Show featuring Frank Ferrante Saturday at Chenango Arts Council’s Martin W. Kappel Theater
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The Chenango Arts Council will present a performance of “An Evening with Groucho” by Frank Ferrante at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Martin W. Kappel Theater (27 W. Main St. in Norwich).
Ferrante is an actor, director and producer described by The New York Times as “the greatest living interpreter of Groucho Marx material”. “Animal Crackers” and “A Night at the Opera” co-writer Morrie Ryskind called him “the only actor besides Groucho who delivered my lines as they were intended.”
Discovered by Groucho’s son Arthur while Ferrante was a drama student at the University of Southern California, Ferrante originated the off-Broadway title role in “Groucho: A Life in Revue” (written by Arthur Marx) depicting the comedian aged 15 to 85.
For this role, Ferrante won New York’s Theater World Award and an Outer Critics Circle nomination. He reprized the role in London’s West End and was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Comedy Performance of the Year.
Ferrante went on to star as Groucho in the off-Broadway revival of “The Cocoanuts” and played Captain Spalding in several productions of “Animal Crackers”, winning a Connecticut Critics Circle Award for his performance at the Goodspeed Opera House and a nomination. at Helen Hayes in Washington, DC, at Arena Stadium.
In Boston, Ferrante starred at the Huntington Theater in the record-breaking series of Animal Crackers which earned him the cover of American Theater magazine. He has now performed the role of Groucho over 2,500 times in over 400 cities. His other regional roles include Max Prince in Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theater (which he also directed); George S. Kaufman in “By George” (a solo piece written by Ferrante); Oscar in “The Odd Couple” and in “The Sunshine Boys”, “Lady in the Dark” and “Anything Goes”. Ferrante directed “M*A*S*H” star Jamie Farr in the Kaufman & Hart comedy “George Washington Slept Here” and revivals of “Brighton Beach Memoirs”, “Biloxi Blues”, “Broadway Bound” and ” Lost in Yonkers” by Simon.”
In 1995, Ferrante directed and developed the world premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Old Wicked Songs,” and in 2001 he directed, produced, and starred on the PBS national television show “Groucho: A Life in Revue.” Ferrante made over 1,200 performances as the comic Latin lover Caesar in the circus show “Teatro ZinZanni” in Seattle and San Francisco and at the Palazzo in Amsterdam. Recently, Ferrante filmed “An Evening With Groucho” for four weeks in Australia.
Tickets for the show can be purchased online at www.ChenangoArts.org, in person at the box office during regular business hours, or over the phone by calling the box office at 607.336.ARTS.
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