Legendary actress Olympia Dukakis, the Academy Award-winning star of Moonstruck and Steel Magnolias, will present a concert reading of Rose, her hit one-woman Broadway show, as part of the Edison Theatre OVATIONS Series.
The special one-night-only performance will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22. Tickets are $40 and are available at the Edison Theatre Box Office and through all MetroTix outlets. In addition, Edison Theatre will host a post-show reception for Dukakis in the Danforth University Center. Tickets to the reception are $50 and also can be purchased at the box office, either with performance tickets or separately.
Edison Theatre is located in the Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd. The Danforth University Center is located immediately adjacent to Mallinckrodt. For more information, call (314) 935-6543 or email Edison@wustl.edu.
Written by Martin Sherman — author of the Tony-nominated drama Bent (1980), which examined Nazi treatment of homosexuals — Rose centers on an 80-year-old Holocaust survivor whose epic story spans the history of the 20th century. The play opens with Rose sitting shivah (a Jewish mourning ritual) for a murdered Palestinian woman. Asserting that Judaism’s greatest contribution to mankind is “to ask questions which have no answers,” she proceeds to recount her own often gut-wrenching tale of hardship and survival.
Born in a small Ukrainian schetl, Rose survives a brutal Cossack pogrom while still a girl and later bears witness to the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. At the end of World War II she boards the Exodus 1947 and, when the ship is turned away from Palestine, marries a Jewish-American sailor. The couple settles in Atlantic City — which Rose describes as “Warsaw on the Sea” — but she eventually moves to Miami Beach, where she raises a family and runs a small hotel. Yet the conflicts continue into the next generation, as Rose’s children and grandchildren grow to become radical Israeli settlers.
“Bring a handkerchief,” notes Talkin’ Broadway. “You will be sobbing before the evening is over, just as surely as you will jump to your feet cheering and applauding wildly at its triumphant end.” The Boston Globe calls Rose “a lesson in acting technique,” adding that “Olympia Dukakis’ performance … is virtuosic.”
Though perhaps best known for her film roles, Dukakis is a veteran of more than 130 stage productions. Her many honors include Obie Awards in 1962 and 1985, for her performances in Bertolt Brecht’s A Man’s A Man and Christopher Durang’s The Marriage of Bette and Boo, respectively. Other notable stage productions include the New York City Shakespeare Festival’s Electra (1964) and Titus Andronicus (1967); Peer Gynt (1969) and Sam Shepard’s Curse of the Starving Class (1978).
Dukakis made her big screen debut in 1964 with Lilith and in 1987 won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Rose Castorini in Moonstruck — a role that also would bring her the New York Film Critics Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Award and the Golden Globe Award. Other film credits range from Steel Magnolias (1989) and The Cemetery Club (1993) to Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite (1995), Mr. Hollands Opus (1995) and the Academy Award-nominated Away From Her (2006).
On television, Dukakis starred as Anna Madrigal in PBS’ Tales of the City (1993), a six-hour mini-series based on the stories of Armistead Maupin. She also reprised the role for the Showtime sequels More Tales of the City (1998) and Further Tales of the City (2001), for which she earned Emmy, Screen Actors Guild and British Academy of Film and Television Arts nominations.
Sherman, who attended Boston University with Dukakis, is perhaps best known for Bent (1979), which starred Ian McKellen in its original production and was adapted to film in 1997. Rose debuted at London’s Royal National Theatre in 1999, earning a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play, then traveled to Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre in 2000. Other works include Clothes in the Wardrobe (1992), Indian Summer (1996), Callas Forever (2002) and Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005).
Founded in 1973, the Edison Theatre OVATIONS Series serves both Washington University and the St. Louis community by providing the highest caliber national and international artists in music, dance and theater, performing new works as well as innovative interpretations of classical material not otherwise seen in St. Louis.
Edison Theatre programs are made possible with support from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; the Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis; and private contributors. The OVATIONS Season is supported by The Mid-America Arts Alliance with generous underwriting by the National Endowment for the Arts and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.
WHO: Olympia Dukakis
WHAT: Concert reading, Rose, by Martin Sherman
WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22
WHERE: Edison Theatre, Washington University, Mallinckrodt Student Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd.
TICKETS: $40. In addition, tickets to the post-show reception for Dukakis are $50. Both are available through the Edison Theatre Box Office, (314) 935-6543, and all MetroTix outlets.
SPONSOR: Edison Theatre OVATIONS Series
INFORMATION: (314) 935-6543 or edisontheatre.wustl.edu