The Dresser: San Jose Rep Presents Classic British Backstage Drama
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The last date listed for The Dresser was Tuesday February 1, 2011 / 7:30pm.
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In this modern masterwork -- critically praised as a unique mix of Oscar Wilde and Bertolt Brecht -- the great Irish writer George Bernard Shaw pits a military industrialist against his crusading daughter. She's a Salvation Army major; he's an arms manufacturer and whiskey distiller -- on certain issues, they could not disagree more. But when he begins donating money to her organization, matters come to a head as the characters grapple with questions of business, faith, family and philanthropy. After 16 years, A.C.T. brings Shaw back to the stage with this co-production with Theatre Calgary, one of A.C.T.'s favorite Canadian collaborators, featuring an international cast of Canadian and American actors. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Quotes & Highlights
- "A stirring evening [that] ... burns with a love of the theatre that conquers all ... Perfectly observed, devilishly entertaining backstage lore." --The New York Times
by Ronald Harwood
directed by Rick Lombardo
starring James Carpenter and Ken Ruta
It’s 1942 in Britain and the smell of death is in the air. The sirens howl, signaling another air raid, but inside the crumbling walls of a regional theatre in the provinces the aging actor, Sir, prepares to give his 227th performance as King Lear. Norman, Sir’s devoted, fuss-budget dresser, is barely able to take care of himself but faithfully assists Sir in near feudal servitude, massaging his ego, pampering his intellect and even creating sound effects for the Shakespearean production by Sir’s struggling troupe. This touching and poignant tribute to theatre, friendship and the human spirit in the face of great strife - be it war or one’s own debilitating mortality - proves that “the show must go on.”
The Dresser was first presented in Manchester, England, in 1980. It opened on Broadway the next year and was nominated for the 1982 Tony Award for Best Play.