Ask anyone who grew up in this country in the last 75 years to name the most seductive older woman in his or her movie memory, and you'll most likely find Mrs. Robinson at the top of that list. She has become an American icon, immortalized not only in Mike Nichols's movie The Graduate, but also in the words of Paul Simon's eponymous song. Now, Mrs. Robinson is donning those famous heels and heading over to the Ivoryton Playhouse's production of The Graduate, running now through May 6.
A cult novel, a classic film, a quintessential hit of the '60s, The Graduate tells the story of main character Benjamin's disastrous sexual odyssey. This is the first play adaptation of the classic novel and film. It premiered in April 2000 at the Gielgud Theatre in London, starring Kathleen Turner as Mrs. Robinson and later came to Broadway in 2002.
Stepping into Mrs. Robinson's heels in the Ivoryton production is Judith Lighfoot Clarke. She's performed in theaters across the country, and her work has included Shakespearean productions and many period dramas. Television work includes Kate & Allie.
Luke Guldan's take on the role of Benjamin Braddock is a little different from Dustin Hoffman's. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Guldan is an accomplished athlete, nationally recognized for his achievements in health and fitness. The INBF Mr. Fitness in 2008 and 2009, he's been on the covers of and featured in magazines such as GQ, Men's Health, Muscle & Fitness, Men's Fitness, and Cosmopolitan. Guldan has parlayed this success into television roles, including that of Iron Man's personal trainer from a Nicktoons TV commercial. He's also appeared on TV in Gossip Girl, Royal Pains, and The Colbert Report.
The Graduate is directed by Lawrence Thelen with the set design by Tina Louise Jones, lighting design by Marcus Abbott, sound by Tate R. Burmeister, and costumes by LisaMarie Harry.
Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday at
2 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors, $20 for students, and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting www.ivorytonplayhouse.org. The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.