THE LAST LAUGH

Genre: Comedy
Written by Bill Svanoe, Directed by Blake Bradford

June Johnson and Melinda Rogers are two faded TV divas.  Years ago they were stars of competing #1 sitcoms who littered the gossip rags as bitter rivals for ratings, awards and husbands!  They are in for a surprise when two former cast members conspire to create a cable TV reunion.  Starring Emmy winner Joan Darling, Judy Kerr, Kerry Shear and Darby Hinton (TV's Israel Boone from "The Daniel Boone Show"), The Last Laugh is a new comedy by award-winning playwright Bill Svanoe directed by Emmy winner Blake Bradford. 

Preview:   02/15/11
Open:   02/17/11
Close:   02/26/11

Schedule:
Tues 2/15 @8pm (Preview),
Thur 2/17 @8pm, Fri 2/18 @8pm,
Sat 2/19 @8pm, Sun 2/20 @5pm,
Thur 2/24 @8pm, Fri 2/25 @8pm,
Sat 2/26 @8pm
Theater:   Sidewalk Studio Theatre
Address:   4150 Riverside Dr.
Burbank, CA 91505
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Parking available behind the theatre.

Cost:$25 general admission, $15 students (with valid ID)
Buy Tickets Online or Call: Sidewalk Box Office at 818 558 5702
Company: Zephyer Rep
Joan Darling June Johnson

Joan Darling began her career as an actress with the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford as Viola in Twelfth Night. She starred in the award winning improvisational theater company, The Premise, with Gene Hackman, Tom Aldredge, and Ron Liebman. Joan starred on Broadway in Leda had a Little Swan and A Minor Adjustment and won an Emmy for her performance in Dorothy Parker, Woven in Crazy Plaid.  Joan was the first woman nominated for an Emmy for directing. She has been nominated four times and won an Emmy and a DGA award for directing "Mom's on Strike". Her M.A.S.H. episode, "The Nurses", was nominated for an Emmy and is included in the "Best of M.A.S.H." episode.  Joan is considered the first woman director of the modern age and blazed the way for the women who followed in her footsteps. Her first directing assignment was for Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, which was featured on the cover of every major magazine from Newsweek to Rolling Stone within six weeks of its debut. She followed that by directing the world famous episode "Chuckles the Clown" of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, named by the New York Times as the funniest half hour ever on television and the number one episode of all time by TV Guide.  Her first feature, First Love was named one of the ten best by CBS.  Joan is renowned as a teacher  and her classes in LA have had up to a five year waiting list. She created the "Directing the Actor" workshop for the Sundance Institute and has served as a creative advisor at the Director's lab at Sundance for the last fifteen years. Joan Darling has been honored by the Museum of Broadcasting as a "Woman Who Made It." And in the 80th Anniversary issue of the Hollywood Reporter, the funeral scene from "Chuckles" was named as the eighth best moment in television history.

Judy Kerr Melinda Rogers

Judy Kerr crashed her way into acting by convincing Joan Darling to allow her to bypass the five-year waiting list and become her class assistant, then her on-set assistant. Judy began her career doing plays at La Mama Hollywood in the 70s. She starred and toured with Jane Powell in Neil Simon’s Chapter Two and with Bill Macy in I Ought To Be In Pictures. She’s appeared in films and television – is noted for her fabulous scream in Manic Cop and making a beer milkshake for Nick Nolte in Cannery Row. Judy is an acting and on-set dialogue coach. She was the dialogue coach on “Seinfeld” working with the stars of the show as well as the guests. Other shows she’s coached on include: “It’s All Relative,” “All About The Andersons,” “The Ellen Show,” “The Single Guy” and “Alright Already.” Judy coaches privately, teaches workshops internationally, and is the best-selling author of Acting Is Everything: An Actor’s Guidebook, now in it’s 11th Edition.  Born in Glendale, she used to hang out on date nights across the street at "Toluca Lake Bob's".

Darby Hinton David Williams

Darby Hinton is a native of Los Angeles, born in Santa Monica, California. He made his acting debut at the age of six months old in the arms of Jayne Mansfield in the TV show "Playhouse 90". He went on to appear in numerous features and television shows, until the day his mother dropped him off at Twentieth Century Fox, (dressed in knee high socks and a lederhosen), to audition for a role in The Sound of Music. Darby got lost and wandered into the wrong line of kids, by the time his mother found him he had turned in his lederhosen for a coonskin cap, and ended up playing Fess Parker's son, Israel Boone, on "The Daniel Boone Show" for the next six years. Acting gave Darby freedom to explore his other passions like flying, skydiving, and martial arts.  After meeting Bruce Lee, who at the time was playing Kato on the ‘Green Hornet’ series, Darby became very interested in martial arts. He traveled to Hong Kong to see where Bruce first studied and even got the opportunity to study under William Chung, The World's Grand Master of Wing Chung and the man who taught Bruce. He then spent a couple of years playing Ian Griffith, the probation officer that turned into the Salem rapist, on "Days Of Our Lives".  Darby has been a proud member of the SAG/AFTRA Young Performers Committee, an active member of A Minor Consideration, and on the Advisory Committee, Looking Ahead, all geared to helping the creative youth of today experience the best of life while helping them avoid the pitfalls that have plagued young artists of the past and present.  Besides finishing up a three part documentary on the real Daniel Boone vs. the TV Daniel Boone, Darby is currently putting together a family travel show with his family. He hopes to show families all across the United States how to get the kids off the couch and go live a little history, for no or little money, right in their own back yards. Check it out at HintonsLivingHistory.com.

Kerry Shear Sue Majors

Kerry Shear is a native Californian, born and raised. She studied acting under the tutelage of Lee Strasberg in New York and Los Angeles and is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio. A founding member of the original Los Angeles Actors Theater where she appeared in Eugene O'Neill's Hairy Ape, Arnold Wesker's The Kitchen, the world premier of Tina Howe's Museum, Prowlers, and The Mulatto's Orgy. Also a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater-West where she appeared in the world premiere of John Ford Noonan's Waiting For The Word, Why Emily Needs a New Outfit and The Woods by David Mamet. At the Strasberg Theater Center she appeared in Cowards, The Commitment of Bob, Biederman and the Fire Bugs and John Ford Noonan's Recent Developments in Southern Connecticut. In Boise, Idaho, she appeared with Wilford Brimley in A. R. Gurney's Love Letters. Kerry worked with John Casavetes on his theatrical piece Knives which later became the film Love Streams. She appeared in the Odyssey theater production of Three Penny Opera and she is most proud of her recent performances; on the Wisconsin stage in the world premier of Bill Svanoe's new comedy The Last Laugh and her portrayal of Gladys in the Deep Dish Theater Company's production of Athol Fugard's A Lesson From Aloes directed by Joan Darling.  She also played the lead in Deep Dish Theater's Third, the last play written by Wendy Wasserstein.  Her film credits include On the Nickel, The Hitch Hikers, Night Flowers, Talking Walls, and Lunker Lake. Kerry has appeared on "The Waltons", "Unsolved Mysteries", "Divorce Court" and numerous commercials. She taught acting at the Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles for many years as well as coaching privately.

Bill Svanoe Playwright

An award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Bill Svanoe has created highly acclaimed television movies including Miles to Go, which won a Christopher Award; Terror on the Beach; Returning Home; Superdome; The Cardboard House; The Dreammakers; and Sparks. Films include Waltz Across Texas, starring Anne Archer, and Fatal Beauty, starring Whoopi Goldberg. His first play, The Newstand, won New Playwright Awards in New York and Holland.  His plays The Black Duck,  Punch and Judy and Callback have been published. He is the Playwright-in-Residence for Phare Play Productions, which has produced Callback, Pants on Fire, Quisisana and Trader Jack and the Stinger. Remember the 1960's hit song Walk Right In? He wrote it.

Blake Bradford Director

Blake Bradford  is an Emmy Award winning writer/director whose theatrical work has appeared all over the US and internationally in Canada, Mexico, Greece, Scotland/England, Denmark, Italy and South Africa.  His original plays I, Undertow, Dance at Bataan, The Last Cloud, Gay Slave Handbook and Word Within the Word are actively seen in the regional circuits and Off Broadway.  His new play, The Unfortunate Honeymoon of Tony and Steve just completed a long run at NYC's Wings Theatre and will soon begin touring. 

Blake is currently on the directing staff of "Live from Lincoln Center" (PBS), where they won a 2008 Emmy for Madama Butterfly. He just completed the highly acclaimed live airing of South Pacific for LFLC.  Other TV credits include "The Big Gay Sketch Show" (LOGO/MTV), "Showtime at the Apollo" (NBC), "Drama Desk Awards" (PBS) and "Arthur Ashe Kids Day" (CBS).  He serves as Artistic Director of Zephyer Rep, which is making their LA debut with The Last Laugh after a sucessful five years in New York City. 

Kymm Zuckert Stage Manager

A graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Circle-in-the-Square Theatre School and New York University, Kymm has been working in the theatre for forty years. The daughter of well-known actors Bill Zuckert and Gladys Holland, she started performing at the age of three in such plays as The Little Clown That Forgot How to Laugh and a French-language version of Sleeping Beauty as well as appearing in television shows like "Sanford and Son", "Baa Baa Black Sheep", and "Days of Our Lives". As an adult, Kymm has been a performer and director with theatre companies such as Love Creek Productions, Foolish Mortals, Phare Play Productions and Zephyer Rep, performing as Josie in Moon for the Misbegotten, April in The Hot L Baltimore, Bottom in an all-female version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Leona in Small Craft Warnings and Marie-Ange in the world premiere of Maiden's Progeny at 59E59 Theaters.  She has been a director for the past seventeen years, of such shows as The Trojan Women, Dear Brutus, Man and Superman, Dulcy, The Cemetery Plays, The Unfortunate Honeymoon of Tony and Steve, A Woman of No Importance, Orpheus Descending, Ghosts, Arcadia, A Doll's House, Cloud Nine, Closer, Gay Slave Handbook and Shirley Valentine.