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‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’ at Towngate

April 21, 2011
The Herald-Star

WHEELING - Oglebay Institute's Towngate Theatre will present a production of the Tony Award-winning "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead," a tragic-comedy based on characters from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, for two weekends April 29-30 and May 1; and May 5-7.

Written by Tom Stoppard, this bedlam of metaphysics, existentialism and vaudevillian slapstick offers a backstage retelling of Hamlet through the eyes of two bewildered innocents as they stumble around unaware of their scripted lives and caught up in events over which they have no control.

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two childhood friends of Prince Hamlet, engage in philosophical discussions and fantastic comedy about scenes from "Hamlet," which is retold from their perspective. As Rosencrantz and Guildenstern struggle to avoid the tragic conclusion of "Hamlet," the sometimes-clueless duo questions fate, the inevitability of death and their very existence within the play.

Director P.D. Gregg said this high comedy includes liberal doses of "wit, irony and zaniness," and audiences will find the play both "amusing and thought provoking" as it illustrates the humor that is so much a part of our human existence.

"Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" is one of British playwright Tom Stoppard's most famous works. It received its New York premiere in 1967 and has since become a modern classic earning Stoppard worldwide acclaim.

Cast members for Towngate's production of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" are Vince Marshall, Jeremy Richter, Justin Swoyer, Zach Michael, David Bradley, Bill Cole, Mac Corkle, George Robbins, Mack Kale, Jenifer Canas, John E. Reilly, Melody Meadows, Tom Stobart, Jim Weekly, Jon Coffield, Lewis Willming and P.D. Gregg.

Sponsored by Whiteside Cadillac Buick Pontiac Chevrolet GMC Trucks, Towngate's curtain is at 8 p.m. April 29-30 and 2 p.m. May 1 and 8 p.m. May 5-7.

For reservations, call (304) 242-7700. For those buying seats at the door, Towngate's box office opens one hour before all shows and can be reached at (304) 233-4257.

Refreshments are available at Towngate Theatre and parking is curbside or in the nearby Center Wheeling Parking Garage. Located at 2118 Market St., Wheeling, Towngate is easy to find just across the street from St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in the historic Centre Market district of Wheeling.

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