When Laura Partridge raises her hand at a shareholder’s meeting in the first scene of The Solid Gold Cadillac, she seems harmless enough. But with one simple question about the Chairman of the Board’s salary, she sends the money-grubbing leadership of General Products of America into a tailspin. To stop her from prying any further, the executives offer Mrs. Partridge a job as Director of Stockholder Relations—a made-up title with not much behind it. Unfortunately for them, Partridge never stops poking around. And soon enough, the little old lady turns their executive world upside down.
Sketches by Costume Designer Alex Jaeger
Mrs. Laura Partridge
Edward L. McKeever
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"In a realm all its own ... Cadillac”– 1959 Cadillac Advertising Motto
In the fifties and sixties, the Cadillac was the ultimate status symbol. According to American Pop Culture expert and Syracuse University Professor, Robert Thompson, "Your lifestyle, and how well you were achieving, could often be measured by what kind of GM car you were driving at a given time," For blue collar workers and newly-married couples, General Motors made Chevys. For young, sporty, middle-class types, there was the Pontiac. The Oldsmobile was for white collar managers, and the Buick was another step up from that. But Cadillac, as its 1959 slogan proclaimed, was “in a realm all its own.” It was the car of executives and moguls. For example, when Dick and Mac MacDonald first struck it rich with a hamburger stand in California, the first thing they did was buy a pair of Cadillacs. "Cadillac,” says Thompson, “meant luxury, it meant you'd achieved the American dream."
Nancy Robinette (Mrs. Laura Partridge) last appeared at The Studio Theatre in Souvenir. She has also appeared in The Studio Theatre’s productions of Frozen and The Play About the Baby, among many others over the last thirty years. She studied at The Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory and has performed in most of the theatres in Washington for over thirty years. She has also performed at the New York Theatre Workshop, Roundabout Theatre Company, The McCarter Theatre, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Papermill Playhouse, the Waterfront and The Old Globe. She is a recipient of The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Will Award, a former Fox Fellow and a Helen Hayes Award recipient.
Michael Goodwin (Edward L. McKeever) is delighted to be working at The Studio Theatre, having previously appeared in Sylvia and The Steward of Christendom. He appeared as Marley in Christmas Carol and as Walt Whitman in Heavens Are Hung In Black at Ford’s Theatre. Nationally, he has performed with many theatres, including The Guthrie Theater, Arena Stage, American Conservatory Theater, New York Shakespeare Festival, Geva Theatre, Shakespeare Dallas, New Orleans Repertory, Long Wharf Theatre and Theatre Virginia. Broadway credits include Cyrano, Ambassador, A Patriot for Me and Charley’s Aunt. Over the past ten summers, he has worked with the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, performing lead roles in new plays by leading American playwrights. Film and television credits include Songcatcher, The Dead Pool, Road to Wellville, Lolita, Strike Force, The Hamptons, Dynasty, St. Elsewhere, Falcon Crest, Magnum, P.I., MacGyver, Matlock, three years as Scott Bradley on Another World and recurring roles on All My Children, Guiding Light and One Life to Live.
James Slaughter (Alfred Metcalfe) recently appeared at The Studio Theatre as Ralph in Moonlight, as well as in The History Boys, The Invention of Love and Gross Indecency. Recently he appeared as Harry in A Delicate Balance at Arena Stage. He has performed in over two dozen productions at Olney Theatre Center, including An Enemy of the People (Helen Hayes Award nomination). Other local credits include principal roles at The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Potomac Theatre Project and the world premiere of Nest at Signature Theatre. He appeared Off Broadway in Scenes from an Execution at the Atlantic Theatre Company. Mr. Slaughter’s television credits include Homicide (NBC) and the title-role in The Music of Thomas Morley (PBS).
Paul Nolan (Clifford Snell) last appeared at The Studio Theatre in The Long Christmas Ride Home. From nearly 100 productions, his stage credits include Speed-The-Plow and The Real Thing (Hollywood Drama-Logue Awards for both); Blue Window, The Tooth of Crime, Absurd Person Singular, The Homecoming, Endgame, Cymbeline, Hay Fever, The Birthday Party, Hamlet and Richard III. Television and film credits include the starring role in the sci-fi film Ascension, My One and Only, The Wire, Another World, America’s Most Wanted, Silk Stalkings, Homicide: Life on the Street, Animal Factory, Contact, Arrest & Trial, Ocean’s 11 and Signs.
Leo Erickson (Warren Gillie) previously appeared at The Studio Theatre in Guantanamo, The Life of Galileo, A Class Act and Prometheus. Recent area performances include Dog in the Manger and Major Barbara at The Shakespeare Theatre Company; Passion Play: A Cycle at Arena Stage; The Voysey Inheritance and Mary Stuart at Center Stage; Big Love at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; DA, Translations and Intelligence at Rep Stage and Stuff Happens at Olney Theatre Center. His regional theatre roles include Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac, George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Honeyman in A Walk in the Woods. Mr. Erickson’s international appearances include Lee Blessing’s Two Rooms at the SibuTheatre Festival, Romania and at the Merlin Theatre in Budapest.
David Sabin (T. John Blessington) ) returns to The Studio Theatre after previously appearing in Ivanov, which opened the Metheny Theatre and garnered him a Helen Hayes Award nomination. He has done 53 plays for The Shakespeare Theatre including Falstaff in Henry IV, Sir Anthony Absolute in The Rivals, Boss Finley in Sweet Bird of Youth, and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. On Broadway, he has performed in thirteen productions including Miss Moffat, Slapstick Tragedy, Ambassador!, Gantry, The Yearling, The Suicide, Othello, The Threepenny Opera and The Water Engine by David Mamet. Other theatres include Long Wharf Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Steppenwolf Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and many others.
Laura Dunlop (Amelia Shotgraven) is thrilled to be making her Studio Theatre debut in The Solid Gold Cadillac. Originally from Washington DC, Laura has worked in the UK, Canada, Los Angeles and Washington DC in television, film, stage, voice-over and print. Past credits include roles in The Maids, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Picnic, among others. She holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Southern California’s Professional Acting Conservatory, with further training in classical theatre from the British American Drama Academy and the Royal National Theatre, where she appeared at The Royal Court Theatre. Laura is currently a student at The Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory.
Russell Jonas (Mark Jenkins)makes his Studio Theatre debut with The Solid Gold Cadillac. He previously performed the role of Sir Kay in Young King Arthur for the Dallas Children’s Theater National Touring Company (Time Magazine’s “Top 5 Theaters in the Country Performing for Audiences of All Ages”). Mr. Jonas earned a BA magna cum laude from the George Washington University and has received theater training at The Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory.
Chelsey Christensen (Miss L’Arriere) is excited to be making her DC theatrical debut at The Studio Theatre. Favorite credits include Judith in Boeing-Boeing and Kit-Kat Girl in Cabaret with the Okoboji Summer Theatre Company; Bianca in Taming of the Shrew and understudying Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story at the Macklanburg Playhouse and Lucy in The Division with Warehouse Theatre Company. Ms. Christensen received her BFA in Theatre Arts from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She has received additional training from The Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory.
Declan Cashman (Ensemble) has appeared in Far Away, The Rimers of Eldritch and has understudied Frozen, Afterplay and The Cripple of Inishmaan at The Studio Theatre. Ms. Cashman was also seen in Portia Coughlan; Scenes from the Big Picture and The Mai at Solas Nua. She has also been seen at Source Theatre. She has studied at The Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory, The Shakespeare Theatre Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
Daniel Flint (Ensemble) has credits including Richard III directed by Bartlett Sher at the Intiman Theatre; Variations on Measure for Measure directed by Charles Marowitz and the world premiere of A Piece of Cake by Raymond J. Barry. He received his MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at the George Washington University.
Daniel Kenner (Ensemble) was last in Washington Shakespeare Company’s Camille. For Capital Fringe Festival, Daniel was in Factory 449’s award-winning 4.48 Psychosis. He spent ten months on the road with the National Players Tour 60, performing in As You Like It and 1984. He graduated in 2008 with a theater degree from the George Washington University, and while studying at the British American Drama Academy he performed the title role in Faustus.
Michael Hammond (Ensemble) was last seen as Rocky in The Rocky Horror Show at Kensington Arts Theatre and in The Torch-Bearers at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, MA. He is a graduate of Brown University.
Doug McElway (Dwight Brookfield)
Gordon Peterson (Bill Parker)
Greta Kruez (Estelle Evans)
Robert Aubry Davis (Narrator)
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Director and Designers
Director and Designers
Paul Mullins (Director) returns to The Studio Theatre, where he directed The Seafarer, This Is How It Goes, Fat Pig and The Russian National Postal Service. He is a company member of The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, where he has directed Noises Off, Private Lives, The Time of Your Life, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Richard II, Illyria, King John, The Illusion, Tartuffe, Rhinoceros, Measure for Measure and The Threepenny Opera. Other regional work includes Twelfth Night, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Measure for Measure and Macbeth at The Old Globe; Twelfth Night at The State Theatre; Third, Trying, True West and Lettice and Lovage at Portland Stage Company; Reckless, The Swan and All’s Well That Ends Well at American Stage; A Month in the Country and Summerfolk at The Yale School of Drama and As You Like It at The Juilliard School.
James Kronzer (Setting) has designed over 20 shows for the Studio Theater including Trudy Blue, Betty’s Summer Vacation, Old Wicked Songs, Slavs and Love Valour Comapassion! . His work has been seen on Broadway, off Broadway and regionally at the Denver Center, Weston Playhouse, Pioneer Theater, Playmakers, Wilma Theater and the Arden Theater. Recent work in DC includes The Picture of Dorian Gray at Round House, Showboat at Signature Theater and Cinderella for The Washington Ballet. He has designed numerous national tours such as Showboat, Seussical the Musical and Barbie Live! In Fairytopia and has been Scenic Coordinator for the national tours of Drowsy Chaperone, The Producers, Fosse and Annie. He recently opened a new show called Elements for Norwegian Cruise Line as well as a new musical for Disney called Twice Charmed. He has been nominated 28 times for the Helen Hayes Award and has received the award 8 times. He has also received 2 Barrymore Awards in Philadelphia. He is a member of United Scenic Artists.
Mark Lanks (Lighting) is pleased to be working at The Studio Theatre for the first time. Recent designs include Glory Days on Broadway; Showboat,
First You Dream, See What I Wanna See, The Little Dog Laughed and Les Misérables (Helen Hayes Nomination) at Signature Theatre; The Sparrow at Stoneham Theatre; and Big River and the National Players Tour 61 for Olney Theatre Center. Regionally, his design credits include Ford’s Theatre, Catholic University, MetroStage, George Mason University, The Library of Congress, Everyman Theatre, The Cape Playhouse, Allenberry Playhouse, Tulsa Opera, Shreveport Opera, Granite State Opera, Shubert Theatre (New Haven) and Dickinson College. Mr. Lanks is also the Production Manager and Lighting Supervisor for Susan Marshall & Company. He received a BA in Musical Theatre from Susquehanna University and an MFA in Lighting Design from Boston University.
Alex Jaeger (Costumes) has designed costumes for the world premiere of Jon Robin Baitz’s The Paris Letter and Eclipsed for the Kirk Douglas Theatre. At The Studio Theatre, his credits include Grey Gardens, The History Boys, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Caroline, or Change, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Black Milk, The Russian National Postal Service, A Class Act and The Cripple of Inishmaan. Other credits include Speed the Plow, November and Rock ‘n’ Roll (also at The Huntington Theatre), for American Conservatory Theatre; Mauritius, Goldfish and Mrs. Whitney for the Magic Theatre; Two Sisters and a Piano for the Public Theatre; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Romeo and Juliet, Handler, Stop Kiss and Fuddy Meers for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Servant of Two Masters and Man of La Mancha for Utah Shakespearean Festival and All My Sons, Skylight, Play Strindberg and True West for South Coast Repertory Theatre. Mr. Jaeger has received a Los Angeles Ovation award, an L. A. Drama Critic’s Circle award, three Drama-Logue awards, four Back Stage Garland awards, a Maddy award and a 2005 NAACP design award nomination for his work.
Eric Trester (Sound & Projections) has designed projections for The Studio Theatre’s Rock ‘n’ Roll, Grey Gardens, A Number, This Is How It Goes, The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Cripple of Inishmaan and John Epperson’s Show Trash. For The Studio 2ndStage, Mr. Trester designed projections and sound for Fucking A, Jerry Springer: The Opera, and Reefer Madness: The Musical!. He also designed sound for All That I Will Ever Be, Breath, Boom; Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead; autobahn and Terrorism. He currently works at Yale School of Drama as a video engineer. He holds a Masters of Science in Multimedia Systems from Trinity College, Dublin.
The Playwrights: Howard Teichmann And George S. Kaufman
The Playwrights: Howard Teichmann And George S. Kaufman
Upon completing graduate school at the University of Wisconsin in 1938, Howard Teichmann moved to New York and began working as a stage manager for Orson Welles. Soon enough, he was writing and producing for Welles’ radio show, The Mercury Theatre of the Air. During the war years, he worked as a senior editor and radio consultant for the Office of War Information and, after the war, went on to write radio plays for programs such as Helen Hayes Theater, and CBS Workshop. For television, Teichmann wrote several scripts and a series for The American National Theatre and Academy. Of his stage plays, his most successful were Miss Lonelyhearts, which was adapted for film, and The Solid Gold Cadillac, on which he collaborated with George S. Kaufman. Teichmann also frequently contributed to the New York Times Book Review and wrote three biographies, including George S. Kaufman: An Intimate Portrait. Throughout his long career, Teichmann taught writing for stage, television and radio at Barnard College, where he was a professor for over 40 years.
In writing comedy, Teichmann loved to poke fun at the big boys of industry, politics, and business. “The basis of satire,” he once said, “is that you can’t do it to something or somebody small.”
In 1987, Howard Teichmann passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was seventy one.
--by Sarah Roquemor
George S. Kaufman
George S. Kaufman was, by all accounts, the most prolific comic writer of the 20th century. Though his lanky, sallow persona at first appeared shy and rather serious, a single sardonic utterance from his lips could have a room howling in an instant.
Of his upbringing, Kaufman once joked, “When I was born I owed twelve dollars.” Alienated by his phobic mother and stingy, ineffective father, Kaufman cut away from his humble Pittsburgh roots as soon as he got the chance. While supporting himself with a series of odd jobs, he began submitting short, comic pieces to Franklin Pierce Adams’ humor column in The Evening Mail. F.P.A. recognized the young writer’s potential and took Kaufman under his wing, encouraging him to continue honing his skills as a wit. In 1912, Kaufman landed a desk and a short-lived column for The Washington Times, followed by another brief stint as a reporter for The New York Tribune.
But it was Kaufman’s next newspaper job, as drama editor and third string critic for The New York Times, that cemented the course of his career. On the theatre beat, Kaufman lunched daily at the Algonquin hotel, entertaining the Manhattan literati with his sardonic one-liners. By night, he habited the houses of Broadway, panning mediocre performances with the same dry sarcasm. “I saw the play at a disadvantage,” began one of his most memorable reviews, “the curtain was up.”
Kaufman would spend the rest of his life in and around 42nd street. Using the skills he developed as a critic, he became a physician of plays, partnering with sixteen playwrights and several more composers and lyricists to write, revise, rewrite, and polish more successful plays and musicals than any comedian to date. A perfectionist and a workaholic, he pushed his collaborators to the heights of their potential, never resting until their plays were the smartest, funniest, and best they could possibly be. Usually, the hard work paid off: of his forty-five plays, twenty-seven were Broadway hits, and over a dozen became major motion pictures.
When he died in June of 1961, America mourned the loss of its greatest comic voice. “How good a playwright was Kaufman?” asked the Saturday Review’s Ben Hecht. “At his best, he was the best of playwrights, and more.”