Rock River Players present Hecht and MacArthur’s big comedy, FRONT PAGE

Rock River Players present Hecht and MacArthur’s big comedy, FRONT PAGE

November 5-7 and 11-14 at the Williamsville Hall, Dover Rd., Williamsville.

Please note: All performances are sold out.

Directed by Bahman Mahdavi, this screwball comedy is a purely-American story. “It is,” Mahdavi says, “as American as baseball, jazz or the Grand Canyon. Not that sensationalist journalists, crooked politicians, manipulative newspaper editors and inept gangsters don’t exist elsewhere in the world, but Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s expert plotting and rapid-fire, streetwise dialogue establish it firmly in time (1928) and place (Chicago). This could not have been written by Noel Coward nor Oscar Wilde.”

Opened on Broadway in 1928, just a year before the Crash, Front Page derided polite mores of the times with its crusty dubiously ethical characters; its rough language and grit, and its sharply sarcastic view of corrupt politics and bumbling law-enforcement. The fast paced, ra-ta-tat dialogue and the ever-increasing pace of the story bring a certain euphoria to the audience that we can still experience today when watching classic 1930s and ‘40s films of Howard Hawks, Preston Sturges, Frank Capra or Leo McCarey.

Rock River Players’ Front Page company includes Sherry Brown, Alan Darling, Ramsey Demeter, Tom Ely, Johanna Gardner, Marisa Imon, Miles Keefe, Pat Kelly, Phil Kramer, Annie Landenberger, Fred Lawrence, John Moran, John Ogorzalek, Dawn Slade, Rose Watson in the cast and T Breeze Verdant, sound effects; Cherie Moran, stage manager; Dody Riggs, costumes.

Director Mahdavi notes: “Mounting this ambitious production has been an epic journey of its own. We started in the fall of 2019 and we are delighted to finally perform the show in front of a public audience, after a long pandemic hiatus.”

Front Page marks what the Rock River Players hope to be the start of a new season and a bright enduring future of once again bringing lively arts to the West River Valley and including all interested in that process.

The company is fully vaccinated. Masks and proof of vaccination or recent negative COVID test results are required of all audience members.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances are at 7pm; Sundays at 2:30pm.

All performances are sold out.

Reveling in theater’s synergy after a long two years
The Commons, 11/10/2021

Rock River Players’ ‘The Front Page’ came together slow — but goes fast
Brattleboro Reformer, 11/4/2021