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January 23 @ 12:00 pm
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Neil Simon’s hilarious exploration of lunacy and loss unfolds in the story of Jake, as he confronts the unraveling of his marriage… and his mind. A novelist more successful with fiction than with real life, Jake holds a series of make-believe conversations with the women throughout his life—his sister, his dead wife, his therapist and his daughter. As reality and fiction start to blur—in wildly comic and sometimes moving flashbacks—he begins to question his sanity. The women in Jake’s life include his wife of eight years, Maggie, a woman running from everything including herself; his boisterous and meddling sister, Karen; his self-absorbed wisecracking psychiatrist, Edith; his sharp and intelligent daughter, Molly, at two stages of her life; and his lost wife, Julie, earthy, ghostly, magical. As Jake roams through memories, it’s clear he’s seeking an emotional breakthrough that will release him to live in his real life instead of merely observing it from the safety of his word processor.
Longtime Utah Shakespeare Festival favorite and Neil Simon Festival (NSF) artistic director, Peter Sham, plays Jake. Sham, a recognized regional actor for over 35 years and professor of theatre at Southern Utah University, is perhaps best known for writing the book and lyrics to Lend Me A Tenor: The Musical, which celebrated a critically acclaimed production at the famous Gielgud Theatre on London’s West End in 2011.
Jake’s “women” are robust and lively, and are played by a talented array of local actresses. Sham’s real-life wife, Neil Simon Festival favorite Kirsten Sham, plays Jake’s estranged and compassionate wife, Maggie. Ms. Sham was last seen at CFAK as the painfully funny Sonia in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. NSF favorites Holly Barrick (last seen here in Simon’s The Dinner Party) and Alyson King (last seen as Masha in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), play Jake’s late wife Julie and the current girl he’s “dating,” Sheila, respectively. Rounding out the stellar cast are rising local stars Isabella Giordano as Molly, Maycee Ham as Karen, Lena Conatser as Edith, and newcomer, Ellie Barrick as Young Molly.
Mature language. Tickets are $30 ($10 for current students).