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Cast Announced for Neil Simon Comedy "The Dinner Party", Tickets Now On Sale

Mattie Kelly Arts Center

9/8/06 - Tickets are now on sale for the Neil Simon comedy "The Dinner Party", to be presented October 18 to 21 at The Arts Center at Okaloosa-Walton College. Tickets for the OWC production are $15 adults and $10 youth age 18 and under. "The Dinner Party" will show at 7:30 p.m. on October 18, 19, 20 and 21 in The Arts Center's Sprint Theater on the OWC Niceville campus. On Saturday the 21st, there will also be a matinee performance at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are available by calling The Arts Center Box Office at (850) 729-6000 or on line through The Arts Center website at

Produced by the OWC Fine and Performing Arts Division, "The Dinner Party" ran on Broadway for almost a year, originally starring Henry Winkler and the late John Ritter. The OWC cast for the show will be: Bruce Culpepper of DeFuniak Springs who will play Claude, a bookstore owner and would-be writer. In the role of Albert, a rental car business owner, is Frank Rosenbaum also of DeFuniak Springs. From Niceville, Tim Norton will play the role of Andre, a blue-blooded snob graced with good looks but with the soul of a snake. Mary Ann Averitte of Niceville will play Mariette, a published author and ex-wife of Claude. Yvonne, the perky, ex-wife of Albert will be played by Rachel Hoskins of Fort Walton Beach. In the role of Gabrielle, the elegant and striking ex-wife of Andre, is Tiffany Smith of Crestview.

"The Dinner Party" is described by OWC director Clint Mahle as a touching and humorous look at fidelity, marriage and the paths not taken by ex-husbands, divorcees and former lovers. In the play, three gentlemen, independently of each other, are invited to a swanky Parisian restaurant by a mutual friend. The men don't know each other and aren't sure why they're invited. Then the women show up, doors are locked, and the comedy develops as the six are forced to examine their past relationships with each other.

Mahle noted that OWC's production of Neil Simon's 31st comedy will be presented just days before Simon is scheduled to be awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Simon has previously received Tony Awards for his plays, The Odd Couple, Biloxi Blues and Lost in Yonkers and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Lost in Yonkers. His numerous other awards include the Drama Desk Award, American Comedy Award for his life work, and Golden Globe awards. Simon began his writing career in radio and television including writing material for Sid Caesar's Caesar's Hour and Phil Silvers' show Sergeant Bilko. Besides adapting several of his plays for the movies, he has written the screenplays for The Out-of-Towners, The Heartbreak Kid, Murder by Death, The Goodbye Girl, The Cheap Detective, Seems Like Old Times, Only When I Laugh, Max Dugan Returns, The Slugger's Wife, and The Marrying Man.