Award-winning actor, director and playwright Frank Ferrante recreates his PBS, New York and London acclaimed portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx in this fact paced 90 minutes of hilarity at East Central University’s Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. on April 9, 2013.
Tickets are $18 and may be purchased online at tickets.ecok.edu or at the box office the night of the show.
A perfect show for all ages, the two-act comedy consists of the best Groucho one-liners, anecdotes and songs including Hooray for Captain Spalding and Lydia, the Tattooed Lady. The audience becomes part of the show as Ferrante ad-libs his way throughout the performance in grand Groucho style.
Accompanied by his onstage pianist, Jim Furmston, Ferrante portrays the young Groucho of stage and film and reacquaints us with the likes of brothers Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo, Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, Greta Garbo, Marx Foil, Margaret Dumont and MGM’s Louis B. Mayer.
Ferrante is an actor, director and producer described The New York Times as “the greatest living interpreter of Groucho Marx’s material.” Discovered by Groucho’s son Arthur when Frank was a drama student at the University of Southern California, Ferrante originated the off-Broadway title role in Groucho: A life in Revue, written by Arthur, portraying the comedian from age 15 to 85.
For this role, Ferrante won the 1987’s New York’s Theatre World Award and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award. He reprised the role in London’s Wes End and was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Comedy Performance of the Year.
Ferrante played the Groucho role in the off-Broadway revival of The Cocoanuts and has played Captain Spalding in the several productions of Animal Crackers winning a Connecticut Critics Circle Award for his portrayal at Goodspeed Opera House and a Helen Hayes nomination in Washington D.C. at Arena Stage. In Boston in 1988, he played the Huntington Theatre in the record-breaking run of Animal Crackers that landed Frank on the cover of American Theatre magazine.
As a director, Ferrante directed M*A*S*H star Jamie Farr in the Kaufman & Hart comedy George Washington Slept Here and revivals of Simon’s The Sunshine Boys, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Biloxi Blues, Broadway Bound and Lost in Yonkers. In 1995, he directed and developed the world premiere of the Pulitzer finalist Old Wicked Songs. In 2001, Ferrante starred in, directed and produced the national PBS television program Groucho: A Life in Revue. In 2007 he became a question on the classic TV program Jeopardy. “He took his portrayal of Groucho Marx to New York in 1986.” The answer: “Who is Frank Ferrante?”
For more information about the performance, contact the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center Box Office, 580-559-5751 or visit tickets.ecok.edu. This event is sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, the ECU Foundation, Inc., Communication Federal, Citizens Bank, the ECU Bookstore, Blue Moon Café and Valley View Regional Hospital.