The Medium starring Jeffery Roberson aka Varla Jean Merman
Jeffery Roberson aka Varla Jean Merman plays the title role in Gian Carlo Menotti's musical thriller THE MEDIUM at Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater directed by Donna Drake. Produced by Provincetown Counter Productions in association with Mark Cortale, THE MEDIUM will run from October 25 - Nov. 11 for 12 performances after being workshopped this summer at The Art House in Provincetown. Elizabeth Hastings who has conducted for both New York City Opera and the Liederkranz Opera Theatre will music direct. The cast also includes Stefanie Izzo as Monica, Edmund Bagnell as Toby, Shannon Carson as Mrs. Gobineau, Peter Kendall Clark as Mr. Gobineau and Maria Elena Armijo as Mrs. Nolan.
THE MEDIUM was commissioned by Columbia University and first performed there on May 8, 1946. The Broadway production took place on May 1, 1947 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre with Marie Powers in the title role. The composer Gian Carlo Menotti is best known for his Christmas work Amahl and the Night Visitors which was commissioned by NBC in 1951 and became the first opera written for television. With the help of filmmaker Alexander Hammid, Menotti made a film version of THE MEDIUM in 1951 starring Anna Maria Alberghetti as Monica.
Jeffery Roberson aka Varla Jean Merman starred in the musical Lucky Guy opposite Leslie Jordan in NY at the Little Schubert last spring prompting The New York Times to rave, "If Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman had stood in front of the right pair of funhouse mirrors, they might have resembled Ms. Merman and Mr. Jordan in stature as well as comedic talent". He played the role of Mary Sunshine in the revival of Chicago on Broadway and also made his network television debut on All My Children. In 2010 Jeffery won an Elliot Norton Award for Best Musical Performance in The Phantom of the OPRAH. He returned to Boston this past fall to star as Mother Superior in SpeakEasy Stage's production of The Divine Sister by Charles Busch. Jeffery recently completed shooting the feature films Varla Jean and the Mushroomheads and Girls Will Be Girls 2012. He guest starred as Varla Jean on Ugly Betty in the final season of the show and was also featured on Bravo's Project Runway Season 5 as the winning model for the show's drag challenge.
Donna Drake, director was in the original Broadway casts of A Chorus Line, Sophisticated Ladies, Woman of the Year, The Wind in the Willows, 5678-Dance, It's So Nice To Be Civilized and the original production of The 1940s Radio Hour. She has received an Emmy nomination for Dear Alex and Annie, 4 Drama Desk Nominations, A Mac Award Nomination and a Theatre World Award. She choreographed Catherine Zeta Jones for the American Film Institute Awards. She directed John Tartaglia's Imaginocean which ran Off Broadway at New World Stages.
Susan Grilli is the Artistic Director of Provincetown Counter Productions, a non-profit 501 (C) (3) performing arts organization with a commitment to cultivating and supporting Provincetown's thriving community of theatre artists and audiences. Last summer the company co-produced Zoe Lewis' smash hit musical Snail Road with Mark Cortale at The Art House. This past fall/winter Counter Productions mounted critically acclaimed productions of A Raisin in the Sun and the musical Passing Strange.
Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater
10 West 64th Street
New York City, NY 10023
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