New Repertory Theatre, in residence at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, is pleased to announce its summer show Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas, a musical revue by Jack Fournier and Kathy Halenda. Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas begins previews on Thursday, June 24, opens for the press on Saturday, June 26, 2010 at 8:00pm and plays through Sunday, July 11, 2010 at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in the Charles Mosesian Theater.
“Our summer show is a tour-de-force celebrating Sophie Tucker’s sassy style and bold personality,” says Kate Warner, the director of Sophie Tucker: Last of the Red Hot Mamas and Artistic Director for New Repertory Theatre. “Cabaret-style musical numbers and comedic sketches capture the feel of the vaudeville heyday for an experience that is witty, bawdy, and just plain fun.”
Ms. Warner adds, “We are excited to welcome Mary Callanan to New Rep’s family with this production. Mary’s powerful voice and presence perfectly capture Sophie Tucker’s personality, and audiences can look forward to rousing performances of vaudeville tunes like ‘The Lady is a Tramp’ and ‘Some of These Days.’”
Summer is hot, but not as hot as Mary Callanan in New Rep’s production of Sophie Tucker The Last of the Red Hot Mamas. Known for her for her bawdy sense of humor and outspoken views on men and relationships, Tucker’s legacy has influenced comediennes and singers alike for generations. During her career, which spanned over seven decades, this gutsy vaudeville entertainer found popularity and fame with self-parody and suggestive songs like “I’m the Last of the Red Hot Mamas,” “The Lady is a Tramp,” “You’ve Gotta See Your Mama,” as well as her signature number “Some of These Days.”
Mary Callanan (Sophie Tucker) is happy to be making her New Rep debut! After Sophie Tucker: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas, Mary will be playing Rosie in the national tour of Mamma Mia. Most recently, Mary appeared in The Great Trailer Park Musical at SpeakEasy Stage; Kiss Me, Kate at Lyric Stage; You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown at Gloucester Stage; A Year with Frog & Toad at Stoneham; and as Mme. Thenardier in Les Miserables at Ogunquit Playhouse. Mary was in the long-running production of Menopause: The Musical at the Stuart Street Playhouse in Boston, where she also appeared in Respect: A Musical Journey. Mary has also been seen at North Shore Music Theatre in Damn Yankees and Letters from Nam. Mary earned an IRNE Nomination for her role as Hattie in Overture Production’s Follies starring Len Cariou and was a part of the Elliot Norton and IRNE Award-winning production of Batboy: The Musical at SpeakEasy. National: Cinderella (Queen), Sound of Music (Frau Schmidt), Damn Yankees (Sister), and Big (Mrs. Baskin). Regional: Falsettos (Dr. Charlotte), Sweeney Todd (Mrs. Lovett), Sunday in the Park with George (Nurse), Chicago (Mama Morton), Violet (Old Lady), Late Night Cathechism (Sister), and ALL the nuns in Nunsense I & II! As a Cabaret Fellow of the O’Neill Theatre Center, Mary has performed her cabarets in Boston, Provincetown, and New York. Mary and her longtime partner Brian Patton have released their debut CD entitled How I Spent My Summer Vacation, available on CDBaby.com, or at www.marycallanan.com.
Kate Warner (director, New Rep’s artistic director) Before coming to New Rep, Kate Warner was Artistic Director of Dad’s Garage Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia. Her body of directorial work includes, for Dad’s Garage: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Skin, and Mojo; for Actor’s Express: The Last Five Years, Pulp, and Octopus; for Theatrical Outfit: Waiting for Godot and The Island; for American Stage: Proof; and for Magic Theatre: Octopus. She has championed new work from playwrights such as Lisa Kron, Alice Tuan, Chris Craddock, Kyle Jarrow, Suzan-Lori Parks, Megan Gogerty, David J (Bauhaus), Caridad Svich, Ross Maxwell, Rolin Jones, David Holstein, John Pierson, Steve Yockey, Heather Woodbury, Chay Yew, and Greg Kotis. Kate serves as a board member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for non-profit theatres. She is also a member and facilitator of the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors’ Lab in New York, a member and panelist of the Directors Lab West in Los Angeles, and a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. In summer 2004, Kate completed the Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders in the Arts at Stanford Graduate School of Business and the New Artistic Leadership Institute with TCG/Dance USA at the McCarter Theatre. Recognition for Kate’s recent local and national directing work includes a Suzi Bass Award Nomination for Best Director and Best Musical 2008, Sunday Paper Top 10 Director 2007 and 2008, Suzi Bass Award for Best Director and Best Play 2006, and Best Director Readers’ Pick in Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta 2007 and 2006. She is a graduate of Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI with degrees in Theatre and Anthropology.
Todd C. Gordon (music director) Having served as Music Director for New Rep’s Hot Mikado, Cabaret, Gutenberg! The Musical, Dessa Rose, Side by Side Sondheim, The Wild Party (IRNE Nominee, Best Music Director), Into the Woods (IRNE Award, Best Music Director), The Threepenny Opera (IRNE Nominee, Best Music Director), and musical supervision for According to Tip, Todd is thrilled to be working on Sophie Tucker: The Last of The Red Hot Mamas. He was seen as the onstage pianist for New Rep’s Bill W. and Dr. Bob and has worked in the New England area on productions for Lyric Stage, Publick Theatre; Charles Playhouse/Second Stage, Stoneham Theatre, and Emerson Stage.
The creative team includes Joseph O’Dea (set), John Malinowski (lighting), Frances Nelson McSherry (costumes), Rachel Padula Shufel (wig and makeup).