WOMEN IN JEOPARDY! Riotous comedy about solving crimes in middle age at Merrimack Repertory Theatre

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DATE: JANUARY 30, 2017
PR CONTACT: Michael Glicksman, michael.glicksman@mrt.org
PR CONTACT PHONE: 978-654-7555
BOX OFFICE: 978-654-4678
ONLINE:  mrt.org



Riotous comedy about solving crimes in middle age at Merrimack Repertory Theatre
February 15 –March 12, 2017
Lowell, MA – Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) continues its 2016-17 Season with the absolutely off-the-wall “Women in Jeopardy!”. The riotous comedy follows Mary and Jo, two middle-aged women who jump to the rescue when their best friend Liz falls for a creepy (and potentially murderous) dentist. MRT Artistic Director Sean Daniels, who helmed the 2015 world premiere at Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY, returns to direct.
The 1-hour, 45-minute performance will include one intermission. Performances are February 15–March 12. Press performances are at 8:00 pm on Saturday, February 18 (Opening Night), and 2:00 pm on Sunday, February 19. All performances will be held at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, located at 50 East Merrimack Street in historic downtown Lowell. Tickets range from $70 – $26 and are on sale now at www.mrt.org or by calling 978-654-4678.
Bring on the Funny
“We are beyond excited to do this play,” says director Daniels. “With so many funny women out there awaiting their long-overdue primetime spot, Wendy is one of the writers leading the charge. And the script is more than just fun—it’s subtly subversive, in ways you barely notice until the play is done.”
Wendy MacLeod wrote the play upon a revelation: brilliant middle-aged actresses are a hugely undertapped resource for the American theatre. With tons of absolutely fabulous actresses in their late 30s, 40s, and 50s, and just not enough parts to make use of that talent, MacLeod saw opportunity. “Women in Jeopardy!” puts three such talents front and center, and we’re all better off for it—if a little weaker from laughing so hard.
Taking on the World
“Women in Jeopardy!” is exploding onto the American Theatre scene. The 2015 Rochester premiere transferred to the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, MA that summer, where The Boston Globe raved that it was “Full-throttle madcap… Side-splitting… a new work that’s modern, lively, and loads of fun.”
The world has caught on: “Women in Jeopardy!” is now being produced nationwide, from Georgia to California and beyond. Lowell audiences will be treated to a version close to the original, with minor script edits and casting changes.
More About the Play
MRT audiences who loved last season’s gut-buster farce “Home of the Brave” will find much to cheer for in “Women in Jeopardy!”
The play opens on girls’ night: It’s “Chardonnay Tuesday,” and Mary and Jo share terrified glances between sips of wine: their best friend Liz has a new man. His name is Jackson Scull, he’s a dentist, and let’s face it… he’s just plain creepy. A what’s more: a mysterious disappearance of a dental hygienist has recently set the whole community on edge. Mary and Jo, convinced that Jackson is a murderer, leap to the rescue. But first, they’ll have to enlist the help of Liz’s ditzy daughter Amanda; Amanda’s snowboarder-dude-boyfriend Trenner; and a police sergeant who looks… disturbingly familiar. It all boils over on a camping-trip-gone-insane where our heroines, headlamps on and power bars in tow, prove that there’s no danger great enough to stop women from solving crimes if they want to!
Cast and Creative Team
Jessica Wortham, Julia Brothers, and Gail Rastorfer play leading ladies Mary, Jo, and Liz respectively. The six-person cast is rounded out by Lou Sumrall as Jackson, Ashley Shamoon as Amanda, and Jacob York as Trenner.
Director Daniels is joined by a creative team that includes Michael B. Raiford (Sets), Deborah Newhall (Costumes), Brian J. Lilienthal (Lights), and David Remedios (Sound).
Renowned playwright Wendy MacLeod is a longstanding powerhouse of the American theatre scene, whose works include “Slow Food,” “The House of Yes,” “Schoolgirl Figure,” “Sin,” “Juvenilia,” “The Water Children,” and “Things Being What They Are.” Her prose has been published in The New York Times, McSweeney’s, Salon, POETRY magazine, and on NPR. She is the James E. Michael Playwright-in-Residence at Kenyon College and the director of the Kenyon Playwright’s Conference.
Tickets range from $70 – $26 and are available at www.mrt.org or by calling 978-654-4678. A senior discount is offered for 10% off adult ticket prices. Student tickets are $15. Group discounts are available for groups of six or more by calling 978-654-7561. $5 Night: Wednesday, February 15 at 7:30 pm. Patrons may purchase tickets for $5, cash only, at the Box Office between 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Limit 2 tickets per person. Lowell Night: Wednesday, February 22 at 7:30 pm. Lowell residents may purchase tickets for $10 at the box office from 4:30 pm-7:30 pm. Proper ID required, limit 2 per person. A Military Discount of $10 off per ticket (up to four tickets per production) applies to any performance for active duty, retired, veteran, and reservist members of the military.
Special Events
In place of the usual Community Conversations, three Wednesday nights (February 22, March 1, and March 8) will feature “Women in Jeopardy!” Jeopardy: a post-show audience game show party for great times, fun prizes, and free food.
On Wine Down Friday (February 17), the audience will be invited to enjoy a complimentary glass of wine in the lobby following the 8:00 pm performance with the cast and crew, as well as with the Western Avenue Studios Artists Association members whose work is currently on exhibit in the lobby. Educator Night is Wednesday February 22, with half-price tickets for school and library employees. Ladies Night is Thursday February 23, with complimentary wine and sweet treats from Sweet Lydia’s of Lowell. Each Thursday, Ask the Artists Post-Show Discussions will provide an opportunity for the audience to hear directly from the actors and other artists who created the show.
“Women in Jeopardy!” has received media support from media sponsor the 92.5 The River. Circle Health is the 2016-17 Season Sponsor. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) has been Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre company since 1979, and is an integral part of Lowell’s identity as the cultural heart of the region. MRT produces vibrant, contemporary plays that explore what it means to be alive today. A seven-show season runs from September through May in the intimate 279-seat Nancy L. Donahue Theatre. The company is known as a leader in producing new plays, especially world and regional premieres. MRT is one of 72 theaters nationwide (one of three in Massachusetts) with membership in LORT (the League of Resident Theatres).

MRT 2016-17 SEASON
“45 Plays for 45 Presidents” by Andy Bayiates, Sean Benjamin, Genevra Gallo-Bayiates, Chloe Johnston, and Karen Weinberg, Directed by Sean Daniels
September 7 – October 2, 2016
“Abigail/1702” by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Directed by Tlaloc Rivas
October 12 – November 6, 2016
“Going to See the Kid” by Steven Drukman, Directed by Alexander Greenfield
November 30 – December 24, 2016
“The Making of a Great Moment” by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, Directed by Sean Daniels
January 4 – 29, 2017
“Women in Jeopardy!” by Wendy MacLeod, Directed by Sean Daniels
February 15 – March 12, 2017
“Chill” by Eleanor Burgess, Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian
March 22 – April 16, 2017
“My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend” Conceived and performed by Charissa Bertels, Book and lyrics by Christian Duhamel, Music and lyrics by Edward Bell, Directed by Sean Daniels
April 26 – May 21, 2017
Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Performance Space: The Nancy L. Donahue Theatre 
(In Liberty Hall, adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium)
50 E. Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Box Office: 978-654-4678


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