The Guardsman at A Noise Within starts Oct 5

Aug 23, 2013
The Guardsman

 A Noise Within (ANW), the acclaimed classical repertory theatre company led by Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, continues its 22nd season and the third season in its new Pasadena home with The Guardsman by Ferenc Molnar, translated by Frank Marcus, opening Saturday, October 5 and closing Sunday, November 30, 2013, with previews starting September 28. Michael Michetti directs the production. The Guardsman plays in repertory with William Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre, September 14 to November 24, and Endgame by Samuel Beckett, October 26 to November 23. ANW's Resident Artist Reading Series also presents Liliom by Ferenc Molnar, directed by Apollo Dukakis, on Wednesday, Nov 6 at 7pm.

Set in pre-World War I Budapest, The Guardsman follows Nandor, a Hungarian stage star, who is terrified his recent marriage is already on the rocks. He concocts a scheme meant to invigorate the passions of his starlet wife, Ilona, but his absurd plan unleashes a series of unintended consequences in this comic game of love and marriage.

Director Michael Michetti said of the piece, "Audiences will enjoy The Guardsman for it's comedic, Feydeau-like farce and its witty Noel Coward-esque banter; after all, it was the vehicle that launched the Broadway career of the Lunts, Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne, still revered as one of the leading couples of the American theater."

The Guardsman was first produced in Hungary in 1910, mounted on Broadway first in 1911, and later produced again on Broadway in 1924 as a vehicle for husband and wife acting team Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne, and was their first popular success. In 1925 it was filmed as a silent in Austria, then was directed as a talkie by Sidney Franklin debuting in 1931 stateside; and it was the only film that ever starred the Lunts together. The Guardsman was recently produced in 2010 at the Berkshire Theater Festival, and again this spring at the Kennedy Center, directed by Gregory Mosher.

The cast includes Freddy Douglas* as the Actor/Nandor, Elyse Mirto* as the Actress/Ilona, Robertson Dean* as the Critic, Wendy Worthington* as Mother, Sasha Pasternak as the Maid, Todd Andrew Ball as the Creditor, and Julie Durning as the Female Usher. *denotes member of Actors' Equity

Playwright and novelist Ferenc Molnar was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1878. A versatile dramatist known for romantic fantasy as much as for high comedy, Molnar came to the attention of American playgoers when his play The Devil (1908) opened at two Broadway theatres on the same night. Unlike other foreign dramatists, he was exceptionally fortunate in the excellent translations and mountings given his plays in America.

His play Liliom (1909) later served as the basis for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel, and Eva LaGallienne headed the Theatre Guild's production of the play in 1921. He is also known for his works The Swan, the often produced The Play's the Thing, The Love Letter and The Phantom Lover. He spent the final years of his life in the U.S. having fled the Nazi regime in Europe. He wrote screenplays and was famed as a wit.

The Guardsman continues the 2013-2014 A Noise Within season in which the plays are thematically tied by the universal attempt to regain what has been lost. Julia Rodriguez-Elliott said, "Much of life is about managing loss - and the search to find what we perceive is lost: a longing for spent youth as in Come Back, Little Sheba, or the sadness of the tireless search for a lost child in Pericles. Sometimes it is
re-discovery - the thrill of romance in The Guardsman, a self-deception of great entitlement in Macbeth, or sometimes it's the acceptance of endings in Endgame. And sometimes it's making sure that what you believe doesn't end up completely sabotaging your life, as in Tartuffe."

A Noise Within's 2013-14 Season continues with Endgame by Samuel Beckett (October 26-November 23), A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (December 7-22), Tartuffe by Moliere (February 22-May 24), Macbeth by William Shakespeare (March 15-May 11), and concludes with Come Back, Little Sheba by William Inge (April 5- May 17).

The Guardsman is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division. Media Sponsors for A Noise Within's 2013/14 Season are Pasadena Star-News and KPCC 89.3 FM.

A Noise Within is located on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Sierra Madre Villa Avenue at 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91107.

Single ticket prices for The Guardsman start at $34. Contact the A Noise Within box office in person, via phone at 626-356-3100, or online at for updated pricing and seat availability. "Pay What You Can " tickets are available for Thursday, Oct 3 at 7:30pm. Tickets must be purchased in person, at the Box Office after 2:00 PM on the day of the performance. Cash only. Subject to availability.

ANW's Resident Artist Reading Series also presents Liliom by Ferenc Molnar, directed by Apollo Dukakis, on Wednesday, Nov 6 at 7pm. Admission is free. Call 626.356.3100 x 1 to RSVP.