Alec Baldwin and Kelli O'Hara in "Love Letters' At Westport Playhouse
Tony and Oscar-nominated actor Alec Baldwin and Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara will perform A. R. Gurney's "Love Letters" at Westport Country Playhouse April 12 at 7 p.m,
The one-night only event, a tribute to Gurney who died last year at 86 will be a fundraiser for the theater. Gurney was a consistent contributor to the Playhouse stage, with 21 works produced there from 1980 through 2016.
The production will be staged by Mark Lamos, Playhouse artistic director, a Gurney friend and frequent director of the playwright's works
Alec Baldwin will portray Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Kelli O’Hara will play Melissa Gardner in “Love Letters,” a unique and imaginative theater piece comprised of letters exchanged over a lifetime between two people who grew up together, went their separate ways, but continued to share confidences. The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Since 1980, Baldwin has appeared in numerous productions on stage, in films, and on television. He has received a Tony nomination (“A Streetcar Named Desire,” 1992), an Oscar nomination (“The Cooler,” 2004), and has won three Emmy Awards, three Golden Globes, and seven consecutive Screen Actors Guild Awards as Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his role on NBC-TV's “30 Rock.” His films include “The Hunt for Red October,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “Malice,” “The Edge,” “It's Complicated,” “Blue Jasmine,” “Still Alice,” “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation,” and “The Boss Baby,” among many others. He currently hosts ABC's "Match Game."
Baldwin is a 1994 BFA graduate of NYU’s Tisch School and received an honorary doctorate from NYU in 2010. Baldwin has authored three books, and serves on numerous boards related to the arts, the environment, and progressive politics.
O’Hara’s portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the Broadway revival of “The King and I” garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Her other Broadway credits include “The Bridges of Madison County” (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), “Nice Work If You Can Get It” (Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, OCC nominations), “South Pacific” (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), “The Pajama Game” (Tony, Drama Desk, OCC nominations), “The Light in the Piazza” (Tony, Drama Desk nominations), “Sweet Smell of Success,” “Follies,” “Dracula,” and “Jekyll & Hyde.”
O’Hara starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC’s live telecast of “Peter Pan,” and made her Metropolitan Opera debut in “The Merry Widow.” Upcoming, she will star in the Metropolitan Opera's “Così fan tutte,” and will reprise her Tony Award-winning role in the West End transfer of “The King and I” in summer 2018.
Playwright A. R. “Pete” Gurney (1930-2017) was born in Buffalo, NY. He graduated from Williams College in 1952, served as an officer in the Navy, and afterwards attended the Yale School of Drama. For many years, he taught literature at M.I.T., but moved to New York in 1982 to devote more time to writing for the theater. He is best known for “The Dining Room,” “The Cocktail Hour,” “Love Letters,” and “Sylvia.” Gurney won a number of awards for his body of work, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Theatre Hall of Fame.
Director Mark Lamos has directed many plays at Westport Country Playhouse since 2008. His extensive New York credits include “Our Country's Good,” for which he received a Tony Award nomination. A former artistic director at Hartford Stage, he earned the 1989 Tony Award for the theater's body of work. He was awarded the Connecticut Medal for the Arts and the John Houseman Award, as well as honorary doctorates from Connecticut College, University of Hartford, and Trinity College. He directed a number of Gurney plays, including “Big Bill,” “Buffalo Gal,” “Grand Manner,” “Black Tie,” and a revival at Westport Country Playhouse of “The Dining Room.”
Tickets to event are $250, of which $200 is tax deductible.
For more information and tickets, call 203-227-4177, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. www.westportplayhouse.org. Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).