What is love? Is it never having to say you're sorry? Is it a drug? Is it all you need? It's a question which has preoccupied writers from Shakespeare to the Beatles, Noel Coward to Barry Manilow. And now, Tom Stoppard in his multilayered and witty play The Real Thing, beginning its run at Fort Worth's Stage West on Thursday, March 29.
Check out the production photos below!
Henry, a successful playwright and Annie, an actress, have fallen in love, truly-madly-deeply. Though both are already married, they divorce their respective spouses and begin a life together. Unfortunately, real life romance doesn't proceed as smoothly as it may on the stage. Henry, a gifted wordsmith, finds himself unable to write a play which expresses his feelings for Annie. And she wants him to put aside other projects in order to play script doctor for an imprisonEd Scottish activist whose play Henry terms "half as long as Das Kapital and only twice as funny." Love turns out to be a journey, rather than a destination-messy, painful, and exhilarating. Along the way, The Real Thing examines what is real not only in love, but in music (Henry has a guilty fondness for pop music), writing, and politics, and it sparkles with typical Stoppard wit. Sheridan Morley of The Spectator called it "a play which reminds you why you go to the theatre and why you fall in love."
The Real Thing was originally produced in London in 1982, moving to New York in 1984, where it won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and the Tony Award for Best Play.
The Real Thing is directed by Jim Covault. Chuck Huber, whose Stage West roles include Bertie Wooster in Jeeves in the Morning, will play Henry, while Dana Schultes, last on our stage as Myra in Talking Pictures, will play Annie. Their erstwhile spouses Charlotte and Max will be played respectively by Emily Scott Banks and Andy Baldwin, whose recent roles include Robert In Boeing, Boeing at Circle Theatre. Joshua Buehler, who appeared as Scott in The Sports Page, will play Billy, while Mikaela Krantz will appear as daughter Debbie. And making his Stage West debut, as Brodie, is Eric Dobbins, recently seen as Tim in Theatre Arlington's Noises Off.
The set will be designed by Jim Covault. Costume design will be again be handled by Michael Robinson and Dallas Costume Shoppe, who provided costumes for several Stage West shows, including our productions of The Sports Page, New Jerusalem and Arms and the Man. Michael O'Brien will design the lighting, with set décor and props by Lynn Lovett.
The Real Thing will preview Thursday, March 29 at 7:30 and Friday, March 30 at 8:00, and will run through Sunday, April 29 (no performance on Easter Sunday). Performance times will be Thursday evenings at 7:30, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00, with Sunday matinees at 3:00. The opening night reception will be Saturday, March 31. Ticket prices range from $26 to $30, with discounts for students and seniors. Preview tickets are priced at only $15. Pay What You Can performances will be Sunday, April 1 and Thursday, April 5. Food service is available 90 minutes prior to performances (reservations are necessary), and all Friday nights after March 30 will feature the $38 Prix Fixe Special. Reservations and information are available through the Box Office (817-784-9378), or on the website, www.stagewest.org.
Note: this play does contain some instances of language.
Photos by Buddy Myers
Dana Schultes & Chuck Huber
Joshua Buehler & Dana Schultes
Andy Baldwin & Emily Scott Banks
Dana Schultes & Chuck Huber