childhood was like. She and her daughter Carrie don’t sugar coat a thing. It is a very real and sometimes gritty story told honestly.”
When the show is mounted by Maurer Production OnStage it will feature a talented cast that includes Kirsten Pasewaldt of Monroe Township as Young Helen, Nicole Spadafino of Hoboken as Older Helen, Leta Gilbert of Newtown as Louise, Laurie Hardy of Hamilton as Nanny, Brian Gildea of Cranbury as Jody, Rob Gougher of Newtown as Bill, Kayla Vanderbilt of Ramsey as Alice, Kacie Mixon of Roosevelt as Dixie, Tommy Kouten of Hillsborough as Malcolm, and Buzz Herman of Hamilton and Jack Petzko of Cranbury as the cops.
Maurer Productions OnStage will present Hollywood Arms Friday, October 2nd and 9th at 8pm; Saturday, October 3rd and October 10 at 8pm and October 10 at 2pm; and Sunday, October 4th and 11th at 2pm in the Kelsey Theatre at Mercer County Community College. The theatre is located on the college's West Windsor Campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road. Free parking is available next to the theatre. To order tickets, go online at www.kelseyatmccc.org, call 609-570-3333, or stop by the Kelsey Theatre Box Office. Ticket prices are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for students and children. The Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible.
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