Over the Tavern Makes Area Debut at Olney Theatre Center

Sep 1, 2012
Olney Theatre Center

Olney Theatre Center, the award-winning, year-round arts and entertainment destination, announces the opening of the area premiere of Over the Tavern by Tom Dudzick. Over the Tavern will grace Olney Theatre Center's Mainstage from September 26 to October 21, 2012.

Over the Tavern is a hilarious and heart-warming look at love, religion and family. It's 1959 and Chet and Ellen Pazinski already have their hands full coping with three teenage children, but when 12-year-old Rudy announces he'd like to shop around for a more "fun" religion, all hell breaks loose.

The New York Times calls Over the Tavern "...a staged sitcom with a dash of pretend blasphemy."

The cast is led by Helen Hayes Award nominee Noah Chiet as Rudy Pazinski. DC audiences will recognize him from Ford Theatre's Liberty Smith and Theatre J's production of The History of Invulnerability.

Taking on the role as the quintessential Catholic nun, Sister Clarissa, is Broadway veteran Carol Shultz. Ms. Shultz appeared in Abe Lincoln in Illinois at the Lincoln Center Theatre on Broadway. She is a company member of The Pearl Theatre off-Broadway where she has performed in 35 plays, including The Rivals (Callaway Award), Vieux Carre and The Subject Was Rose. Ms. Shultz has also appeared at many regional theatres throughout the United States, including: Cincinnati Playhouse, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Goodman Theater, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Rep, and Cleveland Play House.

The patriarch of the Pazinski family, Chet Pazinski, is played by Paul Morella. Mr. Morella has appeared in a number of Olney Theatre Center productions, including last season's Witness for the Prosecution, also directed by John Going, and his one-man version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. DC-Theatergoers will also recognize him from his Signature Theatre's recent production, God of Carnage.

Debra Hazlett plays Ellen Pazinski, a caring mother who is striving to keep everything under control. Ms. Hazlett has performed with many DC and Baltimore area theatres including Folger Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Theatre J, Rep Stage, and Signature Theatre. She has also appeared on the TV series Law and Order, and Homicide: Life on the Streets and Young Americans.

Connor Aikin makes his Olney Theatre Center debut as Eddie Pazinski. Mr. Aikin has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Kennedy Center, Scena Theatre, Centerstage Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company. He has also appeared in the films Night at the Museum II: Escape from the Smithsonian, State of Play and Body of Lies as well as the HBO TV series The Wire.

Corrieanne Stein takes on the role of Annie Pazinski. Ms. Stein was a member of the original Broadway cast of the 2009 Tony Award-Winning Musical Billy Elliot the Musical. She has also worked at Signature Theatre and was a guest soloist at the Eisenhower Theatre Gala at The Kennedy Center.

Christopher Cox, Georgie Pazinski, is no stranger to Over the Tavern having played Rudy at Penguin Rep Theatre in New York. Mr. Cox appeared in the 2009 Broadway production of Ragtime at the Neil Simon Theatre and has appeared on the USA Networks' series Royal Pains.

Director John Going says he is "thrilled with the cast we've assembled for this show: two DC favorites who have previously done some wonderful work at Olney Theatre Center, a distinguished New York actress whose work I've admired for a very long time, and four extremely talented young people, ages twelve to sixteen, who are just starting out on what I know will be very exciting careers."