October 10, 2014
ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY
Announces a Special One-Night-Only Benefit Reading of
MERTON OF THE MOVIES
Starring Jim Parsons
On Monday, December 1, 2014 at Studio 54
By George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly
Directed by Scott Ellis
Roundabout Theatre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic Director) is thrilled to welcome back four-time Emmy® Award and Golden Globe® winner Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory,” Roundabout’s Harvey) in a hilarious one-night-only reading of George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly’s Merton of the Movies. This rollicking evening will be helmed by Roundabout’s Adams Associate Artistic Director, six-time Tony® nominee Scott Ellis (Roundabout’s Harvey, The Mystery of Edwin Drood), currently represented on Broadway with You Can’t Take It With You.
The reading will take place on Monday, December 1 at 7:00PM at Studio 54 (254 West 54th Street). Each year, Roundabout produces a star-studded benefit reading to support its many programs. Past readings have included Intimate Apparel, Assassins, She Loves Me and A Little Night Music.
It’s the golden era of silent motion pictures, and no one loves them more than Merton Gill (Parsons), a naïve store clerk from a small town in Illinois. After taking an acting class—and determined to become a great dramatic actor—Merton uses his life’s savings to head to Hollywood. There’s only one problem: he can’t act. When a plucky young starlet and a manipulative movie executive see how inadvertently funny Merton’s earnest efforts are, they cast him in a comedy (that they tell him is a drama) and hilarity ensues!
JIM PARSONS was most recently seen on stage in the summer of 2012, in Roundabout’s Broadway revival of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Harvey, in the role of Elwood Dowd, the genial eccentric who claims to see a six-foot-tall white rabbit Harvey. The production ran at Studio 54, with a special benefit performance supporting Education@Roundabout following the smash-hit limited engagement. A four-time Emmy winner, Golden Globe® Award winner and SAG Nominee, Jim Parsons continues to bring a winning combination of indelible charm, charisma and comedic timing to his roles on screen and on stage, establishing himself as one of Hollywood’s leading men. Parsons stars as ‘Sheldon Cooper’ on CBS’ critically acclaimed hit “The Big Bang Theory.” Season eight premiered on Monday, September 22, 2014 with 18 million viewers. In 2012 it was announced that Parsons will play the lead voice in Home, a DreamWorks Animation adaption of the award-winning book The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex co-starring Rihanna. In Home, a friendly alien race invades Earth and uses it as a hideout from their mortal enemy. The film is set to hit theaters on March 17, 2015. Parsons recently starred in The Normal Heart, HBO’s original movie adaptation of the Tony-winning Larry Kramer play, which was written by Kramer and directed by Ryan Murphy. The project tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. Parsons plays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, reprising his role from the 2011 Broadway revival. The film debuted on HBO on May 25, 2014. Parsons received an Emmy nomination for his role, and the film won an Emmy for Outstanding Television Movie. In 2011, Parsons received a Theatre World Award for his debut Broadway performance as Tommy Boatwright in The Normal Heart, starring opposite Ellen Barkin, John Benjamin Hickey and Joe Mantello. The Normal Heart won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play and was presented with the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play and Outstanding Ensemble Performance, as well as five Tony Award nominations. Parsons has performed in many stage productions including The Castle for the Manhattan Ensemble Theater, The Countess for the Globe Theater as well as The Tempest and As You Like It for the Houston Shakespeare Festival. Parsons has earned a Masters in Fine Arts degree from the Old Globe Theater/University of San Diego and a BA from the University of Houston. He currently resides in Los Angeles.
Premium, VIP and Benefactor tickets at $500 to $2,500 with all proceeds to benefit not-for-profit Roundabout Theatre Company and its many programs are available now. VIP and Benefactor levels include an invitation to the exclusive post-show cast party. Please call 212-719-9393 x369 to purchase.
$100, $150 and $250 tickets will also be available starting October 14 at roundabouttheatre.org/merton.
The evening is made possible by Benefit Underwriter Michael T. Cohen, Colliers International NY LLC.
The official wine sponsor of the event is Golden Ram Imports.
Roundabout Theatre Company is committed to producing the highest quality theatre with the finest artists, sharing stories that endure, and providing accessibility to all audiences. A not-for-profit company, Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the production of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate and engage all audiences.
Roundabout Theatre Company presents a variety of plays, musicals, and new works on its five stages, each of which is specifically designed to enhance the needs of Roundabout’s mission. Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design, is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics. Roundabout’s Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions. The Stephen Sondheim Theatre offers a state of the art LEED certified Broadway theatre in which to stage major large-scale musical revivals. Together these distinctive homes serve to enhance Roundabout’s work on each of its stages.
American Airlines is the official airline of Roundabout Theatre Company. Roundabout productions are supported, in part, with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Roundabout’s 2014-2015 season includes Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing starring Ewan McGregor, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Cynthia Nixon and Josh Hamilton, directed by Sam Gold; Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink starring Rosemary Harris & directed by Carey Perloff; Coleman, Comden & Green’s On The Twentieth Century starring Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher, directed by Scott Ellis and Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine’s Into the Woods.
The 2014-2015 Roundabout Underground production will be Little Children Dream of God, a new play by Jeff Augustin, directed by Giovanna Sardelli.
Roundabout’s production of Masteroff, Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret, starring Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams, directed by Sam Mendes & Rob Marshall (co-director/choreographer), is playing at Studio 54.
Roundabout’s 2015-2016 season will feature Stephen Karam’s The Humans, directed by Joe Mantello.
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