Neil Simon’s The Star-Spangled Girl is a hilarious romantic comedy that has been making audiences laugh for decades. Originally premiering on Broadway in 1966, the play has remained a popular choice for theatres around the world.
Judson Theatre Company in Pinehurst is bringing this comedic gem to life for five performances only, from April 27-30 at Bradshaw Performing Arts Center’s Owens Auditorium at 3395 Airport Road, Pinehurst.
The cast includes two returnees from JTC’s hit 2022 production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap, Nicholas Talbot and Calvin Noble.
“They’re so talented, both as comedians and dramatic actors, and a joy to work with too,” says JTC Artistic Director Daniel Haley. “This play was a perfect fit for them, and it’s a classic example of Neil Simon’s wit and humor.” Making her JTC debut in the title role is New York actor (and Elon graduate) Mari Blake.
The Star-Spangled Girl follows the story of Andy Hobart and Norman Cornell, two young men who have dedicated their lives to a struggling magazine called “Fallout” during the social upheaval of 1966 San Francisco.
Their lives take a hilarious turn when they meet Sophie Rauschmeyer, a beautiful Olympic swimmer who moves into the apartment next door. Norman falls head over heels for Sophie, but there’s one small problem — she’s passionately patriotic and traditional, while Norman is a classic 1960s radical.
As Norman works to win Sophie’s heart, Andy tries to save their magazine from bankruptcy. But when Sophie begins to show more interest in Andy than in Norman, the two friends find themselves in a laugh-out-loud love triangle that threatens to ruin everything.
Neil Simon (playwright) was born in the Bronx on July 4, 1927. He is a recipient of the Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe Awards and is a Kennedy Center honoree.
Among his plays are: The Odd Couple, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, The Sunshine Boys, Chapter Two, and the Brighton Beach trilogy (Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, Broadway Bound). Simon also wrote the book for the musicals They’re Playing Our Song, Promises Promises, Little Me, and Sweet Charity. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Lost in Yonkers.
He wrote original screenplays for The Goodbye Girl, The Out-of-Towners, The Heartbreak Kid, Murder by Death, and The Cheap Detective. He is the bestselling author of the memoirs Rewrites and The Show Goes On.
There is a Broadway theatre named after him. He died in 2018 after an unprecedented career in the theatre.
“The Star-Spangled Girl is a perfect blend of witty dialogue, slapstick humor, and heartwarming romance that will leave audiences with a smile on their faces,” says JTC Artistic Director Daniel Haley. “Neil Simon was a master of comedy, and audiences loved our productions of Plaza Suite and The Sunshine Boys. Here, he has crafted a play that is both funny and insightful, exploring the social fervor of the sixties through the lens of a classic rom-com.”
The performance schedule for The Star-Spangled Girl is as follows:
— Thursday, April 27 at 7 p.m.
— Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m.
— Saturday, April 29 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.
— Sunday, April 30 at 3 p.m.
To purchase tickets to The Star-Spangled Girl or request additional information, please visit http://judsontheatre.com/. Discounted group rates (10+), student and military tickets are available.
“We’ve got a youthful and energetic cast, and The Star-Spangled Girl promises to be a great evening at the theatre that is not to be missed. This production is sure to be a crowd-pleaser,” enthuses JTC Executive Producer Morgan Sills.
Now in its 10th season, Judson Theatre Company is the recipient of the North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) George A. Parides Professional Theatre Award for excellence in professional theatre and multiple Broadway World Raleigh Awards.
In a five-show season, with two shows on the BPAC mainstage and the Summer Theatre Festival in the McPherson Theater, Judson Theatre Company brings noted talent from New York, Los Angeles, and around the country to perform in a series of professional productions designed to enrich the cultural fabric of North Carolina.
Designated as the Professional Theatre Company In Residence at BPAC, previous productions include Twelve Angry Men starring John Wesley Shipp (The Flash), On Golden Pond starring John Davidson, Love Letters starring Hollywood icon Tab Hunter and TV favorite Joyce DeWitt (Three’s Company), Driving Miss Daisy starring four-time Emmy winner Michael Learned (The Waltons), To Kill a Mockingbird starring Johnny Whitaker (Family Affair), and Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite starring Eve Plumb (The Brady Bunch) and Rex Smith (Solid Gold).
For more information, visit http://www.judsontheatre.com.
Feature photo: Calvin Noble (left), Mari Blake, and Nicholas Talbot.