It’s 1943. Come back in time with us to World War II era, Biloxi, Mississippi. It’s boot camp for a young man from Brooklyn and his fellow recruits where they will learn about Life and Love and some of life’s harsher lessons. Winner – 1985 Tony Award for Best Play.
“Joyous and unexpectedly rewarding. – The New York Times
“A play that rings with a newer, deeper, sweeter truth.” – New York Magazine
Our thanks to Meagan’s Barber Shop, 61 Main Street, Centerbrook for being “the official barber shop” of Biloxi Blues! Walk-ins only. 860.581.8522. Visit their facebook page for photos of the transformation of our actors!
Offensive language, including racial and ethnic insults, is used in this play.
Andee Buccheri(Daisy) is grateful and excited to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut. Her favorite past roles include Val in A Chorus Line at Playhouse on Park and Mrs. Nordstrom in A Little Night Music at NYU Tisch. Andee also does stand up comedy with Laughing Buddha Comedy and the Upright Citizens Brigade. www.andeebuccheri.com
Conor M. Hamill*(Wykowski) is very excited to be back at Ivoryton Playhouse for his third time. You may have seen him in the Ensemble of Memphis, or as Francis in La Cage Aux Folles. Off Broadway: Julian Curtis in Hoi Polloi. Regional: Woodson Bull III in Third at Theaterworks Hartford, Francisco/Voltimand/Fortinbras in Hamlet, Ghost of Future in Christmas Carol at Hartford Stage, Ernst Ludwig in Cabaret at Playhouse on Park. TV/Film: Chadwick Blake in Cobblestone Corridor and Terrence in Crossing the Line. Conor holds a BFA in Acting from The Hartt School of Music Dance and Theatre. @mostcloverconor
Ethan Kirschbaum(Carney) recently made the move to NYC having received his BFA from the University of Arizona in the spring of 2016. He is delighted to be here in Ivoryton to be a part of this cast. Some of Ethan’s favorite roles he has played include Jerry (The Full Monty), Kurt Kelly (Heathers), Curly (Oklahoma!) and El Gallo (The Fantasticks). Ethan would especially like to thank his Mom, Dad, brother, sister and dogs for being so loving and supportive over the years and putting up with his loud theatrics both in and out of the shower. Ethan would also like to thank the entire creative team for giving him a shot and welcoming him to the cast. Thanks for coming and enjoy the show!
George Mayer (Hennessy) is a native of Essex, CT making his theater debut in Biloxi Blues. He is an alum of Xavier High School in Middletown, CT and of The College of Charleston from which he graduated in 2011 with a B.S. in economics. Since then George has lived and worked in New York City with a focus on securities trading at a hedge fund. In 2015, he began taking evening acting classes to satisfy a brewing interest in the craft. In 2017, he decided the time had arrived to explore a change in career paths. He is seeking to discover his potential as an actor while continuing to develop his technique with the Deena Levy Theater Studio in NYC. George also enjoys training regularly in Judo, and is a longtime fan of NHL hockey. He is excited and very grateful to be cast in his first production!
Mike Mihm* (Toomey) is happy to be making his Ivoryton debut. Off-Broadway: Blood Potato and In God’s Hat (Apothecary). Other New York work: Marian, Salvage, Menders, and Ajax in Iraq, (Flux Theatre Ensemble), Hot Season (Strange Sun), readings with the Lark, New Dramatists, Classic Stage Company. Regional: Peribañez (Quantum), The Tall Girls (Luna Stage), Mister Roberts, A Christmas Carol (Cincinnati Playhouse). Film: Taking of Pelham 123, The Dying Western, Cold Storage, Old Maid, Let it be War, The New Moon Party. BFA Ohio University
Moira O’Sullivan (Rowena) is an actor, writer, and comedian last seen at Ivoryton in An Inspector Calls. Theatre credits include: Beneath The Gavel (Off-Broadway, 59E59), Oleanna (Playhouse on Park), Red Snow and Nightmare Before Insomnium (Insomnium Theater Company), Abduct, Transport, Deliver (Scene Change Festival), The McDonald’s Plays and An Evening of Sketch Comedy (Atlantic Stage 2). TV credits include: I, Witness (Investigation Discovery) and The Cobblestone Corridor (PBS). She is also the creator of the web series Small Cappuccinos currently in its second season. She holds a BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and is an Upright Citizens Brigade trained improvisor. www.moiraosullivan.com
Zal Owen*(Eugene) is thrilled to be making his Ivoryton Playhouse debut! National Tour: Motel in Fiddler on the Roof (opposite Harvey Fierstein and Theodore Bikel). Off-Broadway/NYC: Love Me (New York Theatre Workshop), L’Chayim (Theater for the New City), 210 Amlent Avenue (NYMF), The Toymaker (York Theatre). Regional: Disgraced (Fulton Theatre), It Shoulda Been You (Stages St. Louis), Arsenic and Old Lace (Cape Fear Regional Theatre), Evita (Cape Rep Theatre), Wuthering Heights (Paper Mill Playhouse), Les Miserables (Ogunquit Playhouse). Thanks to Dana, family and friends for their constant love and support. www.zalowen.com
Alec Silberblatt* (Arnold) New York: Graduation Day (Middle Voice Theater), The Cherry Orchard (Strange Sun Theater). Regional: Bad Jews (George Street Playhouse), Lungs (Off the Wall – Carnegie Stage), Driftless (world premiere with Hatch Arts Collective), Chickens in the Yard (Quantum Theater), Sharon’s Grave and A Skull in Connemara (PICT Classic Theater), Orphans (Lake Dillon Theater Company), Rabbit Hole (Pittsburgh Public Theater, Hartford TheaterWorks). Training: BFA Acting, CCM.
Chandler Smith(Selridge) is thrilled to be making his Ivoryton Playhouse Debut in Biloxi Blues. Favorite Theatre Credits include: Piggy Nation (Off-Broadway, Snapple Theatre Center), Route 66 (Cornwell’s Dinner Theatre), As You Like It (Southern Appalachain Repertory Theatre), Scrooge No More (Busch Gardens Williamsburg), School House Rock LIVE (Flat Rock Playhouse) and the long running NYC immersive theatrical production of Speakeasy Dollhouse in New York City. Chandler’s voice can be heard on over 100 television and radio voice overs (Disney Interactive, Frito-Lay, L.L. Bean, Comcast Highspeed Internet, and The PGA Tour). This performance is dedicated to his little brother who is currently serving our country as a pilot for the United States Army.
Director: Sasha Brätt
Stage Manager: James Joseph Clark*
Scenic Designer: Glenn Bassett
Lighting Designer: Tate R. Burmeister
Sound Designer: Tate R. Burmeister
Costume Designer: Lisa Bebey
* member of Actors Equity
Sasha Brätt, Director
World of the Play
Biloxi Blues is a world on the edge of transformation. Like all change, some is wanted, some is forced upon us…but all of it is inevitable.
Boy to man. Man to soldier. Train to barracks. Hotel brothel to Catholic School. We follow Eugene Morris Jerome follow his band of brothers. And like any time of change, appearances can be deceiving and expectations will be shattered.
The boys, like the train they ride in on, are being “pressed” into service. That pressure mixed with the heat of Toomey and Mississippi will lead to an explosion. Too old to stay home and too young to say no, these boys are on the precipice. Some will jump off into the unknown, some will resist, and some will just follow the leader.
The world is changing, as it always does, and we are watching it change in the boys individually (from boy to man), in the ideas of the world (Toomey vs Epstein), and in the world and the set around them. We move through this world at a dizzying pace, so, like our soldiers, we don’t have time to resist. While the boys know that they are about to enter the great world around them, it is only an idea. They are like fish in a pond and do not realize that there are oceans in the world. They are told they are going to change the world, but first they have to eat their shit on a shingle in Biloxi, MS.
We move effortlessly from train to barracks to mess hall to hotel to bathrooms to dances. We do what we are told, and yet know that there is more for us. Somewhere.
Appearances will be deceiving. Assholes are heroes. Tyrants have misplaced emotions. Storytellers will betray trusts. But in all of this unknown, we continue to watch and be, changing people in a changing world.
Director, Biloxi Blues
Join us for an opening night reception with the cast following the 8:00pm performance on Friday, April 28th. Light refreshments will be served.
Check back here for press releases, photos and video clips!
Biloxi Blues By Neil Simon
At the Ivoryton Playhouse
Ivoryton – The Ivoryton Playhouse is leaving behind the music of Ol’ Blue Eyes and heading south to the steamy bayou country of Biloxi, Mississippi with the opening of Neil Simon’s BILOXI BLUES on April 26th.
This semi-autobiographical play details his experiences as a young man in boot camp before he was shipped off to serve in the Second World War.
BILOXI BLUES is the second chapter in what is known as his Eugene trilogy, following Brighton Beach Memoirs and preceding Broadway Bound, and is the only one in which Eugene is not the central character. BILOXI BLUES won the Tony Award when it opened on Broadway in 1985 and ran 524 performances.
Neil Simon’s hit play follows the adventures of Eugene Morris Jerome and his fellow Army inductees as they struggle through basic training near Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1943. An aspiring writer who sees himself as an outsider observing the craziness around him, Eugene hopes to somehow remain “neutral … like Switzerland” but finds himself having to make tough choices.
BILOXI BLUES is a comedy with real depth about young men growing up, learning about life and how to live together and finally, going off to war. These men are universal soldiers – facing the same fears, anxieties, and loneliness that grip all young recruits about to encounter the ultimate test of combat. Mr. Simon brings his great sense of humor and humanity to every word of this magnificent play.
A film was also made of the play starring Matthew Broderick and directed by Mike Nichols with screenplay by Neil Simon.
BILOXI BLUES is directed by Sasha Brätt and features Zal Owen* as Eugene, Alec Silberblatt* as Arnold and Mike Mihm* as Sergeant Toomey. Cast also includes Andee Buccheri, Conor M. Hamill*, Ethan Kirschbaum, George Mayer, Moira O’Sullivan and Chandler Smith. Set design is by Glenn Bassett, lighting design by Tate R. Burmeister and costume design by Lisa Bebey.
BILOXI BLUES opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on April 26th and runs through May 14th 2017. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm.
Tickets are $50 for adults; $45 for seniors; $22 for students and $17 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.
Photo by Ivoryton Playhouse
*denotes member of Actors Equity
Members of the press are welcome after April 27th. Please call ahead for tickets.
Looking for something to do? Ivoryton Playhouse has been voted best place to see live theatre by readers of The Shoreline Times for three years in a row. Come to Essex and visit our historic, professional theatre – a Connecticut treasure!
Did You Know
Biloxi Blues is a semi-autobiographical play by Neil Simon. It portrays the conflict of Sergeant Merwin J. Toomey and Arnold Epstein, one of many privates enlisted in the military stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi, seen through the eyes of Eugene Jerome, one of the other soldiers. This Tony Award winning play is the second chapter in what is known as his Eugene trilogy, following Brighton Beach Memoirs and preceding Broadway Bound, and is the only one in which Eugene is not the central character. Biloxi Blues opened on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theatre on March 28, 1985 and closed after 524 performances.