SIX DANCE LESSONS IN SIX WEEKS
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by Richard Alfieri
Wednesday, May 4th
- Sunday, May 22nd

Wed & Thurs 7:30pm / Fri & Sat 8:00pm
Wed & Sun 2:00pm

 

 

TangoSix Dance Lessons in Six Weeks is a touching and human comedy about a formidable retired woman, Lily Harrison, who hires an acerbic dance instructor, Michael Minetti, to give her private dance lessons —one per week for six weeks— in her gulf-front condo in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.

What begins as an antagonistic relationship blossoms into an intimate friendship as these two people from very different backgrounds reveal their secrets, fears, and joys while dancing the Swing, Tango, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, and Contemporary Dance. Michael and Lily learn to overcome their outward differences and discover an unlikely but profound connection. By the final lesson, Lily shares with Michael her most closely guarded secret and he shares with her his greatest gifts, his loyalty and compassion.

Purple dress dancingA poignant comedy with music and dance, the play also addresses the serious issues of ageism and intolerance.

Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

Generously sponsored by:

Clark_Group_Logo1.1570205_logo

 

 

 

VSD.PicValerie Stack Dodge* (Lily Harrison) is delighted to be making her Ivoryton Playhouse debut.  She has performed extensively throughout the state of New Jersey, where she lives with her husband and her two adorable dachshunds.  Most recently she played the title role in DRIVING MISS DAISY and Sarah in TABLE MANNERS with the Garage Theatre Group.  Valerie is a founding member of the Central Players, where she played Mrs. Webb in OUR TOWN.  Other New Jersey companies she has worked with include The Women’s Theater Company, The Growing Stage, Theater Project, The Bickford Theatre, 12 Miles West, and the Holmdel Theater Company.  Valerie has also performed in several Off-Broadway productions including THE MISER (Elise) and ROMEO AND JULIET (Lady Capulet).  On television she has been seen in Breaking Vegas, Billions, The Big C, and the Onion News Network.  Valerie earned her BFA in Theater at The Boston Conservatory, where she also served on the faculty.   AEA, SAG-AFTRA

 

Michael IannucciMichael Iannucci* (Michael Minetti)  New York credits: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Broadway revival); SHLEMIEL THE FIRST (Theatre for a New Audience); ENTER LAUGHING; BAJOUR (York Theatre); THE AWFUL TRUTH (Fringe Festival); STREET SCENE (Brave New World Rep); WALLENBERG (NYMTF); WAITING FOR LEFTY (Theatre Row).  National Tours: ANNIE; FIDDLER ON THE ROOF.  Regional: SOUTH PACIFIC (Wick Theatre); BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS (Seven Angels); AND THEN THERE WERE NONE; CRAZY FOR YOU; RAGS; PHANTOM (Fulton Theatre); CATS; THE MOST HAPPY FELLA (Theatre Under the Stars); STEEL PIER (Actor’s Playhouse); FALSETTOLAND (Caldwell Theatre, Carbonell Award nomination); SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM (Theatre Jacksonville); MY FAIR LADY (Lancaster Symphony); BYE BYE BIRDIE (Westchester Broadway); RAGTIME (Jersey Productions).  Stock: SPAMALOT; LEND ME A TENOR; A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Arrow Rock Lyceum); CHICAGO (Mason Street Warehouse); GUYS & DOLLS (New Harmony); PLAZA SUITE (Allenberry Playhouse); TALE OF THE ALLERGIST’S WIFE; THE FANTASTICKS; THE FOREIGNER;  (Forestburgh Playhouse); GYPSY (Merry-Go-Round).  Television: Elementarywww.michaeliannucciactor.com

 

Directed by:  Sasha Bratt

Choreographer:  Apollo Smile

Stage Manager:  James Joseph Clark*

Scenic Designer:  William Russell Stark

Lighting Designer:  Marcus Abbott

Sound Designer:  Tate Burmeister

Costume Designer:  Lisa Bebey

Wig Designer:  Mark Adam Rampmeyer

* member of Actors Equity

Richard Alfieri

 

richard_alfieriBorn in Florida, Richard Alfieri graduated from Yale University and began his professional career in New York. He wrote the feature film Echoes and the novel Ricardo – Diary of a Matinee Idol. He co-authored the screenplay for the film Children of Rage. He produced the feature film Rescue Me and executive-produced the NBC film False Witness. He wrote the screenplay for Puerto Vallarta Squeeze based on Robert James Waller’s novel. His play The Sisters, suggested by Chekhov’s Three Sisters, premiered at the Pasadena Playhouse. Mr. Alfieri adapted the play for feature-film production, and the film premiered as an Official Selection at both the Tribeca and Hollywood Film Festivals. The Sisters won the Milagro Award for Best American Independent Film.

 

Mr. Alfieri received a Writers Guild Award for his screenplay for the Hallmark Hall of Fame film Harvest of Fire. He also received a Writers Guild Award and an Emmy nomination for his work on Norman Lear’s ABC special I Love Liberty. He was awarded the Grand Prize at the New York Film and Television Festival and a Writers Guild Award nomination for his screenplay for the Disney film A Friendship in Vienna.

Mr. Alfieri’s most recent play, Revolutions, premiered at the Barter Theatre in Virginia.

His play Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks opened on Broadway at the Belasco Theater. The play premiered at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles with Uta Hagan in her final role, and has since been translated into 14 languages and has opened around the world in 24 countries with productions in London, Berlin, Sydney, Madrid, Vienna, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Helsinki, Budapest, Amsterdam, Prague, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich, Seoul, Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg, and many other cities. Mr. Alfieri wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks, starring Gena Rowlands and Cheyenne Jackson.

Join us for an opening night reception with the cast following the performance on Friday, May 6th.  Light refreshments will be served.

 

Check back here for press releases, photos and video clips! 

Press Release

Foxtrot and Friendship and Florida Sunsets
Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks
By Richard Alfieri
at the Ivoryton Playhouse

Seated with bowlIvoryton – The Ivoryton Playhouse is leaving the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and heading to the Gulf Coast beaches of St. Petersburg, Florida. Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks is a touching and human comedy about a formidable retired woman, Lily Harrison, who hires an unusually difficult dance instructor with an acerbic personality, Michael Minetti, to give her private dance lessons —one per week for six weeks— in her gulf-front condo.

Michael with coat stand

 

 

What begins as an antagonistic relationship blossoms into an intimate friendship as these two people from very different backgrounds reveal their secrets, fears, and joys while dancing the Swing, Tango, Waltz, Foxtrot, Cha-Cha, and Contemporary Dance. Michael and Lily learn to overcome their outward differences and discover an unlikely but profound connection. By the final lesson, Lily shares with Michael her most closely guarded secret and he shares with her his greatest gifts, his loyalty and compassion.

A poignant comedy with music and dance, the play also addresses the serious issues of ageism and intolerance.

ValerieWritten by Yale grad, Richard Alfieri, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks premiered in Los Angeles and opened on Broadway at the Belasco Theater in 2003. The play has since been translated into 14 languages and has traversed the globe with productions in 24 countries. The play has established itself as an international hit and one of the most produced plays in the world. A film was also made of the play starring Gena Rowlands and Cheyenne Jackson.

Featuring seasoned actors Michael Ianucci* and Valerie Stack Dodge*, the play is directed by Sasha Bratt, choreographed by Apollo Smile, set design by William Stark, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Lisa Bebey.

Valerie in dark in front of windowSix Dance Lessons in Six Weeks opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on May 4th and runs through May 22nd 2016. 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 $44 for adults; $39 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.

Hug in front of windowPhotographs by Anne Hudson
Pictured: Valerie Stack Dodge* and Michael Ianucci*
 
*denotes member of Actors Equity

Members of the press are welcome at any performance.  Please call ahead for tickets.

 

 

ct-logo-2012_for_largeLooking 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!

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Playwright Richard Alfieri is a multi-award-winning playwright, screenplay writer, novelist, producer, and actor. A graduate of Yale University, Alfieri began his professional career in New York City, where he studied with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse. His awards include two Writers Guild Awards and an Emmy nomination. His play "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks" opened on Broadway at the Belasco Theater. The play has since been translated into 12 languages and opened in over 20 countries. Alfieri adapted "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks" for a feature film starring Gena Rowlands and Cheyenne Jackson.