(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – Drama Desk Award-winner Jim Brochu brings his new show, “Character Man” — a salute to the memorable character actors of Broadway – to Barrington Stage Company from Thursday, September 18, through Sunday, September 28, 2014.
A musical valentine celebrating the golden age of the American musical, “Character Man” is filled with hilarious theatre stories and touching personal recollections. “Character Man” features a book by Brochu and the music and lyrics of Leslie Bricusse, Jerry Bock, Betty Comden, Stan Daniels, Fred Ebb, Adolph Green, Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Herman, John Kander, Bob Merrill, Anthony Newley, Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, and Meredith Willson, including such iconic songs as “Mr. Cellophane” (Chicago), “If I Were a Rich Man” (Fiddler on the Roof) and “(Ya Got) Trouble” (The Music Man).
Sprinkled with juicy backstage lore, the show spotlights the careers of, among others, Zero Mostel, Jack Gilford, Jackie Gleason, George S. Irving, Barney Martin and Brochu’s own mentor, two-time Tony Award-winner David Burns. “There would be no Broadway without these guys who supported the great stars and got the laughs without getting the girl. I began my own career as a character man at a time when I got to know these men and learn from them. David Burns was like a second father to me and I grew up backstage hanging out with him some of the others. They were amazing, dear, funny men and I don’t want them to ever be forgotten,” said Brochu.
Original direction by Robert Bartley, with music direction by Joshua Zecher-Ross. “Character Man” includes lighting design by Robert Brown. Christopher S. Donovan is production stage manager. Stephanie Yankwitt is Blatt Center Producer.
Jim Brochu (Book Writer and Performer) is the only actor in America to have won the New York Drama Desk Award, Washington DC’s Helen Hayes Award, the Los Angeles Ovation Award and the Florida Carbonell for Best Actor in a Play. The play in question, presented at BSC in 2011, was Zero Hour in which Jim portrayed the great Zero Mostel for over six hundred and fifty performances in New York City and across the United States and Canada. He’s appeared on Broadway playing Andrew McLaren in Brigadoon opposite Christine Ebersole and Len Cariou as well as Mr. Brownlow in Oliver! to Brian Stokes Mitchell’s Fagin. In Washington, DC he was Willy Clark to Theodore Bikel’s Al Lewis in Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys. Brochu made his Off-Broadway debut in 1968’s American Place Theatre’s production of Endicott and the Red Cross by Robert Lowell and was Father James on All My Children. Recently, Jim starred in the Off-Broadway revivals of The Man Who Came To Dinner as Sheridan Whiteside and as Sir in The Roar of the Greasepaint; The Small of the Crowd. He is the author of two books, eleven plays and two musicals, The Last Session and The Big Voice: God or Merman? written with his partner of 30 years, Steve Schalchlin. Character Man, which debuted Off-Broadway last March at Urban Stages was nominated by both the Drama Desk Awards and the Outer Critics Circle Award as Best Solo Show of 2014. www.Jimbrochu.com.
Robert Bartley (Director) Off Broadway: Drama Desk & Outer Critics Circle-nominated Character Man (Urban Stages),Tales of Custard (DR2 Theatre). The Cuban and the Redhead (LA Festival of New American Musicals, Village Theatre, York Theatre, NAMT), Family Fiorelli and Color Blind (NYMF), Hair (Peculiar Works). Creator of Broadway Backwardsfeaturing performers such as Betty Buckley, Whoopi Goldberg and Neil Patrick Harris. As an actor, Broadway and National Tours: Miss Saigon, Cats, Grease. Off Broadway: Clue: the Musical, Cy Coleman’s Exactly Like You. Film: The Producers, Disney’s Enchanted. Concert: West Side Story with Beyonce and Meryl Steep. Thrilled to return to Barrington Stage Company, where he played Bobby in Company.
Joshua Zecher-Ross (Music Director) At BSC: Celebrating the Music of William Finn. NYC: Celebrating the Music of William Finn (Merkin Hall), Sasquatched! The Musical (NYMF 2013), Ludo’s Broken Bride (The Cutting Room/ANTFest 2013), work on Avenue Q and A Night with Janis Joplin, and shows at 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, The Laurie Beechman, Don’t Tell Mama, and others. Regional: Over 75 productions at theatres across the country. www.JoshuaZR.com.
Character Man will be presented at BSC’s St. Germain Stage the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. Performances times are Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm; Saturday and Sunday at 3pm. The press opening is Saturday, September 20 at 7:30pm. Tickets start at $40. Youth ages 6-18, tickets $15 all performances (subject to availability). For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Barrington Stage Box Office at 413-236-8888 (or toll-free at 855-TIX-2BSC) or visit Barrington Stage Company online.
Barrington Stage Company, a professional award-winning Equity regional theatre located in the heart of the Berkshires, in Pittsfield, Mass., was co-founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Julianne Boyd. Barrington Stage’s mission is three-fold: to present top-notch, compelling work; to develop new plays and musicals; and to find fresh, bold ways to bringing new audiences into the theatre—especially young people. Barrington Stage garnered national attention in 2004 when it workshopped, and premiered William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin’s musical hit The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which later transferred to Broadway, where it won two Tony Awards. In 2009/2010 Barrington Stage produced the world premiere of Mark St. Germain’s Freud’s Last Session, which later moved Off-Broadway and played for two years. St. Germain’s Becoming Dr. Ruth (which premiered at BSC as Dr. Ruth, All the Way in 2012) played Off-Broadway at the Westside Theatre in fall 2013. Barrington Stage was voted “Best Live Theatre” by The Berkshire Eagle readers in 2011 and 2012 and was named “Best Theatre Company” in Metroland’s Best of the Capital Region 2009-2012.