Trinity Repertory Company’s Fred Sullivan Jr., who recently won rave reviews for his portrayal as Scrooge in Trinity Rep’s holiday production of “A Christmas Carol,” will be starring as Max Prince in Ocean State Theatre Company’s upcoming production of Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor.” This semi-autobiographical comedy focuses on the hilarities that take place in the writer’s room of a weekly comedy-variety show circa 1953, and the show’s star, a Sid Caesar-like, Max Prince.
“We’re always trying to find the very best cast for each show we produce, which sometimes means crossing the country,” said Producing Artistic Director Amiee Turner. “For this particular role, we didn’t have to look any further than Rhode Island. When we thought about the role of Max Prince, Fred seemed to be the perfect choice. We are thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity to collaborate.”
Invited to join the acting company at Providence’s Trinity Rep in 1984, Mr. Sullivan has appeared in 110 productions in 30 seasons. In addition to Scrooge, some of his favorite roles include Sir John Falstaff in both “Henry IV” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor”; Harold Hill in “The Music Man,” Captain Hook in “Peter Pan,” Edmund Tyrone in “Long Day’s Journey into Night,” Oscar Madison in “The Odd Couple,” Alfred Doolittle in “My Fair Lady,” Daddy Warbucks in “Annie,” Sir Toby Belch in “Twelfth Night,” Walter Burns in “His Girl Friday” and Teddy Platt in both “House” and “Garden.”
Sullivan is also a resident artist with the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company in Boston, where he has played Bottom in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Jaques in “As You Like It,” Menenius in “Coriolanus,” Brabantio in “Othello,” Ageon in “Comedy of Errors” and Parolles in “All’s Well That Ends Well.” He recently appeared as Mark Rothko in “Red” at The Sandra Feinstein Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket and has also appeared at the Dallas Theatre Center, Berkeley Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville and NJ Shakespeare.
He has received several awards for acting excellence including Norton Awards for his portrayals of Charles Condomine in “Blithe Spirit” and Jaques in “As You Like It” and an IRNE (Independent Reviewers of New England) Award for his portrayal of Walter Burns in “His Girl Friday.”
As a director, Sullivan’s work has not only been seen at Trinity Rep, but since 1996, he has been a resident director for The Gamm, where he has directed over 20 productions including Glengarry Glen Ross, for which he won the Motif Award for Best Director. He has also directed for the Trinity Rep Conservatory, Harwich Jr. Theatre, and Barnstable Summer Family Theatre. Mr. Sullivan also teaches acting at Rhode Island School of Design, The Gamm, and as a Trinity Rep teaching artist.
“Laughter on the 23rd Floor” will be presented at Ocean State Theatre from Jan. 29 through Feb. 16. Previews are scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. and Thursday, Jan. 30 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. All other performances will be held Wednesday (except February 2) through Saturday evenings at 7:30 pm, with matinees on Thursdays (except Feb. 13), Saturdays at 2 p.m. (except Feb. 15) and Sundays at 2 p.m. Conducting Conversations Live!, a free post-show discussion, will follow the 2 p.m. performance on Sunday, Feb. 2. The new post show Piano Bar Series, will continue with a Valentine’s Day theme and will be held following Friday and Saturday evening performances (beginning at approximately 9:45 pm) in the theatre’s lobby on Feb. 7, 8, 14 and 15.
The theatre is located at 1245 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick. Tickets are $30 for preview performances and $34-$49 for all other performances. Discount rates for groups of 20 or more are available by calling 921-1777 x112. $25 “Rush” tickets are available on a limited basis one hour prior to curtain on the day of the performance. Tickets are on sale at the box office Monday through Friday from 12-6 p.m., Saturdays from 12-4 p.m. and 12 noon until curtain time on performance days. Tickets are also available online 24 hours a day at www.oceanstatetheatre.org and via telephone during normal box office hours by calling 921-6800.
Ocean State Theatre Company (OSTC) is a professional not-for-profit regional theatre whose mission is to preserve and pass on the tradition of live, professional theatre – including the American musical – and to pursue avenues of enrichment and education for the benefit of the state of Rhode Island and the surrounding region through the theatre arts. OSTC, which re-opened and ran the historic Theatre By The Sea in Matunuck, RI from 2007-2012 and began producing shows in Warwick in 2012, is an IRS designated not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.