After 35 years and over 3,000 performances, storied live show “An Evening With Groucho Marx” is hitting the small screen for the first time.
Starting April 1, “Frank Ferrante’s Groucho,” a filmed version of the long-running stage show, will air on public televisions stations across the country, with airings planned in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and more.
“Frank Ferrante’s Groucho” stars Frank Ferrante as famed comedian and film icon Groucho Marx, in a two-act, 90-minute interactive comedy. During the show Ferrante recreates many of Marx’s most famous characters, plays famous songs from Marx Brothers films such as “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady” and “Hooray For Captain Spaulding” and invites his audience to participate in an ad-libbed section of the performance.
“An Evening With Groucho” began as Ferrante’s senior project as a student at University of Southern California in 1985. The project was viewed by Groucho Marx’s son Arthur Marx, who cast Ferrante as his father in “Groucho: A Life in Revue” a year later. Since then, Ferrante has toured “An Evening With Groucho” in over 500 cities and is the owner of Groucho Marx Productions, Inc., which represents Marx’s likeness. For his work playing Marx, he is the recipient of numerous honors, including the New York’s Theatre World Award and nominations for the Laurence Olivier Award and New York’s Outer Critics Circle. Aside from his work portraying Marx, he is also known for playing the character Caesar in “Teatro ZinZanni” productions, directing numerous plays at regional Philadelphia theater Walnut Street Theatre and his television work on shows such as “Childrens Hospital” and “Spongebob Squarepants.”
“Frank Ferrante’s Groucho” is directed by Dreya Weber, who produces with Ferrante. Gerald Sternbach music directs the show, which features set design from Tamara L. Honesty and lighting from Mark Williams. The performance was filmed at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. American Public Television distributes the broadcast, which is sponsored in part by the Buxton Center for Bainbridge Performing Arts.
In addition to public broadcasts, “Frank Ferrante’s Groucho” will also be available on DVD, which will release April 1. Watch the trailer for the play below.