Old Ringers is the first comedy the 2nd Act Players has ever produced. We figured with all the strife in the world these days, people needed to laugh a little, so come, forget your troubles, and enjoy.
This play had its Chicago area premiere at the James Downing Theater in Chicago’s Edison Park in 2017. We loved it there and wanted to bring it to the North Shore audience.
The play has received rave reviews across the country. A sampling:
“A comedy masterpiece! Mr. Simonelli has provided a timely take on how four seniors cope with a shrinking .economy and their shrinking pocketbooks! Go see it now!”
Joe Franklin – Bloomberg Radio
“Go see Old Ringers to experience the lighter side of the economic downturn as told by comic playwright Joe Simonelli. Balancing obscenity with drier subjects like social security checks, keeps the play believable but doesn’t detract from it’s raucous, crowd pleasing comedy!”
Monterey County Weekly
“This brassy offering is anything but subtle as it raises laughter the to the rafters.”
“A timely take on how five down-on-their-luck seniors try to cope with a shrinking economy and their shrinking pocketbooks by opening up a home phone sex service!”
“The women spring into action and the comedy ramps up as the phone calls roll in.”
Julie Mitre, who has been in four 2nd Act Players productions, will star as Diane in Old Ringers. Mitre will be joined in the cast by Ryan Hall, a veteran of two 2nd Act Players productions. Also returning to the 2nd Act Players stage for the first time since 2016 will be it cofounder, John N. Frank. Frank will play Mitre/Diane’s boyfriend, Harry the Hat.
Also back on the 2nd Act Players’ stage will be Debra Rodkin, last seen in the 2nd Act Players’ recent Women’s Empowerment Festival. Rodkin will play Verna, the over-sexed member of the female foursome.
Cast members making their 2nd Act Players’ debuts are Sandy Gulliver, Valerie Gorman and Camille Oswald. Oswald will play Mitre/Diane’s daughter while Gulliver and Gorman play Kathy Ann and Rose, friends of Diane and Verna.
Gulliver, who has extensive films credits, also has performed with the SWAG Theatre, Deerfield Family Theatre and Broadway in Naperville.
Gorman has appeared at Redtwist Theatre, Steep Theatre, Oil Lamp Theatre and Rivendell Theatre, among many others.
Oswald has performed at such regional theaters as the Hanger Theatre and with the Kenan Theatre Company in North Carolina.
Performances of Old Ringers will take place Saturdays, Nov. 2, 9 and 16th at 7:30, and Sundays, Nov. 3, 10 and 17th at 3 p.m. in Logan Hall at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Evanston, home of the 2nd Act Players. A critics’ preview performance is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.
Mitchell Ward, who last worked with the 2nd Act Players as stage manager of its Women’s Empowerment Play Festival, will direct.
The play was originally set in New York, but Ward has obtained the playwright’s permission to set the 2nd Act Players’ production in Chicago, modifying the script as needed so it will be closer to home for its Chicago-area audience.
The 2nd Act Players is celebrating its sixth year of bringing stories about key second acts in people’s lives to Chicago-area audiences.
Tickets for the show will go on sale shortly.