‘Breakdown’ of upcoming production


Contributed photo

Carlena Bressanelli, Staff writer

Get ready to see a fun performance this weekend!
The Mercyhurst Theatre Program presents the regional premiere of “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”
This is a musical adaptation of Pedro Almodóvar’s film of the same name, featuring libretto by Jeffrey Lane and a score by David Yazbek, the Tony Award-winning composer of “The Band’s Visit.”
“Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” is a story about women and the men who pursue them.
Love is found, lost, needed and rejected.
In the middle of it all, there is Pepa, whose friends and lovers are blazing a trail through 1980s Madrid.
Along with Pepa, there’s her missing (possibly philandering) lover, Ivan; his ex-wife of questionable sanity, Lucía; their son, Carlos; Pepa’s friend, Candela; her terrorist boyfriend; a power-suited lawyer and a taxi driver who dispenses tissues, mints and advice in equal proportion.
Mayhem and comic madness abound, balanced by the empathy and heart that are trademarks of Almodóvar’s work.
The cast of “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” includes Alexis Webb as Pepa, Jacob Tretinik as Iván, Abby Larimore as Lucía, Owen Hitt as Carlos, Erin Fink as Maris, Rosie Pregler as Candela, Grace Sloop as Paulina and Aidan Giles as the Taxi Driver. An essential part of the show is the production team, which includes scene designer Tucker Topel, lighting designer Madeleine Steineck, musical director Andrew Rainbow, choreographer Jennie Cross, production stage manager Rebecca Holt and assistant stage managers Natalie Gottfried, Rachele Heasley and Darby Shafron.
When asked about how she felt about the play and her character, Larimore, a senior contract major in Theatre and English, said, “When the production was first announced, I was honestly a little confused.
“It is a larger than life, utterly hilarious, and incredibly dynamic show, not to mention it is totally different than anything we have ever done,” she said. “My character Lucia is drastically different than anyone I have ever portrayed on stage, and I have been having a blast taking on this challenge and discovering what kind of woman she really is.”
Larimore said she is glad for the opportunity to be in the show.
“‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ is visually gorgeous, everyone sounds amazing and I laugh every single night in the wings before I have to go on,” Larimore said.
Pregler, a senior double major in Archaeology and Public History with a minor in Theatre, said she is grateful to have been a part of the Theatre Program’s recent productions.
“‘Dona Rosita,’ ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ require female heavy casts. We have so many talented women in the program. It’s a thrill to be involved and perform alongside these great talents,” Pregler said.
When asked about her role and her preparation for her character, Pregler said, “Every role I have played has been enjoyable, but playing Candela is pure joy! “She is unlike any role I have played before.
“Her extremity and depth of emotions get her into some pretty precarious situations,” Pregler said. “Each role requires a different process. If you repeated your process exactly each time, you might very well end up with the same character.”
This weekend should be a memorable one.
Come out and enjoy “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.” The performances are Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 25-27, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 28, at 2 p.m. in the Taylor Little Theatre.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens/students and $5 for youth and Mercyhurst students with I.D.
All performances are general admission and the doors are opening 30 minutes before the show.
Patrons can reserve their tickets online at miac.mercyhurst.edu, by phone at 814-824-3000 or at the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center box office.
Tickets will also be on sale at the Taylor Little Theatre box office beginning one hour before the show.
Note: This production contains strong language and adult themes and is recommended for mature audiences.