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Marvel: Buckle up for CATCO’s timely, biting comedy

By Sarah Mills Bacha

CATCO Press Representative

Since its successful run in London in 1980, Educating Rita, Willy Russell’s class clash comedy, has been adapted for a film starring Michael Caine and performed by theaters worldwide. More recently, revivals are on the rise, including CATCO’s production set for next spring.

I thought it was the perfect time to revive this play,” said CATCO Producing Director Steven C. Anderson. “We live in a time when aspersions are routinely hurled at intellectualism. Answering that cynicism about knowledge is Rita, a hair dresser who believes in the power of exercising the brain.”

The clash begins when working class Rita, 26 years old, enrolls in a university class and is assigned to her tutor, a disillusioned, midlife university lecturer named Frank. Both characters’ eyes are opened to their very different lifestyles and they experience firsthand that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

In addition to being entertained by a biting comedy on a timely theme, CATCO’s revival of Educating Rita will feature another treat for central Ohio theatre lovers – Jonathan Putnam performing the role of Frank.

Putnam, who has performed in 100-plus CATCO shows, was most recently seen in the theatre’s production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike in spring 2015. The previous season, he portrayed Richard Nixon in The Final Table. His role in David Sedaris’ The Santaland Dairies was a CATCO holiday tradition for many seasons.

The role of Frank the jaded tutor who lifts Rita to self confidence and academic rigor is tailor made for Jon’s dramatic and comedic genius,” Anderson said.

Educating Rita will be performed April 11-29, 2018, Studio Two Theatre, Riffe Center, 77 S. High St. Tickets range in price from $20 to $40. For details, visit catcoistheare.org or call 614.469.0939.

 

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