Caltech Playreaders 65th Season: "Quartet" by Ronald Harwood
Directed by Ashley Stroupe
In this warm, witty, and wickedly comical play, three once-famous opera singers live in a retirement home for musicians, a place where they can hold onto what made their lives special. As the play begins, Beecham House is abuzz with plans for their annual concert on Giuseppe Verdi's birthday. But today, rumors circle the halls that a new resident is arriving imminently. Word is, it's a star. Reggie, Wilfred, and Cissy are in for a shock when the new resident turns out tob e none other than the fourth, and most celebrated member, of their once-famous quartet -- and Reggie's former wife. Everyone is thrilled at her arrival; everyone, that is, except Reggie. Jean, a grande dame of the opera, wants nothing to do with recapturing their past. Is he just bitter at being dumped? Is she just being a diva? Or is something deeper going on? As theatrical temperaments flare up and chaos ensues, having four of the finest opera singers under one roof offers no guarantee that the show must go on.
Playwright Sir Ronald Harwood is most noted for his plays for the British stage as well as the screenplays for his own play The Dresser (1983), The Pianist (for which he won the 2003 Academy Award), and the Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007). He also adapted Quartet in 2012 for the film directed by Dustin Hoffman starring Dame Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins, and Billy Connolly. Harwood was knighted in 2010 and received the National Jewish Theatre.
Admission is $3.00 for members of the Caltech Women's Club; $4.00 for all others. Light refreshments will be served after the reading.
To dine at the Athenaeum beforehand, call (626) 395-8204 for reservations. Plan to be seated by 6:00. You are welcome to join the Playreaders table.