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The Front Page
Capitol Hill Arts Center
Seattle, WA
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The Front Page

Annex Theatre is proud to present an all-new production of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's classic 1928 ensemble comedy "The Front Page", directed by Annex veteran Ed Hawkins.

***Warning: "The Front Page" contains plenty of salty language and several moments of major political incorrectness. (It's set in 1928 Chicago, after all.) Unlike the sanitized 1950 "acting edition", no changes have been made to the original script for this production. Feathers will be ruffled.***

"Upon reading the recently reprinted original text, I was amazed to discover how much Hecht and MacArthur pushed the envelope of decorum," says Hawkins of his decision to use the uncensored edition. "It's eye-opening to learn what one could get away with saying on Broadway in the 20's. Yet for all its glorified crudeness and unapologetically shoddy ethics, this remains an exhilarating piece of theatre. Seattle playgoers hardly need cushioning from an assault on their sensibilities: PC, comedic, or otherwise. Annex is just the company to deliver this mud pie masterpiece."

"The Front Page" features crackling dialogue by Hecht and MacArthur, true journeymen journalists from Chicago's golden age, and is peppered with references to dozens of actual figures and events of the period, giving the play a gritty, authentic quality that has made it a cornerstone of American ensemble comedy.

Set in the press room of the Chicago Criminal Courts building on the eve of "radical leftist" Earl Williams' controversial execution by hanging, "The Front Page" exposes the unscrupulous modus operandi of the "gentlemen of the press" as they exploit all angles and clash with politicos, prostitutes, gangsters, civil servants, in-laws, and one another in their stop-at-nothing quest for the ultimate scoop. (The raw, immediate influence of the maverick reporters on the events unfolding around them recalls the burgeoning "blogosphere" of the modern media.)

Hildy Johnson, the golden boy of the scrappy press pool, announces to his chums his plan to quit the newspaper game in favor of a more respectable life just as the Williams story breaks wide open. Will Hildy be able to walk away from the story of the century and the strangely irresistible strong-arm tactics of his boss, powerhouse publisher Walter Burns? Can the Mayor and the Sheriff survive the political blowback from the latest Chi-town debacle? Will Earl Williams and his sole champion make it out alive?

These questions and more will be answered as the non-stop action unfolds in rollicking real-time before your eyes.

Director Ed Hawkins ("Stage Door", "The Women", Mae West's "Sex") brings his signature whiz-bang sensibility to the piece, making this one of the most highly-anticipated theatrical events of the season.

The mighty 18-member ensemble


Capitol Hill Arts Center
1621 12th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
United States


Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: No


Owner: Annex Theatre
On BPT Since: Jun 16, 2004
Gillian Jorgensen

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