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In this outrageously funny roller-coaster ride of a play, Claire, an amnesiac. wakes up each day having forgotten the details of her life. Like all mornings, her seemingly devoted husband Richard greets her with a cup of coffee and a scrapbook of memories. But when he steps away, a limping, lisping man claiming to be Claire’s brother pops out from under her bed and says he is there to save her.
Opening Saturday, March 16
Directed by Jenny Sullivan with a Cast Including Stephen Caffrey, Precious Chong,
Joseph Fuqua, Seryozha LaPorte, Tracey A. Leigh, Louis Lotorto and DeeDee Rescher
Rubicon Theatre continues the company’s 21st “Coming of Age” season with the hilarious and harrowing, politically incorrect comedy FUDDY MEERS by playwright DAVID-LINDSAY-ABAIRE. In this outrageously funny roller-coaster ride of a play, Claire, an amnesiac. wakes up each day having forgotten the details of her life. This morning, like all mornings, her seemingly devoted husband Richard greets her with a cup of coffee and a scrapbook of memories. But when he steps away, a limping, lisping man claiming to be Claire’s brother pops out from under her bed and says he is there to save her. He takes her to her mother’s home in the country, where Claire meets a naïve man with a foul-mouthed puppet, discovers her husband and son have kidnapped an aggressive lady cop, and comes face-to-face with her past.
FUDDY MEERS is helmed by Rubicon Artistic Associate JENNY SULLIVAN. The production stars returning Rubicon veterans PRECIOUS CHONG (Dancing at Lughnasa, The Glass Menagerie) as Claire and company member JOSEPH FUQUA (King Lear, Incognito, All My Sons-Ovation Award) as Claire’s chipper husband Richard. STEPHEN CAFFREY, best known for his three seasons as actor and director on “Tour of Duty,” (recently seen in The Cripple of Inishmaan for Antaeus), plays Limping Man. LOUIS LOTORTO, whose numerous credits include King Lear and The Tempest at Rubicon and An Enemy of the People at Ahmanson) plays the mild-manner Millet, whose darker side is expressed through his puppet Binky. TRACY A. LEIGH (Obie and NAACP Award recipient, Baby Dance: Mixed at Rubicon) appears as Puerto Rican cop Heidi, who harbors a secret. SERYOZHA LAPORTE, a graduate of PCPA Theaterfest, plays his first leading role on the Rubicon mainstage as Claire’s troubled teen Kenny. And DEEDEE RESCHER (multiple seasons with Laguna Playhouse) make her Rubicon debut as Gertie.
“In this wild and wacky laugh-out-loud comedy, nothing is what it appears to be,” says Rubicon Producing Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns. As one of the actors in the play recently remarked, the play ‘feels like a cross between ‘Sesame Street’ and David Lynch.”
Director Jenny Sullivan considers FUDDY MEERS to be even more timely now than when it was first written by Lindsay-Abaire in the late 1990s. “Claire’s amnesia,” says Sullivan, “has been a necessary way for her to escape from the reality of her incredibly complicated life. Through the process of the play, she begins to recall and reclaim her past, but finds that dealing with quickly-changing accounts of her story is an exhausting journey.”
“I think so many of us today can relate to Claire’s feeling of being overwhelmed and confused by conflicting information,” continues Sullivan. “Hopefully this production will provide some perspective on our current dilemma and our longing for an objective truth.”
Set design for Rubicon’s production of FUDDY MEERS is by JIM PRODGER, lighting design by MIKE BILLINGS, costume design by PAMELA SHAW, sound design by KENNY HOBBS, set dressing and prop design by T. THERESA SCARANO, and fight choreography by YVANS JOURDAIN. The Production Stage Manager is DALE ALAN COOKE.
History of the Production
FUDDY MEERS was originally presented as a staged reading at 1998 National Playwrights’ Conference at the Eugene O’Neil Theatre Center. It was then produced by Manhattan Theatre Club in 1999. The play was subsequently produced Off-Broadway at Minetta Lane Theatre by Manhattan Theatre Club and Jean Doumanian Productions. In 2004 the play was produced by Birmingham Rep in England and then transferred to a West End production at the Arts Theatre.
In its original incarnation, The New York Times critic called FUDDY MEERS a, “dark, sweet and thoroughly engaging comedy,” describing the play’s “fresh, zingy dialogue” as “savory and distinctive.” The TheaterMania reviewer said the show offered, “an unhinged sense of playfulness and whimsy,” declaring that “theatre, my friends, is fun again.” Variety described the show as “antically zany.”
More about the Actors
Stephen Caffrey makes his first appearance at Rubicon in FUDDY MEERS in the role of the Limping Man. He was seen recently in The Seafarer at Laguna Playhouse and Cripple of Inishmaan, King Lear and Henry IV (Ovation Nomination) at Antaeus Theatre Company Shrew and Shakespeare in Love at South Coast Rep and Stage Kiss and Yes, Prime Minister at Geffen Playhouse. Other credits include work with Berkeley Rep, Seattle Rep, the Old Globe (San Diego), ACT (San Francisco), Portland Centre Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, Hartford Stage, New York Theatre Workshop, Classic Stage Company, Cape Playhouse, the Mark Taper Forum, Merrimack Playhouse, The Royal George Theatre (Chicago) and Santa Cruz Shakespeare Festival. Film/Television credits include “N.C.I.S.,” “American Odyssey” (Recurring), “Cinema Vertite”/HBO, “Tour of Duty”/CBS (Series Regular and Director – 3 Seasons), “Longtime Companion” (Winner: Sundance Film Festival), “All My Children” (Emmy Nominee), “Seinfeld” (Yada Yada), “Columbo Goes to College,” as well leading roles in many MOW’s, Miniseries and Episodics.
Precious Chong, now based in Toronto, returns to Rubicon in the role of Claire, having previously starred in Rubicon productions of Dancing at Lughnasa, The Glass Menagerie, Defying Gravity, and Bad Apples. Chong is an actress, comedian, writer and stiltwalker and is the daughter of 60’s pop culture icon Tommy Chong of Cheech and Chong. Theatre highlights include Real Estate by Allana Harkin, Bad Dates by Theresa Rebeck and the World Premiere of Mating Dance of the Werewolf at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Company (the latter a co-production with Rubicon). Chong has a recurring role on the series “Falling Water” (USA Network) and most recently starred in “Love You Like Christmas” and “Northern Lights of Christmas” for the Hallmark Channel. Her short film “Chinatown,” which she wrote and starred in, directed by Sandra Battaglini, premiered at The Female Eye Film Festival and at the New Hampshire Film Festival. She is currently in post-production for a horror comedy she wrote called “Homewrecker” co-starring Alex Essoe (“Dr Sleep”). Her first full length screenplay “The Red Velvet Coat” won Best Screenplay at the 2015 Female Eye Film Festival and her second screenplay “Myra and Susan” won Crowd Pleaser award in 2017. Her web series “Sex and the Single Parent” has been nominated three times for a Canadian Comedy Award, with millions of views on Funny or Die. Other TV and film credits include Hallmark’s “Love’s Complicated,” “God and Country,” “Playing it Cool,” HBO Canada’s “Living in Your Car,” “Flashpoint,” “Against the Wall,” “Amelia,” “LA Confidential,” and “Pearl Harbor.”
The role of Claire’s husband Richard is played by Joseph Fuqua, whose most recent Rubicon credits include South Pacific, King Lear, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and the West Coast premiere of Incognito. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, Fuqua’s Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include Brighton Beach Memoirs and 110 in the Shade at Lincoln Center. Regionally, Fuqua has appeared as Octavius Caesar in Antony and Cleopatra at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Alexei in A Month in the Country at Arena Stage, Iago in Othello for Shakespeare Festival of Dallas, Louis in Angels in America at Dallas Theatre Center and Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks opposite Mary Jo Catlett at Ensemble Theatre. On television, Fuqua guest starred in “The X-Files,” “The Profiler,” “Brooklyn South,” “The Pretender,” “Chicago Hope,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Becker,” and the pilot “Second Nature.” Film credits include “Ed’s Next Move,” “David Searching,” “Heyday,” and as J.E.B. Stuart in “Gettysburg” opposite Martin Sheen, a role he reprised in the film “Gods and Generals.” A company member since 2000, Fuqua’s roles at Rubicon include the title role in Hamlet (Indy Award), The Boys Next Door (Indy Award), The Rainmaker (Robby Award and Rep Award), All My Sons (Ovation Award), Bruce Wagner in Conviction, Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, and Marshal Johnson in the American Premiere of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
Seryozha La Porte, plays Claire’s troubled son Kenny, is an actor, musician and improv artist. A graduate of PCPA Theaterfest, La Porte’s credits include, Fabrizio in Light in the Piazza (Ventura College), Adolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone and Edmund in King Lear in Rubicon’s Summer Youth Intensives, Paolo in A Witless Rogue (Great American Melodrama), the title role in Richard II (PCPA), Murderer in Richard III (PCPA), Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (PCPA and Rubicon’s Shakespeare Intensive), and Rubicon’s mainstage production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Obie Award and NAACP Award-winner Tracey A. Leigh appears as Heidi, a cop with a chip on her shoulder. She returns to Rubicon after appearing in last season’s The Baby Dance: Mixed. Leigh has been seen on the stages of South Coast Rep in Kings, All the Way, Death of a Salesman, In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) and Safe in Hell. Other regional work includes in Undivided Heart with Echo Theatre Company and Circle X Mr. Burns at Sacred Fools Collective Rage and Colony Collapse at Boston Court, Pasadena Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Shakespeare Center of L.A. Mr. Burns with American Conservatory Theatre and the Guthrie Theatre Good People at Ensemble Theatre and The Many Mistresses of Martin Luther King at EST/L.A. She performed in The Vagina Monologues National Tour, and worked Off-Broadway at P.S.122, Soho Rep, Primary Stages, New York Theatre Workshop, Signature Theatre and La Mama ETC. TV appearances include “Modern Family,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Criminal Minds,” “Law & Order,” and Rob Zombie’s upcoming horror film “3 From Hell.”
Louis Lotorto as Millet, a seemingly sweet-natured man with a foul-mouthed puppet, returns to Rubicon having appeared as Fool in King Lear and Ariel in The Tempest. L.A. credits include the Royal National Theatre touring production of An Enemy of the People at the Ahmanson Theatre with Sir Ian McKellen, The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, six seasons with A Noise Within (earning an Ovation Nomination for his portrayal of Camille in A Flea in Her Ear) and The Colony Theatre (where he garnered an award for his portrayal of Tom in The Glass Menagerie). Regional theatre credits include the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C. (Helen Hayes Award nominee for Ariel in The Tempest ), the California Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Rep Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Artists Rep Theatre, ACT(Seattle), San Jose Rep, North Coast Rep, Ensemble Theatre Company and South Coast Rep, where he recently played Richard Burbage in Shakespeare in Love.
DeeDee Rescher makes her Rubicon debut in the role of Gertie in FUDDY MEERS. She appeared in David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People (also directed by Jenny Sullivan) at Ensemble Theatre in Santa Barbara. Other theatre credits include Steve Martin’s The Underpants, Richard Dresser’s The Pursuit of Happiness, Michael Hollinger's Red Herring and her recurring celebrated solo performance of Shirley Valentine, all under the direction of Andy Barnicle at the Laguna Playhouse. Other recent stage credits include Love, Loss and What I Wore directed by Sullivan, Everybody Say Cheese, written by Gary Marshall, Prisoner of Second Avenue with Jason Alexander, and Lombardi by Eric Simonson. Recurring TV credits include: Bryan Cranston’s wife on “The King of Queens,” Fran Dresser’s pal in “The Nanny,” detective Joy Shulack in “The Whole Truth,” and Donna in “The Comeback” with Lisa Kudrow. Recent credits include appearances on “Famous in Love,” “Anger Management,” “Back in the Game” and “The Exes.” Film credits include “Skin Deep”, “Communion”, “Summer School” and the affable bus driver in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
More about the Director
Jenny Sullivan’s recent work includes Tom Dugan’s Jackie Unveiled (with Saffron Burrows) at the Wallis Annenberg in Beverly Hills and the Acorn Theatre Off-Broadway run of Tom Dugan’s Wiesenthal. The latter moved to The Wallis Theatre in Beverly Hills and then to the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Other solo productions include the successful Ensemble Theatre of SB and Laguna Playhouse productions of I Am My Own Wife (Indy Award) featuring John Tufts and the Rubicon production of Darrow with James O’Neil. Sullivan has directed numerous Rubicon productions, including The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance with Gregory Harrison, A Moon for the Misbegotten, Our Town, Steel Magnolias (Indy Award), Food Confessions, The Mystery of Irma Vep (2012 Ovation Nomination for Direction),Tea at Five, Doubt, Trying, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Indy Award) with Joe Spano, Karyl Lynn Burns, Jason Chanos and Angela Goethals, Spit Like a Big Girl, You Can’t Take It With You, Hamlet (Indy Award) with Joseph Fuqua, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Tuesdays with Morrie, Defying Gravity, Happy Days, Art (Indy Award), Dancing at Lughnasa (Indy Award) with Susan Clark and Bonnie Franklin, The Rainmaker with Stephanie Zimbalist and John Bennett Perry, Little Foxes with Linda Purl and Old Wicked Songs with Harold Gould and Joseph Fuqua. Other credits include The Dresser with Len Cariou and Granville Van Dusen at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre The Year of Magical Thinking with Linda Purl and Steel Magnolias at Laguna Playhouse Baby Doll, Dublin Carol (Indy Award), The Lion in Winter (Indy Award), The Memory of Water and Tea at Five at Ensemble Theatre Company Tenderly-The Rosemary Clooney Musical at Center Rep in Walnut Creek Listen for Wings at Access Theatre The Elephant Man for San Jose Rep Death of a Salesman (AUM) with Stuart Margolin and Wendy Phillips and six seasons of new plays at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Sullivan directed The Memoirs of Abraham Lincoln with Granville Van Dusen, Tea at Five with Stephanie Zimbalist and The Mystery of Irma Vep for The Falcon Theatre. For Theatre 40, Jenny helmed Tom Dugan’s Wiesenthal (2011 Ovation Nomination for direction) Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss, and What I Wore at the Geffen Playhouse and The Vagina Monologues for the Canon and Coronet theatres. She directed the World Premiere of Jane Anderson’s The Baby Dance at the Pasadena Playhouse, which then moved to Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf Theatre (CT Critics’ Directing Award) and the Lucille Lortel Off-Broadway. Jenny’s film credits include “Access All Areas” and “The Next Best Thing” (in which she had the good fortune to direct her father Barry). Jenny is most proud of the World Premiere of her play J for J with Jeff Kober and the late, great John Ritter.
About the Playwright
David Lindsay-Abaire is a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, screenwriter, lyricist and librettist. His play Good People premiered on Broadway, was awarded the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Play, The Horton Foote Prize, The Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award, and two Tony nominations. His previous play Rabbt Hole received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, five Tony nominations, and the Spirit of America Award. David also wrote the book and lyrics Shrek the Musical (Jeanine Tesori, composer), which was nominated for eight Tonys, four Oliviers, a Grammy, and earned David the Ed Kleban Award as America’s most promising musical theatre lyricist. David’s other plays include Ripcord, Kimberly Akimbo, Wonder of the World and A Devil Inside. In addition to his work in theatre, David's screen credits include his film adaptation of "Rabbit Hole," Dreamworks’ "Rise of the Guardians," and "The Family Fang," starring Nicole Kidman, Christopher Walken, and Jason Bateman. He is also, along with Marsha Norman, co-chair of the Playwriting Program at the Juilliard School.
FUDDY MEERS is part of the 2019 “Coming of Age” Season at Rubicon, which is sponsored by ANONYMOUS, DIANE AND PETER GOLDENRING, JANET AND MARK L. GOLDENSON, BARBARA MEISTER, SUE AND SIMON RUDDICK and BETTY THOMAS.
Presenter / Producer: Rubicon Theatre Company
Theater > Theatrical Comedy
Event Phone: 805-667-2900
Rubicon Theatre Company
1006 E. Main St.
Ventura CA 93001
Ventura, Santa Barbara & San Luis Obispo
Performance Dates: 3/13/2019 - 3/31/2019
Low-Priced Preview Performances
Wednesday March 13 at 7 p.m. ($25-$30)
Thursday March 14 at 7 p.m. ($25-$35)
Friday March 15 1 at 8 p.m. ($25-$40)
Regular Performance Times and Prices
Wednesdays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. ($25-$55) (Talkbacks follow all Wednesday evening shows except the March 13 preview)
Thursdays at 7 p.m. ($25-$55)
Fridays at 8 p.m. ($25-$55)
Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. ($25-$55)
Sundays at 2 p.m. ($25-$55)
Rubicon Theatre Company
Ventura's Downtown Cultural District
1006 E. Main St. Ventura, CA 93001
Ticket Range: $20 - $55 ($120 for opening night including post-show party)
Prices above do not include a $4 ticket service fee
Discounts Available for Groups of 10+
Discounts for Seniors 65 and over, Students, Teachers and active Military available
Box Office (for single and group tickets): 805.667.2900
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