Master Clown Bill Irwin in Scapin at A.C.T.
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The last date listed for Scapin Starring Bill Irwin was Saturday October 23, 2010 / 2:00pm.
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Quotes & Highlights
“Bill Irwin and Scapin? It’s a match made in funny-bone heaven.” —The Seattle Times_** **
“A vicarious lesson in the fine art of comic madness.” —New York Times _
Two-time Tony Award-winner Bill Irwin (A.C.T.‘s Fool Moon, __Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?__ on Broadway, the award-winning film Rachel Getting Married) returns to the Bay Area in Molière’s chaotic classic. In this lively baggy-pants comedy, the rascally title character balances his penchant for mayhem and mischief with a promise to help two pairs of wide-eyed lovers. Joined by a dazzling ensemble of Bay Area favorites, fellow alumni of San Francisco’s beloved Pickle Family Circus, and rising young stars, Irwin whips commedia dell’arte, live music, and his trademark sophisticated clowning into a frenzy, transforming this 17th-century farce of mistaken identities and mishaps into a sparkling theatrical event perfect for all ages.
This show also reunites Irwin with several of his former cohorts from San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus: celebrated Bay Area actor Geoff Hoyle** **takes on the role of Scapin’s curmudgeonly master, Geronte; Randy Craig (who works with the San Francisco Mime Troupe) will compose the music for Scapin and perform in the show; Keith Terry will join the performers as a percussionist; and ODC/San Francisco choreographer Kimi Okada will serve as movement consultant.
“I’ve wanted to return to Molière’s Scapin and the adaptation Mark O’Donnell and I did together,” said Irwin, “and I’ve wanted to return to A.C.T. and its audiences. I’ve also wanted to return to work again with my San Francisco colleagues and friends. Might as well do it all at once.”
Irwin is one of a handful of artists keeping the longstanding tradition of clowning alive in the mainstream American theater. His detailed study of the comedic greats—from commedia dell’arte to vaudeville to Chaplin—comes through in his physically impressive and emotionally engaging performances. In this adaptation of Scapin—an irreverent and self-referential adaptation he created with Mark O’Donnell (who won a 2003 Tony Award for cowriting the book of the musical __Hairspray __and who has been a staff writer for Saturday Night Live) Irwin creates a theatrical rollercoaster ride featuring live music, chase scenes, and a big dance number, as well as playful barbs at A.C.T. It’s a perfect foil for his celebrated stage persona, as well as the exciting all-local cast he’s assembled from the extended A.C.T. artistic family.