CenterStage Series - Award-winning actor/director/playwright Frank Ferrante recreates his PBS, New York and London acclaimed portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx in this fast paced 90 minutes of hilarity.
Tickets: Reserved Seating
$35 and $30 All Ages
No refunds on ticket purchases
CenterStage Series Discount - Buy 5 or more CenterStage Series Shows out of the 8 and receive a 10% discount!
Performance Sponsor: Cynde & Steve Magidson
The two-act comedy consists of the best Groucho one-liners, anecdotes and songs including "Hooray for Captain Spalding," and "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady." The audience literally becomes part of the show as Ferrante ad-libs his way throughout the performance in grand Groucho style. Accompanied by his onstage pianist, Jim Furmston, Ferrante portrays the young Groucho of stage and film and reacquaints us with the likes of brothers Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo, Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, Greta Garbo, Marx foil, Margaret Dumont and MGM's Louis B. Mayer. A show perfect for all ages!
FRANK FERRANTE (GROUCHO)
Frank Ferrante (Groucho) is an actor, director, and producer described by The New York Times as “the greatest living interpreter of Groucho Marx’s material.” Animal Crackers and A Night at the Opera co-author Morrie Ryskind called him “the only actor aside from Groucho who delivered my lines as they were intended.” Discovered by Groucho’s son Arthur when Frank was a drama student at the University of Southern California, Frank originated the off-Broadway title role in Groucho: A Life in Revue (written by Arthur) portraying the comedian from age 15 to 85. For this role, Frank won 1987’s New York’s Theatre World Award and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award. He reprised the role in London’s West End and was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for ‘Comedy Performance of the Year.’ Frank played the Groucho role in the off-Broadway revival of The Cocoanuts and has played Captain Spalding in the several productions of Animal Crackers winning a Connecticut Critics Circle Award for his portrayal at Goodspeed Opera House and a Helen Hayes nomination in Washington D.C. at Arena Stage. In Boston in 1988, he played the Huntington Theatre in the record-breaking run of Animal Crackers that landed Frank on the cover of American Theatre magazine. In 2001, Frank starred in, directed and produced the national PBS television program Groucho: A Life in Revue. Frank currently stars as the comic lead in the European cirque Teatro Zinzanni in San Francisco and Seattle.
5 Fusion is offering a three course dinner to Groucho ticket holders for $22
SouthEast salad - tofu croutons, cabbage, mixed tender greens tossed in a vinaigrette
Groucho Sushi Roll or Blood Orange Chicken
821 NW Wall St. #100, Bend, OR 97701~For Reservations call 541-323-2328
Q & A with Frank Ferrante, star of “An Evening with Groucho” (March 10)
Q: What prompted you to do a one-man show on Groucho? Did you meet or work with him?
A: I have been performing the show since 1984 and the piece emerged from my passion for the Marx Brothers, specifically Groucho, whose comedy style is brash, irreverent, fun. I never worked with Groucho. I was 14 when he died, but his son, playwright Arthur Marx, hired me to portray Groucho onstage in New York and London. The show later aired nationally on PBS as "Groucho: A Life in Revue." I saw Groucho in person when he was 85. He was quite infirm and reserved until someone asked the question, "Groucho, are you making any new Marx Brothers movies?" He paused and retorted, "No, I'm answering stupid questions."
Q: Would you consider yourself a Groucho impersonator?
A: I am an actor and director and the portrayal is in part impersonation, personification, embodiment. Everyone has a different way to describe what they do. This is a role that I have played and developed for many years.
Q: How do you describe the show to someone who has never seen it, or not heard of the Marx Brothers?
A: The show is highly interactive, energetic, funny, song-filled, informative, fast-paced, improv-based and representative of a particular style of American comedy. I don't believe you necessarily need to know who the Marx Brothers are to enjoy this show though it doesn't hurt to have seen "Duck Soup" or "A Night at the Opera" or "You Bet Your Life."
Q: Do you recreate scenes from Groucho’s movies and TV shows? Why the piano player on stage?
A: The show includes anecdotes about Groucho's brothers and peers like Chaplin and W.C. Fields, one-liners from the classic films, songs from their Broadway shows and films. There is music throughout and my accompanist of the past 28 years Jim Furmston also acts as my straight man much like Margaret Dumont did for Groucho.
Q: I understand you ad lib “Groucho style.” What does that mean? And how do you do it?
A: The highlight of the show for me and the audience, I believe, is the improvisation, the ad-libs. Groucho was a master of wordplay and unscripted shenanigans on stage and on television and nearly a third of my show is different every performance. That is a skill that continues to develop after performing 2,500 shows in 400 cities, in 46 states over 25 years.
Q: Should parents bring their kids, or grandparents their grandchildren?
A: The show is appropriate and, I hope, exhilaratingly funny for all ages.
Q: We’re showing “A Night at the Opera” the evening before your show; both are part of the Tower Theatre’s 72nd birthday celebration (it opened March 6, 1940). What do you find special or unique about entertainment from that era?
A: Many of the actors of the 1930's and '40's honed their craft on stage, in vaudeville....not just comedians like the Marx Brothers but the Cary Grants, Humphrey Bogarts, James Cagneys. Most could sing, dance, act, juggle. They were surrounded by other talents that they learned from and absorbed. By the time these greats made it to film they were prepared and glorious -- the result of decades of hard work.
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