FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 1, 2002
EXTRAORDINARY TEAM BRINGS “JACK” TO LIFE
Who shot JFK? For the writer of the new comedy, “Jack," Jim Tosney, the question was not who, but why. “I’ve always been fascinated by the myth of that era, of Camelot,” says Tosney, “but instead of constructing a whodunit, we’ve turned the entire myth on its head.” “Jack is a satirical comedy with romance, original songs, and dance that is loosely based on the real people and events surrounding John F. Kennedy’s election and days in office. It is also very much a fantasy, maintaining a distance from history by eliminating all the characters’ surnames and taking a huge artistic license with the facts. In this version, Jackie becomes temporarily blinded at a nuclear test site; J. Edgar arrives at a State Dinner in an evening gown. Director Warren Coleman adds, “We made a conscious decision to depart from reality. But we’re not going for high camp, either. The characters are grounded and three-dimensional. What they do makes sense in their world.” At the center of the play is the love story of that magnificent fabled couple that occupied the White House when America seemed magical and filled with endless possibilities for greatness. It’s also an examination of how Jack the man manages to find and keep true love despite his tendencies to get in his own way.
Hot Australian director Warren Coleman helms “Jack.” A graduate of the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, he directed the Australian company of “Rent,” the US and Australian tours of “The Real Live Brady Bunch,” and was assistant director for the State Opera of South Australia production of “Nixon In China.” His most recent directing credits include a an Aussie TV miniseries “Effie….Just Quietly,” and a play for the 2002 Adelaide Festival, “Talldog & The Underpoppy.” He’s written plays of his own and is a staff writer for Kennedy-Miller Productions (the “Mad Max” films and others).
Boston native Tom Megan has written music and lyrics for six original songs for the show. He is the recipient of the Yip Harburg lyricist award and eight ASCAP musical theatre awards. His work includes the book and music for “A Vision” (about William Butler Yeats), “Sea Change,” and “The Kid Who Would Be Pope.” Megan’s pieces have been presented at Playwrights Horizon (NYC), The New Tuners Theatre (Chicago). And the Eugene O’Neill National Music Theater Conference. His work has also been recorded, most recently by Lisa Vroman on her CD “Broadway Classic.”
“Jack” is written by another Boston native, Jim Tosney, who has long been a member of the Sacred Fools Theater Company and has frequently appeared on its stage. Tosney is also an executive at Twentieth Century Fox.
Robert Levine is executive producer. Levine has worked as a development executive at Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Walt Disney Television on such films as “The Brady Bunch Movie,” “A Clear And Present Danger,” and “The Patriot,” but has also been involved in theater as a musical director and arranger for original productions at Boston’s Huntington Theater and Charles Playhouse.
Robert Machemer plays Jack and Amy Arnelle plays Jackie. Sacred Fools founder John Sylvain plays J. Edgar, the cross-dressing head of the F.B.I. Papa Joe is played by Chad Restum, a familiar face as a host of police documentaries for Fox Network. Ahmed A. Best plays Sammy, the world’s greatest entertainer. Best is best-known for his co-starring role as Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars movies “Episode I: The Phantom Menace” and the upcoming “Attack Of The Clones.” The cast also includes Sacred Fools regulars Paul Byrne, Tom Chalmers, and Tabatha Hall, as well as Alan Prewitt, Angela Rubino, Elle Travis, Jennifer Moyse, John Bigham, Tracy C. Henry, and Vince DonVito.
Costumes are by Tara Keenan and Ruth Silveira. Ms. Keenan studied History of Costume Design at UCLA following years as a dancer and choreographer. Ms. Silveira has contributed to costume design at a number of productions at Sacred Fools and the MET.
Lighting design is by Zoo District honcho Michael Franco. Set design is by Michael Rainey and Susie White. Sound design is by Drew Dalzell. Hair & make-up: Valerie Noble. Props: Richard Gustafson Associate producers: Carter Shackelford and Peter Lebow. Production stage manager: Chris Childs.
With a quirky sensibility all its own, “Jack is the story of a hero who is transformed by event s beyond his control. That’s a familiar theme in romantic folklore. But, this is a tale told in the corridors of great power, based on real personalities, set against a backdrop of major world events. Plus, it will leave you whistling and tapping your feet. “Jack” is unique entertainment.
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WHERE: Sacred Fools Theater
, 660 N. Heliotrope Dr., Hollywood. This is between Normandie and Vermont
and is east of the Melrose Ave. exit of the 101 Freeway. Some onsite
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