by Don Church and Tony Schillaci
Shoreline fans of the River Rep, the family troupe of actors who played at the Ivoryton Playhouse for nineteen years, were treated to a gift of laughter when Joan Shepard returned with her acclaimed one-woman show “Confessions of Old Lady #2;” this recently had a successful engagement at Don’t Tell Mamas in Manhattan.
The title was inspired by Joan’s character in a movie. The show gave Joan the opportunity to tell the story of her stage life, from age seven when she was personally cast in her Broadway debut by Laurence Olivier for his “Romeo and Juliet.” This illustrious beginning was followed by playing Tallulah Bankhead’s daughter and many other shows on the Great White Way. Joan will soon be going on a tour with “Jack and The Beanstalk” at age 77.
Although the husband-and-wife team spent many early years in Hollywood, Joan laughed that because they were considered TV and stage actors, and not “movie stars.” they were relegated by the movie society to the “D, F or G list.”
Joan and Evan, and their children, Jenn and Owen Thompson, trod the boards of the Ivoryton Playhouse where Joan did over seventy-five character and starring roles. Her one-woman show of delightful personal stories, song parodies, and a lively talk-back session was a happy walk down memory lane for her ardent fans on June 21.
Upcoming at the Ivoryton Playhouse are “The Buddy Holly Story,” July 7 – Aug 1; “Finian’s Rainbow, Aug. 11 – Sept. 5; “Driving Miss Daisy,” Sept. 29 – Oct. 17; “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,” Nov. 3 – Nov. 21; and the family musical “Barnum, “Dec 2 – Dec 19
For tickets call 860 767-7318 or www.ivorytonplayhouse.org.
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