Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Announces Cast for the U.S. Digital Premiere of Wise Children’s Critically Acclaimed Production of ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS To be Live Streamed from UK’s Bristol Old Vic.
The One-Time-Only Live Streamed Performance to Benefit The Wallis on Saturday, September 26, 2020, 1 pm (PDT)
Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic and Plush Theatricals, in conjunction with the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, announces the cast for Emma Rice’s critically acclaimed musical Romantics Anonymous, which will be performed live in the U.K. as part of a ‘digital tour’ that will livestream in the U.S. as a benefit for a collective of theaters across the country, including The Wallis in Beverly Hills, CA, on Saturday, September 26, 2020, 1 pm (PDT). This marks the digital U.S. premiere of the award-winning production, following the cancellation of the launch of its live U.S. premiere at The Wallis earlier this season due to the global pandemic. With book and direction by acclaimed adaptor/director Emma Rice, lyrics by Christopher Dimond and music by Michael Kooman, the show played to rave reviews at Shakespeare’s Globe and the Bristol Old Vic. The U.S. livestream is part of a week of performances that sees the show streamed live across the UK and internationally from September 22 -26. The cast and crew have been in quarantine together in the UK and will remain so through the end of the run to ensure their safety and enable them to perform without socially distancing measures.
The cast features Marc Antolin (Jean-René), Carly Bawden (Angélique), Me’sha Bryan (Suzanne/Mimi), Harry Hepple (Ludo/Remi), Laura Jane Matthewson (Young Woman), Sandra Marvin (Magda/Brigitte/Dr Maxim), Philip Cox (Father/Pierre/Receptionist), Gareth Snook (Mercier/Mumbler/Marini) and Omari Douglas(Salesman/Fred). Antolin, an Olivier nominee, last appeared at The Wallis as Marc Chagall in The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, described as an “enchanting production” (Los Angeles Times).
Angélique is a gifted chocolate maker inhibited by social anxiety and Jean-René is the boss of a failing chocolate factory. When Angélique takes a job in Jean-René’s struggling factory, a fragile love affair unfolds. Funny, tender and painfully awkward, Romantics Anonymous is a delicious love story about breaking the mold and finding the courage to be happy. Financial Times described Romantics Anonymous as “a gentle, joyous, melt-in-the-mouth show,” The London Times said it was, “A sweetly funny, gorgeously tender musical rom-com,” and The Guardiancalled it, “a multifaceted gem, chock-full of love, generosity and joy.” Romantics Anonymous was originally presented at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2017 and then remounted by Wise Children and Plush Theatricals in 2020.
Says Rice, “I cannot believe that, in less than two weeks, Wise Children will be performing our beloved Romantics Anonymous to an audience – live! The last weeks have been filled with scrupulous planning and careful preparations to ensure the safety of the cast and crew. When we get onto that stage, under the lights, for a few short hours, we will forget our fears and remember other essentials in life; imagination, celebration, story, community and song. Hand in virtual hand with our audience, we will feel the joy and exhilaration of a collective experience, that sweet, delicious, much missed treat!”
Tom Morris, Artistic Director of the Bristol Old Vic added, “Tickets for the streamed performances of Romantics Anonymous are flying out the door. Wise Children have shown once again that they are the company leading where the boldest theatre experimenters, artists and audiences alike, are sure to follow.”
The Wallis’ Artistic Director Paul Crewes says, “Emma Rice’s gift for storytelling and her groundbreaking, uplifting and socially relevant work has made a significant impact on contemporary theatre. Romantics Anonymous, her latest production, is truly a delicious love story with wonderful music and lyrics by Kooman and Dimond. It will certainly leave you with a smile on your face.”
Tickets for the live streamed broadcast of Romantics Anonymous are available per household for viewing on Smart TV, computer, smartphone or tablet. Patrons will receive a link and password which will enable them to view the live stream. Tickets purchased or before September 19 are 15 British pounds ($19.65 + $1.31 processing fee = $20.96 US*, based on current exchange rates); after September 20 they are 20 British pounds ($26.20 + $1.31 processing fee = $27.51 US*. Ticket sales are being handled by the Ticket Co. in UK, so prices are in British pounds, but credit cards will be charged in US dollars. Some exchange rates may apply. For tickets and information, visit TheWallis.org/Romantics or call 310.746.4000 (Tue.-Fri. 9:30 am – 2:30 pm).