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P.I.C.T. presents ‘Hobson’s Choice’

November 19, 2010
The Herald-Star

PITTSBURGH - Henry Horatio Hobson's three bossy daughters are driving him to drink, and the end result is comedy in the Pittsburgh & Irish Classical Theatre production of Harold Brighouse's 1914 play, "Hobson's Choice."

The production runs Dec. 2-18 in the Charity Randall Theatre at the Stephen Foster Memorial in Oakland.

Under the direction of P.I.C.T. Artistic Director Andrew Paul, "Hobson's Choice" features Michael Ball, Simon Bradbury and Derdriu Ring, with scenic design by Gianni Downs, lighting design by Christopher Popowich and costume design by Joan Markert. Erik T. Lawson designs sound.

Set in 1880, Hobson (Michael Ball) is a widowed boot-shop proprietor who is at his wit's end raising three girls and keeping his business going. When he makes the mistake of telling his eldest daughter Maggie (Derdriu Ring) she's past marrying age, Maggie retaliates by marrying Willie Mossop (Simon Bradbury), Hobson's best boot-maker. A powerhouse, Maggie turns the shy, illiterate Mossop into a substantial business rival to Hobson and brokers marriages for her two younger sisters in the bargain. Hobson disowns the entire gaggle, but finds living without them may be harder than living with them.

A long-time company member at the Shaw Festival, Ball makes his P.I.C.T. debut in "Hobson's Choice." His credits include more than 40 productions for the Shaw Festival since 1976, including playing the role of Hobson alongside Bradbury in Shaw's 1996 and 1997 productions of "Hobson's Choice."

Other credits include productions at Canadian Stage Co., Tarragon Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse and Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Bradbury returns to P.I.C.T. to reprise the role of Willie Mossop. Bradbury won Canada's Stage Door Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for his portrayal of Mossop in the Shaw's 1996 production of "Hobson's Choice." His previous P.I.C.T. credits include "Chaplin," multiple productions in BeckettFest including "Endgame," "The Shaughraun," "King Lear" and "Rock 'n' Roll." He directed last season's production of "What the Butler Saw."

He was a long-standing member of the Shaw Festival Ensemble and spent four seasons at Stratford.

Returning to P.I.C.T. for her seventh season is Ring. Her previous P.I.C.T. credits include "The Cripple of Inishmaan," "Major Barbara," "Portia Coughlan," "Boston Marriage," "James Joyce's The Dead," "Playboy of the Western World" and other plays in the Synge Cycle. She is a graduate of Joe Dowling's Gaiety School of Acting, Dublin and University College Cork.

Also featured in "Hobson's Choice" are Kiley Caughey, Joe Domencic, Jon Farris, Kathleen Huber, Roger Jerome, Mary Liz Meyer, Laurel Schroeder, David Tabish and John Wascavage.

"Hobson's Choice" is sponsored by the Charity Randall Foundation, with additional sponsorship by WDUQ-FM and First Niagara.

Tickets are $20 to $50 and are available by calling ProArtsTickets at (412) 394-3353 or online at www.proartstickets.org.

For information, visit the P.I.C.T. website at www.picttheatre.org.

 
 

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