What's not to love about Olympia Dukakis, the Oscar winning film star (for Moonstruck), the actress unafraid of any role, mother of three and cousin of Mike Dukakis, the former Governor in Massachusetts. She will make a live stage appearance at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox this coming Monday, August 31. This titan of the theatre may be 78 but she's not ready for the rocker yet. You can see that she's still as feisty as ever in my revealing interview with her which was just posted. More than anyone, I think Jesse Helms helped make her a faithful friend to the LBGTQ community.
First things first. For those who may not have heard, there is a new film, Cloudburst, which has her playing a lesbian, rescuing her lover from a nursing home to escape to Canada in a car, planning to finally get married there. Shades of a geriatric Thelma and Louise! The only question is who plays the young male hitchhiker they pick up along the way. The road trip comedy also stars Brenda Flicker in this Sidney Kimmel film with Thom Fitzgerald directing his own script. Originally slated to start shooting this summer, production has been pushed down the calendar with a debut in 2010.
The film relates the story of two women who have been together for thirty years until one of them is committed to a nursing facility. Dukakis most recently starred in Away From Her with Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent. Fricker recently co-starred in Richard Attenborough's Closing the Ring with Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer.
And here's what we know about her Berkshire performance which takes place on Monday, August 31 at 7 PM in the Founder's Theatre on the Shakespeare & Company campus in Lenox. The event kicks off the 15th Annual Festival of Plays with a staged reading of William Coe Bigelow's Leap Year. Also in the cast are Elizabeth Aspenlieder (remember Bad Dates?), David Adkins (Currently in Ghosts at the Berkshire Theatre Festival), Corinna May, and Josh McCabe, among others. It is directed by Tony Simotes, the company's Artistic Director. Tickets are $30, 40, 50 and include an opportunity to meet with the cast afterwards. This is a very important benefit event that is part of the company's efforts to meet a significant challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation. Watch for our interview with her this weekend in Berkshire Fine Arts.
Leap Year is an interesting play. Notions of parenting, personal responsibility, the sense one has of God, and the redemptive quality of love and personal forgiveness, are all at the center of Leap Year. This heartfelt drama tells the story of a thirty-something couple, Rob and Lisa Montgomery, whose second child is born with Down's Syndrome.
The First Act takes place in a duplex apartment in Los Angeles, starting the day their son is born, on February 29th, 1988, as the couple, their friends, and family struggle to come to terms with the painful event and the difficult choiches they suddenly face. The Second Act transpires five leap years later, on February 29th, 2008, in the same duplex apartment, when the decisions the Montgomerys have made play out in stark terms.
For tickets and more information, contact the company at 413.637.3353 or visit them at http://www.shakespeare.org/