(Dorset, Vt. – Aug. 13, 2019) Dorset Theatre Festival, under the leadership of Artistic Director Dina Janis and Producing Director Will Rucker, will begin performances of Slow Food by Wendy MacLeod, the final production of the 42nd Season, on August 22.
The comedy will star Peri Gilpin (NBC’s “Frasier,” Native Gardens) in the role of Irene and Dan Butler (NBC’s “Frasier,” Broadway’s Travesties) as her husband, Peter. Greg Stuhr (Broadway’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) will play Stephen, the waiter.
“Finding a truly funny comedy is rare these days,” said Dina Janis, Dorset’s Artistic Director. “Wendy’s play reminds me of Carol Burnett or Lucille Ball – it’s so much fun, but also a really touching story that we can all relate to.”
Dorset’s production reunites Gilpin and Butler, both of whom appeared on the NBC sitcom “Frasier.” Gilpin played Roz Doyle, the producer of Frasier’s radio show, and Butler played Bob “Bulldog” Briscoe, the vexing host of the “Gonzo Sports Show.”
As Gilpin said in an interview in the summer issue of Stratton Magazine, “Dan emailed me and said, ‘I wonder, are you really thinking of doing this?’ And I responded, ‘I totally am.’ I just hadn’t finished the script yet because it all came at a crazy time. Once I read it, I asked him, ‘Are you gonna do it?’ and Dan said, ‘I think I am.’”
Jackson Gay (Kleptocracy, Transfers) returns to Dorset to direct, having directed 2018’s Pipeline presentation of Invictus Mingus by Frank Harts. Gay will be joined by Scenic Designer Antje Ellermann (Building the Wall, Stuffed), Costume Designer Fabian Fidel Aguilar (In the Heights, Romeo and Juliet), Lighting Designer Michael Giannitti (Dorset’s Downstairs, Broadway’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone), and Sound Designer Sinan Refik Zafar (Dorset’s Cry It Out, Broadway’s What the Constitution Means to Me).
Slow Food centers around Irene and Peter, who just want to have a nice meal out on their big anniversary in Palm Springs. But their highly neurotic waiter, Stephen, will not bring them their food, and everything goes horribly, ridiculously wrong. This absurd server will have them examining everything from their menu choices to their future together.
“I read [Slow Food] and I was howling,” Gilpin said. “It’s so funny. It’s fantastic, and it’s so fun to read. I mean, this play is a riot.”
Playwright Wendy Macleod previously wrote The House of Yes, the play that later became the Sundance Award-winning film of the same name. Other notable works include Sin and Schoolgirl Figure (Goodman), Juvenilia and The Water Children (Playwrights Horizons), Women in Jeopardy! (Geva), and Things Being What They Are (Seattle Rep, extended run at Steppenwolf).
Slow Food runs August 22 – 31 at the Dorset Playhouse. Single tickets are on sale now. The box office may be reached by calling (802) 867-2223 ext. 101, Tuesday through Saturday, 12 – 6 p.m. For more information, or to purchase subscriptions and tickets online, visit www.dorsettheatrefestival.org.
Support for the 42nd Season is provided by the Rodgers Family Foundation and by the 2019 Season Sponsors: The Dorset Inn, Barrows House Inn and Restaurant, and Dorset Bakery.
ABOUT DORSET THEATRE FESTIVAL
Dorset Theatre Festival’s mission is to create bold, innovative, and authentic theatre that engages a diverse, multi-generational community, and economically diverse region: enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring our audience through the celebration of great plays. We aim to redefine the landscape of theatre by presenting thought-provoking productions drawn from the new and classic canon, as well as through the development of new plays, new audiences, and new artists for the future of American theater. We produce theatre that matters.