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Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy

May 11 - June 16

Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage
Old Globe Theatre
Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

Photo Credits

Brad Oscar, Jessie Cannizzaro, and Shay Vawn in Ken Ludwig's The Gods of Comedy. Photo by Jim Cox.

Ken Ludwig’s The Gods of Comedy

Summary

By Ken Ludwig
Directed by Amanda Dehnert
In association with McCarter Theatre Center

Daphne and Ralph are young classics professors who have just made a discovery that’s sure to turn them into academic superstars. But something goes disastrously wrong, and Daphne cries out in a panic, “Save me, gods of ancient Greece!”…and the gods actually appear! The Ivy League will never be the same as a pair of screwball deities encounters the carnal complexity of college coeds, campus capers, and conspicuous consumption. Two-time Olivier Award–winning comic playwright Ken Ludwig, who delighted Globe audiences with Robin Hood! and Baskerville, brings us a knockabout world premiere with laughs that are simply divine.

Running time: Two hours, including one 15-minute intermission.

Production Sponsors
Nikki and Ben Clay
Elaine and Dave Darwin
Paula and Brian Powers
Jean and Gary Shekhter
Pamela J. Wagner and Hans Tegebo

Artist Sponsors for Ken Ludwig (playwright)
Jo Ann Kilty
Evelyn Mack Truitt

Program

Cast and Creatives

Cast

Creatives

Ken Ludwig (Playwright) is a Tony and Olivier Award–winning playwright who has written over 28 plays and musicals, including six shows on Broadway and seven in London’s West End. The original Broadway production of Lend Me a Tenor won two Tony Awards, and the play was called “one of the classic comedies of the 20th century” by The Washington Post. His additional awards include the Helen Hayes Award, the Edgar Award for Best Mystery, the Samuel French Award for Sustained Excellence in American Theatre, and the Edwin Forrest Award for Outstanding Contributions to the American Theatre. His Broadway plays have starred Alec Baldwin, Carol Burnett, Tony Shalhoub, Lynn Redgrave, and Kristen Bell. His book How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare won the Falstaff Award for Best Shakespeare Book of 2014. His best-known works include Crazy for You (five years on Broadway, Tony and Olivier Awards for Best Musical), Moon Over Buffalo, Baskerville (which played the Globe in 2015), A Comedy of Tenors, Sherwood (which premiered at the Globe as Robin Hood! in 2017), and a stage version of Murder on the Orient Express written expressly at the request of the Agatha Christie Estate. He holds degrees from Harvard University, where he studied music with Leonard Bernstein, and Cambridge University. His work has been performed in over 30 countries in more than 20 languages and is produced somewhere in the United States every night of the year.

Amanda Dehnert (Director) staged and conceived Carnegie Hall’s West Side Story at Knockdown Center. Her world premieres include Kate Hamill’s Pride and Prejudice (Primary Stages, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville (McCarter Theatre Center, Arena Stage), Eastland: A New Musical (also orchestrations; Lookingglass Theatre Company), and Adam Gwon and Octavio Solis’s Cloudlands (South Coast Repertory). Her credits as director/composer/adaptor include Love’s Labour’s Lost and Timon of Athens (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The Verona Project (California Shakespeare Theater), Peter Pan (Lookingglass), and Richard III (The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit). Ms. Dehnert’s other credits include Little Shop of Horrors (Cleveland Play House), The Fantasticks (Trinity Repertory Company, Long Wharf Theatre, Arena Stage, South Coast Repertory), Into the Woods and Julius Caesar (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), My Fair Lady (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Cleveland Play House, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Virginia Stage Company, Trinity Rep), Death of a Salesman (Dallas Theater Center), and Cabaret (Stratford Shakespeare Festival). She is an associate professor at Northwestern University’s School of Communication, Theatre; prior to that, she was a clinical professor at Brown University.

Jason Sherwood (Scenic Design) is a Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, and Henry Hewes Design Award nominee. He previously designed the Globe’s production of Red Velvet. Mr. Sherwood recently designed Rent: Live; Sam Smith’s arena world tour and campaign television appearances (including “The Grammy Awards,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show”); and “The People’s Choice Awards”on E! His upcoming credits include the Spice Girls world tour and the Broadway revival of The Secret Garden. He has also designed for New York Theatre Workshop, The Playwright’s Realm, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, American Repertory Theater, and Guthrie Theater, among many others. @JasonSherwoodDesign.

Linda Roethke (Costume Design) designed the Off Broadway production of Richard III (The Public Theater) and regional productions of Indecent (Arena Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Kansas City Repertory Theatre), Oklahoma!, Richard II, Into the Woods, King Lear, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, and All’s Well That Ends Well (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Hand to God, The Geller Girls, Managing Maxine, The Underpants, and Shadowlands (Alliance Theatre), The Game’s Afoot (Cleveland Play House), The Good Book, Water by the Spoonful, The Dead, and Orlando (Court Theatre), Stage Kiss and The Clean House (Goodman Theatre), Visiting Edna, Mary Page Marlowe, The Motherf***er with the Hat, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and Intimate Apparel (Steppenwolf Theatre Company), Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George (Kansas City Rep), and Miss Saigon (Paramount Theatre). She has also designed at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Connecticut Repertory Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, Baltimore Center Stage, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, American Players Theatre, and Northlight Theatre. Ms. Roethke is also co-director of the M.F.A. design program at Northwestern University. She has received a Joseph Jefferson Award, Suzi Bass Award nominations, and a Connecticut Critics Circle Award nomination. She received an M.F.A. from The University of Iowa.

Brian Gale (Lighting Design) has designed All My Sons and Two Trains Running (The Matrix Theatre Company), El Niño, Mexican Day, and 100 Aprils (Rogue Machine Theatre), Punk Rock (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble), God of Carnage and Carrie: The Musical (La Mirada Theatre), Red and Disgraced (San Diego Repertory Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Cleveland Play House), and Hugh Jackman… One Night Only (Dolby Theatre). He designed lighting and projections for Sleepless in Seattle: The Musical and lighting for Intimate Apparel and The Heiress (Pasadena Playhouse); lighting and projections for Waiting for Godot and lighting for The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Harps and Angels (Mark Taper Forum); projections for Eurydice and lighting for The Doctor’s Dilemma (A Noise Within); and lighting and projections for the complete Ring Cycle (LA Opera). He has worked for 24 years with The Walt Disney Company, and he continues to consult on theme parks, shows, and special events worldwide. Mr. Gale is a member of IATSE USA Local 829.

Darron L West (Sound Design) previously designed The Old Globe’s productions of Into the Woods and The Twenty-seventh Man. He is a Tony and Obie Award–winning sound designer whose work for dance and theatre has been heard in over 500 productions in the U.S. and internationally in 14 countries. His further accolades include the Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, AUDELCO, and Princess Grace Statue Awards, among many others.

Carissa Thorlakson (Wig and Makeup Design) is a New Jersey–based wig and makeup designer. She recently designed Grand Hotel and Little Rock Off Broadway. She is currently in her sixth season with McCarter Theatre Center, where her design work includes A Christmas Carol (2013–2018), Simpatico, The Mousetrap, and All the Days. She has designed for Temple University, Olney Theatre Center, University of Delaware’s Resident Ensemble Players, The Princeton Festival, American Repertory Ballet, and NewArts in Newtown, Connecticut. She has served as a wig and makeup artist at Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, The Kennedy Center, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre Company, and Round House Theatre. Ms. Thorlakson also creates custom medical wigs and cosplay wigs, and teaches classes in wigs and makeup.
CThorwigs.com, @wigician.

Jim Steinmeyer (Illusion Design) was called by The New York Times the “celebrated ‘invisible man’—inventor, designer, and creative brain behind many of the great stage magicians.” His illusions have been featured by Doug Henning, Siegfried and Roy, David Copperfield, Ricky Jay, and many others. He created the special illusions for Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast, Into the Woods, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Mary Poppins, and Aladdin. He is also the author of books on the history and practice of magic.

Ellenore Scott (Choreography) is a New York–based choreographer and performer. She was a finalist and an All-Star on the hit television show “So You Think You Can Dance.”She served as the associate choreographer for Head Over Heels and King Kong on Broadway, and she was the assistant choreographer for the Broadway revivals of Cats and Falsettos. She also choreographed Off Broadway’s Pride and Prejudice at Cherry Lane Theatre. Ms. Scott is the Artistic Director of ELSCO Dance, a New York City contemporary dance company.

Tara Rubin Casting (Casting) has cast the Globe’s Life After, The Heart of Rock & Roll, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, Guys and Dolls, Othello, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Dog and Pony, A Room with a View, and others. Their select Broadway credits include Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations, King Kong, The Band’s Visit, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, Prince of Broadway, Bandstand, Indecent, Sunset Boulevard, Miss Saigon, Dear Evan Hansen, A Bronx Tale The Musical, Cats, Falsettos, Disaster!, School of Rock, Gigi, Bullets Over Broadway, Aladdin, Les Misérables, The Heiress, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Billy Elliot: The Musical, Shrek The Musical, Young Frankenstein, Mary Poppins, Spamalot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Producers, Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys, and The Phantom of the Opera. Their Off Broadway credits include Gloria: A Life; Smokey Joe’s Cafe; Clueless, The Musical; The Band’s Visit; Here Lies Love;and Love, Loss, and What I Wore. They have also cast regionally for McCarter Theatre Center, Yale Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Paper Mill Playhouse, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and more.

Alison Cote (Production Stage Manager) was last at the Globe with Good People. She is in her 22nd season at McCarter Theatre Center, where her highlights include Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville, Detroit ’67, The Understudy directed by Adam Immerwahr, The White Snake directed by Mary Zimmerman, Danai Gurira’s The Convert directed by Emily Mann, A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Tina Landau, Christopher Durang’s Miss Witherspoon, Sorrows and Rejoicings directed by Athol Fugard, and Stephen Wadsworth’s adaptations of The Figaro Plays. Her other credits include Edward Albee’s Me, Myself & I at Playwrights Horizons; Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays at The Public Theater; and productions at Second Stage Theater, Goodman Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, Paper Mill Playhouse, The Kennedy Center, Long Wharf Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Bard SummerScape, Pittsburgh Public Theater, and Williamstown Theatre Festival, as well as 19 productions with The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Kendra Stockton (Assistant Stage Manager) previously worked at The Old Globe as Assistant Stage Manager on Familiar, Clint Black’s Looking for Christmas, Much Ado About Nothing, Benny & Joon, October Sky, Bright Star,and Dog and Pony, as well as a production assistant on Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Few, and the 2013 Shakespeare Festival. She stage managed La Jolla Playhouse’s Home of the Brave and #SuperShinySara and has assistant stage managed their productions of Guards at the Taj, The Orphan of Zhao,and The Who & The What. Her other stage management credits include The Loneliest Girl in the World (Diversionary Theatre), miXtape (Lamb’s Players Theatre), and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas (San Diego Musical Theatre).

McCarter Theatre Center (Co-Producer) Under the leadership of award-winning playwright and Artistic Director Emily Mann, Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, and Special Programming Director William W. Lockwood, McCarter Theatre Center’s mission is to create world-class theatre and present the finest artists for the engagement, education, and entertainment of the community. Winner of the 1994 Tony Award for Regional Theatre, the company’s world premieres include Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2013 Tony for Best Play), Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays, Emily Mann’s Having Our Say, and Danai Gurira’s The Convert. McCarter brings artists from around the world to Princeton, New Jersey, including Angélique Kidjo, Esperanza Spalding, David Sedaris, and more. The company’s education and outreach efforts serve tens of thousands through student matinees, in-school residencies, and adult classes. mccarter.org.

Events

Vicki and Carl Zeiger Insights Seminars

This series provides Old Globe patrons with an opportunity to closely connect with productions both onstage and backstage. A panel selected from the artistic company of each show (playwrights, actors, directors, designers, and/or technicians) engages patrons in an informal and illuminating presentation of ideas and insights to enhance the theatre going experience. Each Insights Seminar takes place 90 minutes before curtain time on the Tuesday after performances begin, and includes an informal reception 30 minutes before the start. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.

 

Post-Show Forums

Join us after the show for an informal and enlightening question-and-answer session with cast members. Get the "inside story" on creating a character and putting together a professional production. Post-show forums are scheduled after select Tuesday and Wednesday evening performances. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

 

Subject Matters

Explore the ideas and issues raised by a production through brief, illuminating post-show discussions with local experts, such as scientists, artists, historians and scholars. Subject Matters will ignite discussion, bring the play's concerns into sharp focus, and encourage you to think beyond the stage! Subject Matters discussions follow select Saturday matinee performances. FREE; no reservations necessary.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Reviews

“Spirited fun! Plenty of winning physical comedy - the show’s crowd-pleasing vibe feels all about the broad humor and madcap antics of Golden Age TV and film comedy.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune

“A fantastic production—enchanting entertainment! Does not require its audience to have any knowledge of Greek mythology.  They need only have a sense of humor. As is customary at the Globe, the sets are gorgeous!” —San Diego CityBeat

“A great way to kick-start a summer with some laughs, some adventure, and a happy ending. The audience around me laughed from beginning to end!” —BroadwayWorld