Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Entertainment

April 22, 2010

‘Love Letters’

Kentucky Repertory to present romantic tale

HORSE CAVE — The Kentucky Repertory Theatre will bring not only a classic play to the stage but also a classic actress for three shows in Horse Cave.

“Love Letters,” by A.R. Gurney, is the story of the correspondence between two childhood friends as they go through upswings and downfalls of life. The two characters, Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner, are both born into privilege and exchange letters through their grade school and college years, along with war, marriage, careers and politics.

It is a simply acted play with no blocking or memorization but a lot of raw emotion, according to its star, Emmy Award-winning TV and theater actress Sally Struthers, well-known for her roles on “All in the Family,” “Gilmore Girls” and the “Smothers Brothers’ Comedy Hour,” as well as voiceover work and movies throughout the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s.

“[Love Letters] is a beautiful theater piece and the letters are hilarious,” Struthers said. “I’ve done it before in other places and when the Kentucky Repertory Theatre offered me the chance to do it I took it.”

Robert Brock, artistic director for KRT, said “Love Letters” has not been done in the area since 2003, when he abd Annie Potts performed it. A friend at the theater teaches in Virginia and was able to get him in contact with Struthers, he said.

“[We’re bringing in Struthers and Gallagher] as a fundraiser. [Struthers] is a big name and a great actress. It’s a great thing to bring in great people and share them with everybody. We just wanted to do that.”

Struthers — who calls herself “one of the rare actors who works all the time” — has done the production numerous times, with actors like Avery Shriver and Tony Roberts.

However, she is looking forward to doing the show with Mike Gallagher, a nationally-syndicated talk show host, Fox News commentator, author and Equity actor, according to Kentucky Rep.

Gallagher and Struthers have been very good friends, and it is partially because of Struthers that Gallagher has begun to act again after a hiatus while he was in the political scene. Struthers was close friends with his wife, Denise, and when Denise died suddenly, Strut-hers and Gallag-her grieved together.

“This play is an escape for him and a way of dealing with reality,” Struthers said, in particular talking about a part of the play in which the characters deal with death. “I’m thrilled to do this with him.”

She has also encouraged him to move on to other projects, including musicals. He begins a run with “Bye Bye Birdie” soon after this run of “Love Letters” ends.

Galla-gher will also be broadcasting The Mike Gallagher from Horse Cave and all the stops along the play’s run, something that Brock says will benefit everyone involved.

“He will be talking about the whole region and everything he sees and does. It will put us all on the map,” Brock said.

According to Struthers, the town will be talking because of the play, not because of the notoriety of the stars in it.

“They will have a truly, lovely, memorable time in the theater because this play is just fraught with emotion, it’s really something they’ll talk about the next day,” Struthers said.

“Love Letters” will run April 24 at 7:30 p.m., as well as April 25 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m at Kentucky Rep, 107 E. Main St. in Horse Cave.

To purchase tickets, contact the Kentucky Repertory Theatre at (800) 342-2177.

Struthers and Gallagher will also be performing the play April 23 at the State Theater in Elizabethtown.

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