Press Release: The Ladies of the Camellias






The world premiere of a revised and re-written production of


Written and directed by Lillian Groag

Limited engagement opens Saturday, August 21st at the Colony Theatre in Burbank!

1897 - Paris - DUSE! BERNHARDT!

Two Legends, One Theater...Let the revolution begin...

July 19, 2004...Burbank, CA...The Colony Theatre Company, winner of back-to-back Ovation Awards for best play - presents the second production of their 2004 - 2005 season, the world premiere of a newly revised production of THE LADIES OF THE CAMELLIAS written and directed by Lillian Groag.. THE LADIES OF THE CAMELLIAS will preview August 18th, August 19th and August 20th and will open on Saturday, August 21st and continue through Sunday, September 19th at the Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) in the heart of the Burbank Media Center. THE LADIES OF THE CAMELLIAS transports us to 1897, France. Dangerous riots and political unrest are brewing outside a major Paris theatre. But let's never mind that! On the inside, two of the greatest rivals in the history of the stage - Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse - are girding for their perceptive, quick-witted and legendary encounter. What happens when the realities of poverty and injustice invade the make-believe world of footlights and grease paint? What does art say in the face of violence? And who gets to laugh last? THE LADIES OF THE CAMELLIAS is a smart, funny love letter to the theatre; a witty and incisive play about the enduring power of art amidst a titanic clash of wills and the unstoppable forces of history.

Barbara Beckley, Producing Director of the Colony Theatre comments, "Eleanora Duse, Sarah Bernhardt, Lillian Groag - all at the Colony. I may as well just die and go to heaven right now! With an extraordinary cast and a design team that is pure perfection, our subscribers and audiences are going to enjoy this play as a remarkably wonderful entertainment but will walk out of the theatre with so much to think about. And to me, that is the great joy of producing entertain and to have one leave the play thinking, feeling and wanting to know or do more."

The writer/director of THE LADIES OF THE CAMELLIAS is acclaimed artist Lillian Groag who works in the theatre as an actress, writer and director. Her acting credits include Broadway, Off Broadway, Mark Taper Forum, and regional theatres throughout the country. She has directed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Old Globe Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Mark Taper Forum's Taper Too, New York City Opera, Berkeley Repertory, Milwaukee Repertory, Missouri Repertory, Seattle Repertory, Glimmerglass Opera, The Juilliard School of Music, the Sundance Institute Playwrights Lab, the Virginia Opera, Opera San Jose and the Company of Angels. Her plays The Ladies of the Camellias and The White Rose (AT&T award for new American Plays), The Magic Fire (Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays) and Menocchio and Midons have been produced variously by the Old Globe Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Kennedy Center, The Guthrie Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the Northlight Theatre, the WPA Theatre, Seattle Repertory, the Asolo Theatre, The Wilma Theatre, The People's Light and Theatre Company, Junges Theater in Bonn, Landesbuhne Sachsen-Anhalt in Eisleben, Shauspielhaus in Wuppertal, Hessisches Landestheater in Marburg, and Tokyo. She has done translations and adaptations of Lorca, Feydeau, Musset, Marivaux, and Molnar, produced at the Guthrie, the Mark Taper Forum Taper II, and Missouri Rep.

She is an Associate Artist of the Old Globe Theatre. The Ladies of the Camellias, Blood Wedding (commissioned by and produced at the Guthrie Theater and Missouri Repertory Theatre) and The White Rose (at the moment on National Tour in Germany) have been published by the Dramatists Play Service. Upcoming: La Fanciulla del West at New York City Opera, "Lucie de Lammermoor" at Glimmerglass Opera, "L'Enfant et les Sortilèges" and "L'Enfant Prodigue" at Juilliard, Turandot and Tristan und Isolde at Virginia Opera.

The cast of THE LADIES OF THE CAMELLIAS features: Tony Abatemarco, Mark Bramhall, Victoria Carroll, Julia Coffey, Chip Heller, Louis Lotorto, Melinda Peterson, Triney Sandoval and Marcelo Tubert.

THE LADIES OF THE CAMELLIAS has assembled an award-winning design team. The set design is by Tom Buderwitz (TOYS IN THE ATTIC). The costume design is by A. Jeffrey Schoenberg (SIDE SHOW). The sound design is by Jeff Folschinsky. The lighting design is by Jeremy Pivnick (TOYS IN THE ATTIC). 

Performances for THE LADIES OF THE CAMELLIAS will be Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. Additionally there will be performances on Saturday, August 28th and Saturday, September 4th at 3:00pm; and also Thursday, September 9th and Thursday, September 16th at 8:00pm. Ticket prices range from $26.00 - $36.00 (student and senior discounts are available). Preview performances will be Wednesday, August 18th, Thursday, August 19th and Friday, August 20th at 8:00pm - all tickets $16.00. Opening night performance with reception - all tickets $60.00. There will be two Talk-Back performances with the cast on Friday, August 27th and Thursday, September 9th immediately following the performance. For tickets, call the Box Office at 818/558-7000.  

In partnership with the Los Angeles Radio Reading Service, The Colony now offers Audio Description for one performance during each production. The service provides a rich description of the show giving our visually impaired patrons the full Colony experience. Audio Description will be available on Saturday, September 4th at 3:00pm. To make a reservation for this performance, call the box office and ask for Audio Description Saturday.

For more information or for press comps, please contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818/508-1754 or at

The Colony Theatre Company is a 29 year old organization dedicated to bringing the finest quality theatrical productions to Los Angeles. The theatre is located at 555 North Third Street, at the corner of Cypress, in the heart of the Burbank Media Center. For further information, call (818) 558-7000. Fax number: (818) 558-7110. E-mail: Or visit our website at www.colonytheatre.ORG.