Filling the shoes of a comedy legend

(Photo courtesy of Greenbrier Valley Theatre)
Mark Chambers, who will portray Groucho Marx in GVT’s 2018 production of A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine.

Greenbrier Valley Theatre (GVT), the state professional theatre of West Virginia, is proud to present A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine. This two-act romp runs June 7-9, June 14-16 and June 20-23 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on June 16 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $30 for general adult admission, $27 for seniors (60+) and $20 for children/students. For more information, call the GVT Box Office at (304) 645-3838 or visit www.gvtheatre.org.

A musical tribute to Hollywood’s grandest era, this musical comedy will have you slapping your knees all night long. With a first act packed with songs honoring the greatest stars of the 1930s and a second act featuring a Marx Brothers style comedy based on Chekhov’s The Bear, this show will have you laughing so hard you won’t be able to catch your breath.

Starring as Samovar the Lawyer, played by Groucho Marx in this tribute to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood is returning actor Mark Chambers. With a career that spans over 50 years, he’s got quite a résumé, which includes a previous performance as Groucho Marx in his youth. This show requires a great deal of energy and rehearsal and Chambers was excited at the opportunity.

“I knew it would be a big challenge to gather the strength and stamina,” the actor said. “I wanted to take that challenge, cause I doubt I will ever get to revisit this role again.”

A lifelong performer, Chambers got his start in 7th grade with a speaking role in a thesis production of Conversation of the Jews. Ever since, he has spent his time enjoying the wealth of comedy, drama and art that he gets to be a part of and this show is no different.

Packed with history and magic, Chambers finds that the best way to bring this wacky story is not to imitate Groucho or the rest of the brothers, but to follow the script and let it lead him. He hopes that, in doing so, he can really get a reaction out of the crowd.

“I hope they leave feeling, an old fashioned word, ‘entertained.’ There are real belly laughs and a few surprising moments of heartfelt compassion. That combo can really surprise and touch the heartstrings,” the actor said.

This program is presented with financial assistance from the West Virginia Division of Culture & History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the West Virginia Commission on the Arts.

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