From the Egyptian, with love
February 9, 2010
This Valentine’s Day weekend, turn up the charm and treat your significant other to an evening that centers on declarations of devotion.
The Egyptian Theatre is presenting three nights of "Love Letters" on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 12-14. The play, written by A.R. Gurney, features two characters who relive 50 years of memories through reading a series of letters on stage.
Each night, the performance will feature a different local pair lending their voices to the readings. The Feb. 12 show will spotlight local civic leaders Bob Richer and Candy Erickson; Feb. 13 will be news personalities Bill Redeker and Hope Woodside, and Feb. 14 will be local couple Randy and Stephanie Barton.
Gurney’s original script follows the development, duration and demise of the relationship between a steadfast lawyer, Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, and a spontaneous artist, Melissa Gardner.
The two characters sit side by side as they read correspondence that starts in grade school and continues through middle age. Through the letters, they discuss their hopes and ambitions, dreams and disappointments, victories and defeats what brought them together and what tore them apart.
"It’s meant to be performed by these two people without having any realization that the other person is on stage with them," Randy Barton explains. "They sit at the same table, but it’s as if they are thousands of miles apart."
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Each pair of performers will read the same letters but will bring their individual nuances to the script.
The first performance, featuring Richer and Erickson (who are not a couple, by the way), is somewhat of a "civic servant night," Barton says. Erickson serves on the Park City Council and Richer is a former Summit County commissioner.
While Erickson says she is by no means a seasoned actor, she does have some on-stage experience. "Every year, Teri Orr has managed to con me into doing the Vagina Monologues," she says. "I have a feeling this is going to be a lot easier to say out loud."
Erickson wanted to involved in the production to help the Egyptian Theatre. "If it gets some people out there to see something different, then why not? Hopefully we’ll appeal to somebody who wants to come laugh at us," she jokes.
Redeker, an ABC News correspondent, and Woodside, a Fox 13 News anchor, will bring star power to the performance with real-life renditions of their on-screen personalities. get
Barton and his wife, Stephanie, will be the only true couple to take the stage and will parley more than 13 years of marriage into their performance.
Barton has acted on stage at the Egyptian many times, but nowadays he often plays an emcee or presenter rather than an actor. "I’m looking forward to my official return to the stage as a performer," he says.
Stephanie will be performing on stage for the first time since high school. "For me, it’s really just about being on stage with Randy," she says. "It’s going to be fun, and it hopefully will benefit the theatre."
Stephanie described the script as very tender, sweet and funny. "It’s a romantic, sweet story that evolves through these letters. I think people will take it to heart," she says, adding, "I like that my character’s going to be sassy."
Barton encourages people to come to the show all three nights to see how the performance changes through different perspectives. "I think it will be very local, and very poignant for Valentine’s weekend," he says.
Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday. Doors open a half-hour before the show. Tickets are $18 in advance, $20 at the door, and $25 for cabaret seating. For tickets or more information, call 649-9371 or visit http://www.parkcityshows.com .