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Dramatic masterpiece with touch of Hollywood coming to St. Jacobs

GEORGE WENDT

Dramatic masterpiece with touch of Hollywood coming to St. Jacobs

WATERLOO REGION - Excitement is mounting for Drayton Entertainment’s star-studded production of Death of a Salesman on stage at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse from Oct. 18 to Nov. 4.

As previously announced, Hollywood actor George Wendt will play the lead role of Willy Loman.

“The calibre of talent on stage and behind-the scenes for this production is outstanding,” said artistic director Alex Mustakas.

“The company includes a mix of seasoned performers, up-and-coming talent, as well as audience favourites who have appeared on various Drayton Entertainment stages over the years.”

Wendt rose to fame playing the lovable barfly Norm Peterson on the hit sitcom Cheers! He appeared in all 275 episodes, earning six Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series along the way.

Tackling the role of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman is a natural progression for Wendt at this stage of his acclaimed career which has included more than 100 TV shows (among them Taxi, Soap, M*A*S*H, and The Simpsons, along with nine appearances on Saturday Night Live).

Wendt is joined by veteran actress Martha Irving, who will take on the role of Willy’s devoted wife Linda Loman. Irving is an acclaimed actor, teacher and director who has earned numerous distinctions for her work in Canadian theatre. Skye Brandon and Jeffrey Wetsch will play Willy’s sons Biff and Happy. Brandon spent five seasons in Stratford, where he became a principal member of their acting company as well as a regular teaching artist for their education department.

Wetsch has previously appeared in the Drayton Entertainment productions of Deathtrap, Tuesdays with Morrie, The Heiress and more, along with numerous productions across the country. Thom Marriott will take on the role of Willy’s flawed yet idolized older brother Ben. Marriott has worked with major theatres across Canada, including eight seasons with the Stratford Festival and nine season with the Shaw Festival.

Drayton Entertainment newcomers Roy Lewis and Ryan Field will play Willy’s successful neighbour Charley and his son Bernard, respectively. Drayton Entertainment favourite Jackie Mustakas will portray The Woman, a mysterious character with a pivotal connection to Willy. Thomas Duplessie is Stanley, the waiter and bartender at Frank’s Chop House, a place frequented by the Loman brothers. Duplessie previously appeared in Brighton Beach Memoirs with Drayton Entertainment and has an impressive list of television credits including Man Seeking Women (FX), Heroes: Reborn (NBC) and Reign (CW).

Jane Spence, who played the title role in The Heiress for Drayton Entertainment, will play Miss Forsythe.

The production is directed by Marti Maraden, whose renowned career includes 18 seasons at the Stratford Festival, eight years as the artistic director of English theatre for the National Arts Centre, and numerous Drayton Entertainment productions including Harvest, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Tuesdays with Morrie, and more.

Death of a Salesman is widely regarded as one of the greatest plays of the 20th century. Written by playwright Arthur Miller, the celebrated drama tells the story of Willy Loman, a traveling salesman caught up in a corrosive quest for the “American Dream.”

Regular performance tickets are $46 for adults and $27 for youth under 20 years of age. Tickets may be purchased at www.draytonentertainment.com, in person at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse or by calling the box office at 519-747-7788 or toll free at 1-855-drayton (372-9866).

October 6, 2017

 
 

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