Birmingham, Mich. – The Village Players of Birmingham opens its fourth production of its 95th season with James Lapine’s tribute to a life in the theater: “Act One.” The play is based on playwright Moss Hart’s autobiography of the same title. It will make its Michigan premiere for three weekends, March 9 to 11, 16 to 18 and 23 to 25 at the Village Players of Birmingham. “Act One” will be directed by veteran Village Players member Jay Kaplan of Oak Park. Kaplan has directed several Village Player’s productions including Kaufman and Hart’s 1938 comedy “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” Kaplan is an occasional contributor to Between The Lines. “This play is about guts and determination to pursue and achieve your dreams,” Kaplan said. “I hope audiences feel uplifted by Moss Hart’s story — that you can achieve your dreams by refusing to give up, despite the odds and obstacles.” Hart’s memoir tells the story of his youth: growing up in an impoverished Jewish family in the Bronx in the 1920s, while dreaming of being part of the glamorous world of the stage. Forced to drop out of school at age 13, Hart’s pluck, determination and talent leads him to form an unlikely collaboration with legendary playwright George S. Kaufman and ultimately succeed on Broadway. The show features a cast of 14 portraying over 50 different, real-life theater luminaries including Edna Ferber, Dorothy Parker, Harpo Marx and Langston Hughes. “Act One” officially opened on Broadway to critical acclaim at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in Lincoln Center on April 17, 2014. The play has been hailed as a “nostalgic and ultimately upbeat reflection on fulfilling a dream.” The Village Players of Birmingham is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit community theatre celebrating its almost 100 years in the theater business. The organization presents a variety of performances, and invites all community members to participate on stage, backstage or as an audience member. The theater holds varied programs on its main stage, youth theater, and Playwrights at Work productions and programs. The Village Players has been entertaining the community from its location at 34660 Woodward Ave. in Birmingham since 1926.
Tickets ($19) are available at birminghamvillageplayers.com, or by calling the theater box office at 248-644-2075. The Village Players theatre is located at 34660 Woodward Avenue in Birmingham.