An Afternoon with Groucho

Posted Sunday, March 6th

March 6, 2016

An Afternoon with Groucho

Starring Award-winning PBS Actor-Director Frank Ferrante
Pleasanton, Calif.  Critically acclaimed on PBS, in New York, London, and across the globe, Frank Ferrante recreates his portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx. The show comes to the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton on Sunday, April 3, at 3:00 p.m.  Appropriate for all ages.

The lightning-paced two-act comedy consists of the best Groucho one-liners, anecdotes and songs including “Hooray for Captain Spalding,” and “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady.” The audience joins in the romp as Ferrante ad-libs throughout the performance in grand Groucho style. Accompanied by his onstage pianist, Ferrante portrays the young Groucho of stage and film and re-introduces Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo, plus Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, Marx’s favorite foil Margaret Dumont, and MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer.

Reserved seating tickets are $20 – $30.  Tickets can be purchased online at www.firehousearts.org, by calling 925-931-4848, and in person at the Box Office, 4444 Railroad Avenue, Pleasanton.  Box Office hours are Wednesday – Friday 12:00 noon-6:00pm and Saturdays 10:00am-4:00pm, and two hours prior to the performance.

Actor, director and producer Frank Ferrante is described by The New York Times as “the greatest living interpreter of Groucho Marx’s material.” Discovered by Groucho’s son Arthur Marx when Frank was a drama student at the USC, Frank originated the off-Broadway title role in Groucho: A Life in Revue, earning New York’s Theatre World Award and an Outer Critics Circle nomination. He reprised the role in London’s West End where he was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for ‘Comedy Performance of the Year.’

Ferrante followed up with a record-breaking run in Boston of Animal Crackers that landed him on the cover of American Theater magazine.  And then in 2001, Frank directed, produced, and starred in the national PBS television adaptation of Groucho: A Life in Revue.

The reviews are in: “Nothing short of masterful,” – Chicago Tribune; “Ferrante’s Groucho is a tour de force.” – Variety.

Groucho Marx: From the mean streets of New York’s upper Eastside, Groucho and his brothers became the world’s funniest vaudeville act, full of irreverent humor, expert pantomime, physical shtick, and outrageous musical talent. In 1930 they moved to Hollywood and changed the face of film comedy forever, with movies like Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, and A Night at the Opera. They appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 1932.  Groucho had a solo career on radio and television, including his Emmy Award winning 14-season run as host of the comedy quiz show You Bet Your Life. Fortunately, Groucho Marx survived long enough to experience his career’s renaissance in the 60’s and 70’s. He made TV appearances, performed at Carnegie Hall at age 82, and received a special Academy Award in 1974 for “the brilliant and unequalled achievements of the Marx Brothers.”

The Firehouse Arts Center is dedicated to inspiring passion through the arts.  The center is comprised of the 227-seat Firehouse Theater, the 2000 square foot Harrington Gallery, classrooms and rehearsal space, the grand atrium lobby, and the famous interior glass bridge.  With world-class performing and visual arts, exciting interactive programs for all ages, and a state-of-the-art venue which opened in 2010, we combine the sophistication of the culturally rich Bay Area arts landscape with the hospitality and intimacy of our own home town.  The Firehouse Arts Center is located at 4444 Railroad Avenue in downtown Pleasanton.  Media:  Jane Onojafe, jonojafe@cityofpleasantonca.gov, or 925-931-4855

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