November 7, 2015 – Santa Barbara, CA – Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) at the New Vic is excited to present the West Coast premiere of a side-splitting new comedy, Women in Jeopardy!, by Wendy MacLeod. Thelma and Louise meets The First Wives Club in this fun and flirtatious laugh-out-loud comedy, under the direction of Bart DeLorenzo and featuring comedic actress, author and columnist Annabelle Gurwitch. Filled with side-splitting laughs and a perfect recipe for holiday fun, Women in Jeopardy! plays December 3 through 20, 2015. Opening night is December 5.
Divorcees Mary and Jo are suspicious of their friend Liz’s new dentist boyfriend. He’s not just a weirdo; he may be a serial killer! After all, his hygienist just disappeared. Trading their wine glasses for spyglasses, imaginations run wild as the ladies try to discover the truth and save their friend in a hilarious off-road adventure. “Modern, lively, and loads of fun,” says The Boston Globe.
“I’m delighted to present the West Coast premiere of Wendy MacLeod’s hysterical play,” says Jonathan Fox, Executive Artistic Director of ETC. “We’re excited to bring Wendy out to Santa Barbara to continue work on the piece.”
MacLeod’s breakout hit play was The House of Yes, which became an award-winning Miramax film starring Parker Posey and Josh Hamilton. Her prose has appeared in The New York Times, McSweeney’s, Salon, POETRY magazine, and on NPR’s All Things Considered. Her plays have been produced by the Magic Theater, Soho Rep, The Gate Theater in London, Playwrights Horizons, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Chicago’s Steppenwolf, to name a few. Her newest play Slow Food, was developed at the 2015 National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.
“Wendy MacLeod is one of our most hilarious playwrights and in this outrageous murder-mystery farce she has created a classic comedy for our time,” states director Bart DeLorenzo. “Middle-aged women are the perfect protagonists to inspire her uproarious genius.” Mr. DeLorenzo is a Los Angeles-based theater director and producer. He is the founding artistic director of the Evidence Room Theater, a 17-year-old company renowned in Los Angeles for contemporary theater productions. For his work, he has received four LA Drama Critics Circle Awards, six LA Weekly awards and three Backstage Garlands.
Returning to the New Vic is DeeDee Rescher, who will play the love-sick Liz, having performed in ETC’s hit production of Good People. Joining the cast is another ETC veteran, Heather Ayers, last seen as Mrs. Lovett in the critically acclaimed musical Sweeney Todd, in addition to Intimate Apparel and A Little Night Music. Ayers will play Liz’s sensible friend, Mary.
Rounding out the trio of emotionally charged 40ish divorcees is the caustic-tongued Jo, played by Annabelle Gurwitch. Actress, activist and New York Times bestselling author, Ms. Gurwitch’s most recent book is I See You Made An Effort. She has gained a loyal comedic following as the original hostess of the cult television favorite Dinner and a Movie on TBS and in her years as a regular commentator on NPR. As an actress, she’s guest starred in over fifty TV series, including Dexter, Boston Legal, Medium and Seinfeld.
Also returning to ETC is Matthew Grondin, who will portray Trenner, a dazed and confused snowboarder who has the hots for Mary. Additional cast members include Sophie Ullett, who will play Jo’s 19-year-old daughter Amanda, and Bill Salyers in the dual role of Liz’s creepy dentist boyfriend and Sgt. Kirk Sponsullar,
The creative team for Women in Jeopardy! includes scenic designer Keith Mitchell, costume designer Dianne Graebner, and lighting designer Pablo Santiago.
The 2015-2016 ETC Season has been generously sponsored by The Stephen and Carla Hahn Foundation. Additional support for Women n Jeopardy! comes from The Willfong-Singh Family.
Founded in 1979, Ensemble Theatre Company is Santa Barbara’s leading professional, resident theatre company. Under the leadership of Executive Artistic Director Jonathan Fox, ETC has attracted accomplished performing artists from around the country. The 2015-16 Season is its third in the New Vic, ETC’s newly renovated 294-seat performing arts venue. Season tickets are on sale now for the 2015-16 Season, which continues with I Am My Own Wife (February 4 – February 21, 2016), Bad Jews (April 14 – May 1, 2016) and Noël Coward’s Fallen Angels (June 9 – June 26, 2016).
Performances for Women in Jeopardy! run Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm, Sundays at 2:00 and 7:00 pm, with a Saturday 4:00 pm matinee performance on December 12 and a Tuesday 7:00 pm show on December 8. Youth tickets are available for age 29-and-under for only $20.00 each. Single tickets are available through the ETC box office at (805) 965-5400, or online at etcsb.org. For group sales information, please call (805) 965-5400. The New Vic is located at 33 W. Victoria Street, Santa Barbara CA, 93101.