Stand by Your Man brings the woman behind the legend and the incredible songs that made her the first lady of country music, off the stage and into your heart. Through her eyes, the audience relives her journey from the cotton fields of Itawamba, Mississippi, to international superstar.
With comic flare and dramatic impact Stand by Your Man recounts triumphs and tragedies and explores Tammy’s relationships with the five husbands she stood by, including George Jones, her beloved daughters, her strong-willed mother and two of her dearest friends: colorful writer and producer Billy Sherrill and film star Burt Reynolds. Among the 26 hit songs are “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “Til I Can Make It on My Own” and “Golden Ring.”
Directed and musical directed by the husband and wife team of David and Sherry Lutken, who last brought us the amazing production of Ring of Fire in 2012.
Our thanks to Outthink for producing this video clip!
Generously sponsored by:
Eric Scott Anthony* (George Richey) Eric is thrilled to return to the Ivoryton Playhouse in Stand By Your Man. He last appeared in Ivoryton in Ring of Fire. Broadway: Ring of Fire. National Tour: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Norm Petty/Assistant Music Director) Regional: Ring of Fire at the Studio Arena Theater, Flat Rock Playhouse, and Merry Go Round Playhouse (MD). Pump Boys & Dinettes (Jackson) at TUTS and Lyric Theater of Oklahoma (Jackson/MD). Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Joe Mauldin/MD) at the Flat Rock Playhouse, and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. Smoke on the Mountain (Dennis) and A Sanders Family Christmas (MD/Stanley) at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Eric, a native St. Louisan, was a soloist and section leader of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Go check out his awesome Honky Tonk band! Ben Hope & the Uptown Outfit http://www.benhopemusic.com
Katie Barton* (Tammy Wynette) Having recently finished the national tour of Million Dollar Quartet, Katie is excited to stay in one place for a short while and sing Tammy Wynette songs every day! After graduating from Birmingham Southern with a BFA in musical theatre, Katie had internships at Flat Rock Playhouse in North Carolina and the Actors Theatre of Louisville. She went on to work in theatre regionally for several years and recently began working in the commercial world as well. She now lives in New York City with her husband Ben Hope. Her favorite past roles include: Dianne – Million Dollar Quartet (National Tour), Audrey Williams – Hank Williams:Lost Highway (Stages Rep.), Lucy – Dracula (Actors Theatre of Louisville).
Jonathan Brown (Don Chapel) – Jon is a professional musician based in St. Louis, MO and is thrilled to be returning to the Ivoryton Playhouse in his first production Stand By Your Man! Regional musical theater credits include Ring of Fire at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina [SC], the Arts Garage [FL], the Adirondack Theatre Festival [NY], the Ivoryton Playhouse and the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse [NY], the Shake, Rattle & Roll cabaret (Florida Studio Theatre), the role of “LM” in Pump Boys & Dinettes (National Tour – Troupe America, Theatre Under the Stars [TX], Lyric Theatre [OK]) and “Hoss” in Hank Williams: Lost Highway (Arrow Rock Lyceum).
Guy “Fooch” Fischetti (Michael Tomlin) is happy to be at the Ivoryton Playhouse for his first time. He has played fiddle and/or steel for productions of Big River, Honky Tonk Angels, Lost Highway, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Blondes Still Have More Fun (Misty Rowe – Hee Haw) and many productions of Always Patsy Cline (including the first European production in Dublin as Musical Director). Fooch’s TV credits include Brothers Keeper (American Playhouse (PBS) and played pedal steel for a contestant on America’s Got Talent NBC).
Ben Hope* (George Jones) Songwriter and Actor Ben Hope is thrilled to be in Connecticut to pay tribute to one of his musical heroes. Hope made his Broadway debut in 2012 as the lead in the Tony Award winning musical ONCE. Hailing from Alabama, Ben developed an early passion for good music and story telling. This passion has taken him around the country playing such notable roles as Hank Williams in Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Buddy Holly in A Buddy Holly Story, and Young Johnny in Ring of Fire, among other more traditional musical theatre roles. Hope has a BFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Central Florida and is happily married to the wonderful Katie Barton. Ben’s NYC-based band Ben Hope & the Uptown Outfit just recently released their debut album Ragged & Rowdy. You can learn more about Ben and the band at benhopemusic.com. All of Ben’s music is available on itunes and other digital music outlets.
Marcy McGuigan* (MeeMaw) is thrilled to be making her Ivoryton debut working with Sherry & David and this wonderful creative team. Recent work with these fabulous Actor Musicians include Ring Of Fire and Mama Sanders in several versions of Smoke on the Mountain. NewYork: Tenderloin, Nightmare Alley, 40 Naked Women, The Divine Sister, The Piper, Meet Me in St. Louis, Shanghai Moon, Swingtime Canteen. National Tour: Dorothy Brock, 42nd Street (Carbonelle Nomination). Regional favorites include: Silda, Other Desert Cities– Capital Rep; Masha, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike– Flat Rock Playhouse; Marie, Lombardi-Human Race Theatre (Daytony Nomination); Sara Goode, The Sisters Rosensweig-Capital Rep; Natasha Navritolava, Rough Crossing-Portland Stage Company. TV/Film: Inside Amy Schumer, People in New Jersey, GTA 4, The Centenarian, Truth and Beauty, Ghost Stories.
Morgan Morse (Euple Byrd) is a actor, musician, and writer hailing from Ansonia, CT. He graduated from Naugatuck Valley Community College in 2013 with degrees in Theatre and Music and was in productions such as Urinetown (Bobby Strong), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lysander/Demetrius), and The Exonerated (Kerry Max Cook). Since then he has done community theater work in the CT area. This is his 2nd professional production, his first being last summer in The Legend of Jim Cullen, a new musical, at Heartwood Regional Theatre in Damariscotta, ME. When not doing theatre, he writes and performs original music, as a solo act and with his band, The Nameless Trio. He’s very excited to be part of this cast and hopes you enjoy the show!
Sam Sherwood* (Burt Reynolds) Sam’s thrilled to perform at the historic Ivoryton Playhouse along side this phenomenal cast. Recent credits include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum; Hank Williams: Lost Highway and Cotton Patch Gospel (Flat Rock Playhouse); Ring of Fire (Various); Titanic (National Tour); The Music Man (National Tour); Pump Boys & Dinettes (Alhambra Theatre); Dream A Little Dream (Phoenix Theatre). Back home in NYC, Sam has performed at Carnegie Hall, 54 Below, Symphony Space, as well as various street corners and subway platforms. www.sherwoodsounds.com
Lilly Tobin* (Young Tammy/Dolly Pardon/Tammy’s Daughter) thrilled to be making her Ivoryton Debut with Stand By Your Man! Recently in How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Danny Who/Dance Captain) Madison Square Garden. Other Credits: How To Succeed, Grease (Frenchy) Walnut Street/Riverside/NSMT, Marvelous Wonderettes (Suzy/Dance Captain) Hairspray (Penny), Forum (Philia) Nunsense (Amnesia/Dance Captain) Flat Rock Playhouse, Hello Dolly! (Minnie Fay) Gateway Playhouse, Into The Woods (Little Red) Saint Michael’s Playhouse, Fiddler (Chava) Ogunquit Playhouse/Engeman Theatre. Thank you David & Sherry. Love & Light.
Louis Tucci* (Billy Sherrill) Louis is making his Ivoryton Playhouse debut with Stand By Your Man reprising the role of Billy Sherrill (Goodspeed Opera House) Broadway: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. Off-Broadway: Cookie in Return to the Forbidden Planet (at the now demolished Variety Arts Theatre); The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite & The Cider House Rules (Atlantic); Woyzeck (Public). Regional: The Heart of Robin Hood (A.R.T); The Arabian Nights (Arena Stage, Berkeley Rep, K.C. Rep & The Lookingglass); American Duet & Warrior (The O’Neill)….and multiple productions of Pump Boys & Dinettes. Louis co-wrote “Artificial World” with Julee Cruise (Twin Peaks), for Wes Craven’s hit horror film, SCREAM. Martin Gore of Depeche Mode released their song “In My Other World” on Counterfeit 2 (EMI). Louis & his wife’s duo The Botch-a-Cools play regularly around the NYC area. Love to his wife Nancy, and their twin girls, Luna and Francesca…six years old!!!
Directed by: Sherry Lutken
Musical Director: David Lutken
Stage Manager: James Joseph Clark*
Set Designer: Daniel Nischan
Lighting Designer: Marcus Abbott
Sound Designer: Tate Burmeister
Costume Designer: Anya Sokolovskya
Hair Design: Elizabeth Cipollina
* member of Actors Equity
FROM BROADWAY TO IVORYTON!
We welcome Katie Barton and
Ben Hope to Ivoryton starring as
Tammy Wynette and George Jones
in Stand by Your Man
Ben, you made your Broadway debut as the lead in ONCE. Was it always your dream to be on Broadway?
Ben Hope stars as George Jones in Stand by Your Man
It always felt like Broadway was a distant, impossible fantasy, so to answer your question, yes it was a dream that came true. In a more practical sense I’d say it was an important affirmation of what I am capable of and I really needed that at the time. We all struggle with self-doubt, particularly artists, and it can really stymy the joy you get out of self-expression. I am proud to have been a part of ONCE and the Broadway community but I try to keep the perspective that it’s not the greatest thing I’ll ever do (I hope!) and that I would still be a fulfilled artist if I hadn’t had the opportunity. The best part about it was making my parents proud. They have been so supportive and I was so pleased to show them what all their support had done. Making their dream come true was special.
ONCE itself was incredibly special. Not only to the cast and crew but also to audiences who experienced it’s quiet passion. I’m not sure our experience was very broadway-esque though
Ben Hope (in ONCE) and Tony Award Nominee and
Every time I went to see a musical while we were running I would think, “Jeez, I could never do any of this stuff”. With all the moving scenery and constant dancing and unbelievable voices in the Broadway community I think a lot of us felt a little out of place, like kids in grown-up clothes. After meeting a lot of other Broadway cast membersthough, I can see that they all felt that way about ONCE. I hadn’t considered how difficult our little show was.
Ben Hope on Broadway in ONCE
Katie told me to go to the audition originally. I resisted and she told me to, and I quote, ‘get off my lazy ass because [I was] perfect for it’. After my first callback I saw the show off-Broadway and I was ecstatic. It was like someone had handcrafted a musical just for me and I was not going to let it slip away. I went to 6 callbacks over a month and a half, each one more complicated than the last. It was a very nerve wracking experience and it seemed like it would never end. It also felt like everything I had ever done lead me to that audition room. I was like the ‘Slum Dog Millionaire’. I was finally hired as an understudy to the lead and 3 other roles, and eventually would become the stand-by for the lead. I was also the first replacement for Steve Kazee, and I remained the standby after they brought in heavier hitting celebrities to generate stronger box office sales. I ended up doing between 250 and 300 shows, out of 1168.
Katie, you just finished a national tour of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET – what did that entail?
Katie Barton and Billy Woodward back stage at The Kennedy Center. Billy played Elvis Presley in Million Dollar Quartet
I was on tour with MDQ for nearly 3 years. I adore that show and I made so many lifelong friends while we were out on the road together. It was pretty difficult to be away from Ben and our home in NYC, particularly during our engagement, but I had some of the best times of my life to date.
It had always been a dream of mine to sing with a rock band, I never thought I would actually get to do it… turns out, just about the entire show is a Rock ‘n Roll concert (like ONCE, almost all of the characters play their own instruments and all the music is done live).
Touring is an incredibly unique experience. I learned so much about myself, and being surrounded by so many talented musicians really inspired me to play more music myself. A small group of us even formed a little country band, Mile Marker 5, and we played a few gigs here and there, which I LOVED! It also reignited my self-confidence at a time when I was struggling with doubt. I was so nervous filming my first audition tape for MDQ that Ben handed me a HUGE glass of wine and told me to ‘chill out’!
Having always wanted to travel but not being too keen on running around by myself, tour gave me the opportunity to safely explore some amazing places. We spent 3 weeks in Japan where we ate all kinds of strange things like cow tongue and raw chicken (ok, it was seared so it was cooked a little). I loved seeing all the Shinto shrines and the beautiful reverence the Japanese have for their culture, their families and the earth. Touring opened up so many possibilities and I went to so many places that I otherwise might not have gone. I will treasure those years always.
You two are practically still newlyweds! How often do you work together?
Ben and Katie as Hank and Audrey Williams in Hank Williams: Lost Highway
We are approaching our one-year anniversary this May, but we’ve been dating for most of a decade. We met as apprentices at Flat Rock Playhouse so working together comes pretty naturally. Most recently we were Hank and Audrey Williams in Hank Williams: Lost Highway in Houston, TX. We’ve done a considerable amount of working apart also. We have both benefited greatly from each others support. MDQ and ONCE never would have happened without the encouragement we each received from the other.
What makes “Stand by Your Man” such a phenomenal show?
It’s such an honor to pay reverence to Tammy and George and the brilliant talents that drove their lives through good and bad times. Naturally the show is about music, but it’s also about the tortured lives they lead, as seen by Tammy in her afterlife. Her struggles as a southern woman raising four girls (mostly on her own), all the while juggling a career in a mostly male-dominated field are compounded by multiple tumultuous relationships and eventual prescription drug abuse. It’s not only a glimpse into the lives of two magnificent performers, but a cross section of an era when women were yearning for independence and yet still tied to the more traditional sense of motherhood and family. We hope audiences will love the music and heart of this piece and we’re so excited to be a part of the historic Ivoryton Playhouse’s 2015 season.
Finally, Ben, tell us about Ben Hope & the Uptown Outfit. You have a new album out.
We do have a new album out! The Outfit is a group of musician/actors that formed when we were all living in and around Harlem, NY in the early 2000’s. Most of the band members on the album are here at Ivoryton Playhouse in Stand By Your Man, and our drummer, John Rochette, was here for the 2012 production of Ring Of Fire.
The album, Ragged & Rowdy, was recorded in St. Louis in 2012 and was just released this winter. It features Eric Anthony on lead guitar, John Brown on bass and keyboard, John Rochette on drums, and David Finch on the fiddle. I wrote the tunes and sing and play acoustic guitar. The album is mostly a set of confessions from the style of life I, and honestly most of us, were living in those days: on the road, out too late, a little ragged, a lot rowdy, and looking to have a good time. I formed the band to be the change in country music that I wanted to hear as commercial country turned more and more pop oriented. As a writer I try to craft songs that a listener can relate to or songs they’ll have fun drinking to. Hopefully Ragged & Rowdy does both! You can pick up a copy on iTunes and most other digital music sites. Copies will be available to buy at the Playhouse, too.
Don’t miss Katie and Ben in Stand by Your Man opening at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Wednesday, March 18 – Sunday, April 5.
Join us for an opening night reception with the cast of Stand by Your Man following the 8:00pm performance on Friday, March 20th. Light refreshments will be served.
Please check back here for video clips and images from dress rehearsals through to opening night!
February 17, 2015
Shake off those winter blues with some down home country! Stand By Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story
at The Ivoryton Playhouse
Katie Barton* as Tammy Wynette
Ivoryton: Tammy Wynette was a country music icon. Called the “First Lady of Country Music”, she was one of country music’s best-known artists and biggest-selling female singer-songwriters. Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man” was one of the best-selling hit singles by a woman in the history of country music. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Wynette charted 23 No. 1 songs, helping to define the role of women in country music.
The cast and band of “Stand by Your Man”
STAND BY YOUR MAN, opening at the Ivoryton Playhouse on March 18th, 2015, brings the woman behind the legend and the incredible songs that made her the first lady of country music, off the stage and into your heart. Through her eyes, the audience relives her journey from the cotton fields of Itawamba, Mississippi, to international superstar. With comic flare and dramatic impact STAND BY YOUR MAN recounts triumphs and tragedies and explores Tammy’s relationships with the five husbands she stood by, including George Jones, her beloved daughters, her strong-willed mother and two of her dearest friends: colorful writer and producer Billy Sherrill and film star Burt Reynolds. Among the 26 songs are “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “Til I Can Make It on My Own” and “Golden Ring.”
Katie Barton* as Tammy and Ben Hope* as George Jones
Directed and musical directed by the husband and wife team of David and Sherry Lutken, who were last here in 2012 with the amazing production, RING OF FIRE, the show stars husband and wife team Katie Barton* and Ben Hope*. Hope made his Broadway debut in 2012 as the lead in the Tony Award winning musical ONCE and Barton has just recently finished the national tour of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET. The show also features Eric Anthony*, Brien Brannigan, Jonathan Brown, Marcy McGuigan*, Morgan Morse, Sam Sherwood*, Lily Tobin* and Louis Tucci*.
The set is designed by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott, wigs by Liz Cipollina and costumes by Anya Sokolovskaya.
STAND BY YOUR MAN opens in Ivoryton on March 18th and runs through April 5th. 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 $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 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.
Generously sponsored by: A.R. Mazzotta and Essex Savings Bank
Members of the press are welcome at any performance. Please call ahead for tickets.
Photos by Anne Hudson.
*member of Actors Equity
Looking for something to do? Ivoryton Playhouse was voted Best Place to See Live Theatre by the readers of the Shoreline Times! Come and visit Essex and see a show at this Connecticut historic treasure!
Did You Know
Tammy Wynette was a country music icon. Called the "First Lady of Country Music", she was one of country music's best-known artists and biggest-selling female singer-songwriters. Wynette's "Stand by Your Man" was one of the best-selling hit singles by a woman in the history of country music. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Wynette charted 23 No. 1 songs helping to define the role of women in country music. Wynette was married five times and was once linked romantically with actor Burt Reynolds.