NUACT presents: Front Page
Comedy surrounding the newspaper reporting business based on a play and film from decades ago with a message that continues today, should hit your funny bone next weekend.
“The story line is irresistible…This version combines the best of both the play and film and will make the audience roll with laughter,” said New Ulm Actors Community Theater (NUACT) Adapter/Director Paul Warshauer. “People will recognize that the newspaper business hasn’t changed much…reporters still chase stories and sometimes exaggerate the truth!”
The film “Front Page,” a hit Broadway comedy about tabloid newspaper reporters on the police beat, written by actual former Chicago reporters Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, had a big influence on many other American comic writers, especially in Hollywood. The story was reproduced a number of times over a half-century span.
Newspapers are modeled after the City News Bureau of Chicago (where MacArthur worked), the Chicago Daily News, (where Hecht was a reporter), and Chicago’s American.
The film “Front Page” was made in 1931, the Grant/Russell film in 1940, a 1970 made-for-TV movie starring Robert Ryan and George Grizzard, a 1974 film with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, a 1982 musical entitled “Windy City,” and finally “Switching Channels” in 1988 with Burt Reynolds, Kathleen Turner and Christopher Reeve.
The comedy’s only set is the dingy press room of Chicago’s Criminal Courts Building, overlooking the gallows behind the Cook County Jail. Reporters pass the time playing poker and making wisecracks about the news of the day.
Walter Burns (Mark Santelman), a hard-boiled editor learns that his ex-wife and former star reporter, Hildegard “Hildy” Johnson (Jodi Poehler) is about to marry bland insurance man Bruce Baldwin (Paul Henning) and settle down to a quiet life as a wife and mother.
Burns determines to sabotage the the plans, enticing the reluctant Hildy to cover one last story, the upcoming execution of murder Earl Williams (Steve Johnson).
Burns does everything he can to keep Hildy from leaving, including setting Baldwin up so he gets arrested several times on trumped up charges. That’s just the start of the mayhem.
Tickets available at the door, at the New Ulm Chamber of Commerce, 1 North Minnesota Street, and at www.newulmact.com, are $7 for adults and $5 for children and students with identification.