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PRODUCTIONS — 2003-2004


Lemon Meringue Facade

by Ted Lange
Directed by Jackie Alexander
Production Design by Meganne George
Lighting Design by Amy Harper
Stage Manager: Nick Leavens
Assistant Producer: Wayne Kelton
with:  Carrie Baker, James Blanshard, Melanie Boland*, Cheryl Lynn Bowers*, Jill Sorensen, Gunna Wilson and Ted Lange*

 

Set in Pasadena, (CA) Lemon Meringue Façade looks at the lives and loves of four blondes in their late 30s—Linda, a mother-to-be who has tried everything to get pregnant; Annie, a shy tennis instructor with an unconventional lover; Phyllis, an actress who has and will do anything for the right role; and Susan, a self-sufficient feminist who is the centering force of the group. These best friends gather for Linda’s baby shower—a seemingly joyous event.  But before the party gets started, cracks appear in their “white bred” façade—secrets are revealed and we learn that these women are not who they appear to be.  Add to the mix an upper crust and uptight mother, a self-involved father-to-be, and a brash Hollywood actor from the “wrong” side of the tracks, and you bake up a riotous comedy that challenges our assumptions about identity and the meaning of love.

WHO’S WHO

TED LANGE (Playwright/”Richard”) exemplifies the Renaissance Man Theatre Award that he received from the NAACP in Los Angeles and the Heroes and Legends (HAL) Lifetime Achievement Award.  A prolific actor of stage and screen, director, author, and educator comprise the talents that have created a revered career and worldwide recognition. Lange received the Artistic Director Achievement Award as Director of an Original Play for his comedy Lemon Meringue Façade in LA and the Dramalogue Award for outstanding directing of The Visit.  Lange also received the Oakland Ensemble Theatre’s Paul Robeson Award and the James Cagney Directing Fellow Scholarship Award from the American Film Institute.  A graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Lange has written seventeen plays and garnered multiple theatrical awards.  Behind the Mask–An Evening with Paul Laurence Dunbar is Lange’s own one-man show, touring to sold-out houses at Ohio State University and San Jose State.  Four Queens – No Trump played to rave reviews in Los Angeles and Chicago, and won NAACP Best Play 1997. The Valley Theatre Awards nominated his play, Lemon Meringue Façade, in five categories. Another play, Soul Survivor, was staged at the National Black Theatre Festival, at the 1996 Olympics and at the Lee Strasberg Institute.  Evil Legacy – The Story of Lucretia Borgia was nominated by LA Weekly for Best One-Woman Show.  Also written, directed, and produced by Lange was Born a Unicorn, a rock ‘n roll musical depicting the life of Black Shakespearean actor, Ira Aldridge. This gave birth to the Ira Aldridge Acting Awards, an annual competition designed to showcase minority actors for the Hollywood film and television industry.  As a film author, Lange has created over a dozen screenplays including seven Love Boat scripts. Honored to be named a mentee of James Burrows, Lange’s film directing career includes:  Dharma and Greg, Moesha, Love Boat: The Next Wave, In the House, and The Wayans Brothers. His directing expertise also encompasses a pilot he co-created for NBC, Big Daddy’s Barbecue, episodes of Fall Guy, Starman, Fantasy Island, and seventeen episodes of the original Love Boat.

 

CARRIE BAKER’s (Susan) regional credits include Emelia in Othello, Silvia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Portia in Julius Caesar (Utah Shakespeare Festival); Kate in Sylvia (Summer Repertory Theatre); Lucentio in The Taming of the Shrew (Washington Shakespeare Company); Gail in Cigarettes and Chocolate; Supporta in Scenes from an Execution (Potomac Theatre Project); and Princess Betsy in Anna Karenina (Washington Stage Guild.)  Carrie holds a B.A. in Theatre and English from Middlebury College and an M.F.A. in Acting from the University of California-Irvine.

JAMES BLANSHARD (Robert) was born and bred in Sydney, Australia and is a graduate of Circle in the Square Theatre School’s Professional Workshop and Musical Theatre Program.  He joins the LMF cast having just finished a run of Brecht’s A Good Woman of Setzuan.  Other recent NYC stage credits include: Anthony (lead) in Just Us Boys; Steven in A Special Gift; Tom, Phyllis and Leslie in Sylvia; Oberon, Theseus and Snug in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Georg (She Loves Me) in a Bock and Harnick musical review.  James is also a member of the New Perspectives Theatre Company’s Youth Outreach Ensemble, where he has recently performed in Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth.  James is thrilled to be part of Ted’s tasty creation and wishes to thank his beautiful brunette, Eva, for her understanding.

MELANIE BOLAND (Laura) most recently originated the role of Sheila in Ike Schambelan’s When I’m 64 (Theater By The Blind). Other NY credits: Abe Lincoln in Illinois (dir. Gerald Gutierrez, Broadway); the world premiere of Judd Woldin’s Murder in Baker Street; the American premiere of Maxim Gorky’s Vassa, Ten Little Indians, Misalliance, The Unexpected Guest, Arms and the Man, Hamlet, Talley & Son (TBTB); 1984 (Nicu’s Spoon Theater); The Curious Savage (Producers’ Club); Undivulged Crimes (Phil Bosakowski Theatre); Bedside Manners (Blue Heron Arts Center); Mimi and Me (Turnip Theatre Co.); Trifles, Lord Savile’s Crime, Heartbreak House, The Master Builder, The Importance of Being Earnest (Oasis Theatre Company); The Birthday Club (Plays for Living); Richard II (Riverside Shakespeare). Regional: Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, Arlene in Getting Out, Sybil in Count Dracula, Elizabeth in Laundry and Bourbon.  International: Misalliance (Vidra Theatre, Croatia.)  Film: Peter Weir’s The Mosquito Coast (Mrs. Spellgood) and The Dead Poets Society (Mrs. Overstreet.)  TV: Dave Chappelle’s Show, Law and Order, As the World Turns.

CHERYL LYNN BOWERS (Annie): NY Theatre includes: The Off-Broadway World Premiere of Steve Martin’s The Underpants (CSC); Play (DTNY); Hotel Universe (Blue Light) as well as several workshops including Demon Baby and Bethlehem (The Public Theatre’s New Works Now); Last Dance (MTC) and No Such Thing (NYSF).  Regional theatre includes XANADU LIVE!, (Gascon, Los Angeles); The Real Inspector Hound and Black Comedy (Wilma); A Beautiful Home for the Incurable (Luna Stage).  Williamstown: Tonight at 8:30; The Skin of Our Teeth; As You Like It; Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; The Maids; The Mother of Us All; Princess Turandot; Dead End.  TV and Film: Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn; Law & Order: Criminal Intent; The Education of Max Bickford; Auto Focus (dir. Paul Schrader); Bamboozled (dir. Spike Lee).  Upcoming film: Fontanelle.  Cheryl holds a B.F.A. in Acting from SUNY Purchase.

JILL SORENSEN (Phyllis) is delighted to be making her New York stage debut in Lemon Meringue Façade.  Concurrently with this production, the independent film Marmalade, which Jill wrote/produced and stars in, is premiering at the Cine(Las) Vegas Film Festival.  Marmalade was produced by Tony Award-winning producer Ron Kastner of Goldheart Pictures and also marks Ms. Sorensen’s screenwriting debut.  Jill has appeared in several indies such as Whipped and The Inner Glow of Things which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival.  She most recently appeared onstage in Washington, DC  in the production of The Carpenter Who Wouldn’t Leave at the National Theater.  In addition to her film and theatre work, Jill has also appeared many times in comedy skits on Late Night With Conan O’Brien.  She would like to thank her family and friends for their undying support.

GUNNA WILSON (Linda) was born in Reykjavik, Iceland and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Gunna is very excited to be making her New York stage debut with Lemon Meringue Façade.  Her TV credits include The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, Guiding Light, All My Children, As the World Turns, and Law and Order.  Film: Mona Lisa Smile and the upcoming remake of Alfie.

 

JACKIE ALEXANDER (Director): Stage directing credits include the Off-Broadway World Premiere Production of Dr. John Shevin Foster's Plenty of Time at Primary Stages in New York, and The Author's Voice, which his company produced Off-Broadway on Theatre Row. Jackie is the owner and founder of Across The Tracks Productions (www.acrossthetracks.com). His debut feature film Joy, on which he served as actor, writer, producer, and director received awards for Best Feature Film by the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, Best Narrative/Best Actor (Jackie Alexander) at the Bare Bones International Film Festival, and was a finalist at the Hollywood Black Film Festival. Blackfilm.com named Joy as one of the top five Independent films of 2002, and sponsored a national tour of the film, which included screenings at The Director's Guild in Los Angeles, The French Embassy in Washington D.C., The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and The Walter Reade Theatre at Lincoln Center in New York.  His second screenplay, Legacy, was a finalist at the Hollywood Black Film Festival Storyteller's Competition, a semi-finalist for the Chesterfield Writing Fellowship, and was a winner in Blackfilm.com's The Next Fifteen Minutes Screenplay competition, resulting in a Staged Reading at the Tribecca Film Center in New York.  Mr. Alexander received his training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and made his professional acting debut in a revival of Joseph Walker's The River Niger.  A short list of stage acting credits include: Acted Within Proper Departmental Procedure, Losing The Light, Imperfection Flawed (Audelco Nominee—Best Actor, Winner—Best Play), The Death of Bessie Smith, Romance, Revolution, & War, Tell Pharaoh, The Authors Voice, and the originating role of "Prophet Solomon Jones" in Raisin' Hell, a musical premiere by Motown Legend William "Smokey" Robinson. Projects in development include the feature screenplays Getting Papers, and Spirit Man, a documentary based on the life of Weldon Irvine.

 

MEGANNE GEORGE (Production Designer) recently designed costumes for Mabou Mines' Dollhouse directed by Lee Breuer.  She has designed sets for the Bronx Opera's production of Merry Widow and the American premiere of l'Equivico Stravagante. Other set design credits include the world premier of More Than a Soap Opera, a new musical with lyrics and music by Ray Davies. Meganne is the resident costume designer for adobe theatre company. Designs for adobe include Orpheus and Eurydice by Jeremy Dobrish, Larry and the Werewolf, Hooray for Iceboy and Dick Piston, Praguenosis.  Off-Broadway: Mabou Mines' Cara Lucia (American Theatre Wing Hewes Costume Design Award Nomination), Two Little Indians directed by Lee Breuer, Personal Equation starring Ralph Waite and Macbeth at the McGinn-Cazale. Other NY Credits include HERE’s American Living Room Series, Beyond the Horizon (featured design in T.C.I. Magazine and Backstage), Robin Becker Dance, Maffei Dance Company, New Perspectives' Taming of the Shrew (OOBR Award-Best Production), Cloud Nine at the Quintero, and The Joys of Sex at the 2002 Fringe Festival (Theatre Mania Viewer's Choice Award).  Film credits include Don't Nobody Love the Game which aired on PBS' Independent Lens series.  She has done industrial design work for GreyLine NY and Mediaedge. She holds M.F.A.s in both costume and set design from Ohio University and was previously a professor at Hofstra University. She is currently designing the costumes for SuperPowers by Jeremy Dobrish and sets for Bronx Opera's La Traviata.

AMY C. HARPER (Lighting Designer) has been designing for New Perspectives Theatre Company for almost four years. Previous NPT credits include A Midsummer night’s Dream, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, and Good People.  She also designs for the Garage Theatre Co. in New Jersey.  Recent credits there include Afghan Women  Directed by John Steeber, a familiar name at New Perspectives (Director of Good People), Billie a musical about Billie Holiday, 7 Good Ways, A Touch of Spring, Into the Woods (co-designed with Zach Hendrix), and More Than A Soap Opera written by Ray Davies of The Kinks. Amy would like to thank Jake Hill for being a wonderful assistant.

NICK LEAVENS (Stage Manager). This is Nick’s first show with New Perspectives Theatre Company.  He is Vital Theatre’s production manager and a resident stage manager.  Regional credits include Pennsylvania Center Stage and the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble.  Nick is a graduate of Penn State University.