Published : Wednesday, August 16, 2017 | 12:37 PM
A Noise Within (ANW) presents the first production of its 26th season, the United States premiere of Tony-winner Mike Poulton’s thrilling adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, directed by co-producing artistic directors Julia Rodriguez-Elliott and Geoff Elliott, performing September 3 – November 19, 2017.
A Tale of Two Cities’ opening lines are among the most famous in all Western literature: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” More than 200 million copies of the book have been purchased – making it the second bestselling single-volume of all time (the first is Cervantes’ Don Quixote, the basis of ANW’s spring 2017 hit Man of La Mancha).
Julia Rodriguez-Elliott said, “Poulton has given the theatre a bold, fast-paced adaptation. He breathed new life into the classic novel, a taut political thriller that feels so immediate, so exciting, so theatrical, and so wonderfully alive for audiences. It’s a roller coaster of romance and adventure, without losing the rich characterizations and Dickens’ eloquent language.”
The Guardian, in its review of the original 2014 production, called it “fresh! A smash-and-grab raid of an adaptation … with a relentless pace building up to the terminal velocity of a political thriller … it’s like speed reading Dickens by flickering candlelight.” The Telegraph said, “lending the drama a cinematic quality, this fast, fluid evening distils the novel’s tumultuous essence … [with a] nick-of-time, thriller-like urgency that persists as we plunge deeper into the bloody chaos unfolding across the Channel and the fates converge.”
Tickets for A Tale of Two Cities, starting at $25, are available online at http://www.anoisewithin.org and by phone by calling 626-356-3100. A Noise Within is located on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue at 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107, just north of the Madre Street exit off the 210.
Geoff Elliott states, “If there is anything that is on display in A Tale for Two Cities, it is the theme of our season, Entertaining Courage. It depicts one courageous act after another – the books ends with Sydney Carton’s ultimate act of courage.”
“A Tale of Two Cities is about people whose acts of courage make the world a better place. And in that way, this play couldn’t be more timely,” Elliott continues, “We are a nation in shock; there is a sense of perplexing numbness not only here in our country, but across the planet. Tale gives us that salve, showing us that even among the hopeless and the disenfranchised, there are still ways we can positively influence each other’s lives.”
Robert Hunziker on Counterpunch.org noted, “Peter Temin, Professor Emeritus of Economics at MIT in his new book, The Vanishing Middle Class: Prejudice and Power in a Dual Economy, says America is two separate economic and political worlds and has a remarkable commonality of socio-economic-political similarities to King Louis XVI’s France (beheaded at Place de la Concorde, Paris, Jan. 21, 1793) … one America is 20% of the population: finance, technology, and electronics citizens that enjoy topflight educations, the best jobs, social networks that work on their behalf, and plenty of money, lots and lots of money, children tutored, and first class travel.
“Rarely do they visit the country where 80% of Americans live, i.e., the low wage sector in and around cities, whether suburb or inner city. This totally different world lives in shrinkage, not growth. Its inhabitants wear an anvil of burdensome debt, work insecurity, sickness without decent medical care and dying younger than (their) parents … and when they get sick, quite different things happen.”
Hunziker continued, “The 2016 presidential race, for the first time, publicly exposed anger by Low Wagers because of a glaring imbalance of class welfare in America. […] is Dickens’ scene of Marquis Evrémonde’s golden carriage running down a plebian child without showing any regret similar to Donald Trump?”
A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same period.
A Tale of Two Cities cast includes Kasey Mahaffy* as Attorney General/DeFarge/Gabelle, Frederick Stuart* as Sydney Carton, Nicholas Hormann* as Dr. Manette, Geoff Elliott* as Judge/Marquis/Jerry Cruncher, Emily Goss as Lucie Manette, Trisha Miller* as Miss Pross/Jenny Herring, Abby Craden* as Madame Defarge/Mrs. Keating, Michael Stone Forrest* as Mr. Lorry/Coachman, Michael Uribes* as Barsad/Peasant Father/French Aristocat/Citizen, Tavis Doucette* as Charles Darnay, Jeremy Rabb* as Mr. Stryver/French Aristocat/President, and Rigel Pierce-English as Peasant Son/Girl/Citizen, Juan Carlos Sánchez as Clerk of the Court/Waiter/Galoer/Office, and Johnathan Wallace as French Arisotcat/Gaoler/Officer. The cast also includes Fionn James, Nick Bruno, Jessamyn Arnstein, Anusha Mathur, Nova Mandel, Faith Boeke, Calista Schlossman, Daniel Rivera, and Kate Davey as members of the Mob. *denotes a member of Actor’s Equity Association.
Single Tickets cost $25.00, Student Rush with ID an hour before performance $20.00; Groups (10 or more): Adults from $30/ticket; Students from $18/ticket. For more information, contact (626) 356-3100 or visit www.anoisewithin.com.
Symposium, Conversations, Pay What You Can
The run of A Tale of Two Cities includes a pre-performance symposium on Wednesday, September 6 at 6:45 pm, post-performance conversations with the artists on Friday, September 29 at 8 pm, Sunday, October 29 at 2:00 pm, and Friday, November 10 at 8:00 pm, and a Pay What You Can performance on Thursday, September 7 at 7:30 pm.
More about the 2017-2018 season
The 2017-2018 Season is themed Entertaining Courage.
“Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, we’re certainly living in challenging, unprecedented times,” says Geoff Elliott, “It seems like many people are trying to figure out what the path forward looks like. While we certainly don’t have answers, we thought we’d face that national angst and fear head on by embracing courage and hope.”
Elliott continues: “These plays all feature characters who make bold choices to do something—anything—in the face of disaster.”
Julia Rodriguez-Elliott adds, “In addition to being very entertaining theatrical works, our plays examine courage from a variety of points of view, intimate and global, low-stakes and high-stakes.”
Geoff Elliott says, “This is a season that asks tough, if fascinating, questions about the nature of courage, and there are no easy answers. Spending time with these extraordinary characters allows us to think about our lives, reflect, and even be inspired by them.”
A Tale of Two Cities is followed in the fall by The Madwoman of Chaillot by Jean Giraudoux translated by Maurice Valency and directed by Stephanie Shroyer (September 17–November 11, 2017) and Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw, directed by Michael Michetti (October 8–November 18, 2017).
Then ANW’s holiday tradition continues for the sixth year with A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted for the stage by Geoff Elliott, directed by Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott (December 1–23, 2017). Shakespeare’s Henry V, and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry play in rotating repertory in early spring 2018, and the season closes with a revival of one of ANW’s most popular productions, Noises Off by Michael Frayn. With the exception of Noises Off and A Christmas Carol, all of the season’s plays make their debut on the A Noise Within stage.
About A Noise Within
A Noise Within, which celebrated its 25th Anniversary last season, was recently named “one of the nation’s premier classical repertory companies” by The Huffington Post, and is a leading regional producer based in Pasadena, CA. ANW’s award-winning resident company practices a rotating repertory model at their state-of-the-art, 283-seat performing space. This venue, established in 2011, has allowed ANW to expand its audience, surpassing its previous box office, subscription, and attendance records each year.
In addition to producing world-class performances of classical theatre, the organization runs robust education programs committed to inspiring diverse audiences of all ages. Helmed by Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, who hold MFAs from San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre, A Noise Within truly delivers Classic Theatre, Modern Magic. www.anoisewithin.org