The Hot L Baltimore
By Lanford Wilson
Graphic Design by Chris Purcell, CAP Designs

March 31 & April 7 at 7:30 PM
April 1, 2, 8, & 9 at 8 PM
April 3 & 10 at 2 PM
Trueblood Theatre

press release | program | photographs

Press Release

Ann Arbor  The University of Michigan Department of Theatre and Drama presents Lanford Wilson's "The Hot L Baltimore." A tale of lost souls caught up in urban decay, "The Hot L Balimore plays" March 31 & April 7 at 7:30 PM, April 1, 2, 8 & 9 at 8 PM, and April 3 & 10 at 2 PM at the Trueblood Theatre in Ann Arbor. Guest artist Andrea Frye directs the production.

Lanford Wilson co-founded the Circle Repertory Company in 1972 and wrote "The Hot L Baltimore" specifically for its new acting ensemble. Wilson sought to craft a work that would give voice to his mourning for the increasing disappearance of the nation s railroads. In Wilson's introduction to the play, the author states that he laments not only the fading of the romantic icon of the railway system, but also America's "vanishing architecture." The imminent destruction of the once-glorious Hotel Baltimore, and the decline of the railroads that were once the life-blood of the neighborhood, are the physical embodiments of Wilson's distress over the vanishing of a more idyllic time.

Opening in February 1973, "The Hot L Baltimore" was the first major success for Wilson and the Circle Repertory Company. Winner of the New York Drama Circle award, an Obie, the John Gassner Playwriting award, and the Outer Circle Critics award, the play successfully transferred to Broadway, enjoying a three-year run. The play was sold to ABC and adapted as a situation comedy that ran for one season in 1975.

"The Hot L Baltimore" is set in the lobby of a dilapidated old hotel, from which the "e" in the hotel sign is missing. As the action unfolds, the residents of the hotel, ranging from young to old, from the defiant to the resigned, meet in the lobby to talk and interact with each other during the course of one day. As they contemplate the loss of their home and the makeshift family that has developed, the residents and staff of the hotel ponder more than the loss of a place to live, but the loss of history itself. These series of conversations create a mosaic in which each character, and the sum total of what they are - or wish they were - become a poignant, powerful call to America to recover its lost values and to restore itself.

Guest director Andrea Frye describes "The Hot L Baltimore" as "a day in the life of people beyond the American dream. These characters live life without apology; would that we all could do so. They are looking for kernels of optimism, the achievement of their ideal in an environment where promises are ephemeral. Ultimately, their honesty and search for truth allows each of them to wake up each morning with hope for the future no matter how far away the iconic American dream may be." Frye has directed and acted throughout the United States, including a six-year stint at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is currently serving as an artist-in-residence at Dillard University in New Orleans. Her residency at UM is sponsored in part by a generous grant from Nancy and Philip Binkow.

Joining Frye on the artistic team is scenic designer Vincent Mountain, an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Drama whose designs were last seen in "Hansel and Gretel." Taran Muller and Andrew Fritsch, both undergraduate students in the Department whose work last seen in "The Water," design costumes and lights respectively. Ashley Turner, a student of Frye's from Dillard University will design sound.

Tickets for "The Hot L Baltimore" are $15 general admission with students $9 with ID. Tickets are available in person at the League Ticket Office, located within the Michigan League. The Ticket Office is open from 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday and 10am-1pm on Saturday. Order by phone at (734) 764-2538. All major credit cards are accepted. Tickets may also be ordered online at The Trueblood Theatre, located within the Frieze Building at the corner of State and Huron Streets, is accessible to persons using wheelchairs.
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CAST (Hometown): David Abed (Grand Ledge, MI), Karenanna Creps (Pinckney, MI),
Kyla Embrey (Warner Robins, GA), Jen Freidel (Dallas, TX),
Eric Gale (West Bloomfield, MI), Sari Goldberg (New York, NY),
Edmund Alyn Jones (Detroit, MI), Kevin Kuczek (Howell, MI),
Nicholas Lang (Franklin, MI), Eric Schinzer (Portage, MI),
Rebecca Schwartzstein (Bethesda, MD), Rachel Soglin (Madison, WI),
Anika Solvieg (Minneapolis, MN)

- Kerianne M. Tupac

Click here to view The Hot L Baltimore program as a PDF file

Production Photographs

Rachael Soglin as Girl and Edmund Alyn Jones as Bill Anika Solveig as Mrs. Bellotti

Kyla Embrey as Millie and Rachael Soglin Rachael Soglin

Sari Goldberg as April Jen Friedel as Jackie

Nicholas Lang as the John and Rebecca Schwartzstein as Suzy Anika Solveig and Kevin Kuczek as Mr Katz

Jen Friedel and Eric Schinzer as Jamie Kevin Kuczek

Eric Kahn Gale as Mr. Morse and Eric Schinzer Eric Kahn Gale

Kyla Embrey David Abed as Paul

David Abed Kevin Kuczek and Karenanna Creps as Mrs. Oxenham

Sari Goldberg and Edmund Alyn Jones Sari Goldberg and Rachael Soglin

Eric Schnizer Rebecca Schwartzstein

Rachael Soglin and Rebecca Schwartzstein Nicholas Lang

Sari Goldberg Sari Goldberg and Eric Schinzer