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Comedy chronicles trials, tribulations of marriage

Mike Monroney and Nikki B. Montany
Staff Photo |

Thunder River Theatre Company presents the Tony Award-winning comedy “The Fourposter” by Jan de Hartog. This charming, funny and poignant two-character play spans 35 years of marriage, from the couple’s wedding night to becoming empty nesters. Witness the laughter and sorrows and trials and tribulations they experience throughout their marriage. The play takes place in their bedroom, dominated by their fourposter bed.

The Fourposter, which a New York Times reviewer called “the most civilized comedy we have had on marriage for years,” starred the First Couple of Theatre Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy. It went on to win de Hartog a Tony Award at the sixth annual Tony Awards Show for Best Play. Columbia Pictures also made “The Fourposter” into a partially animated movie, starring Rex Harrison and Lilli Palmer. The film was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for its cinematography. Later, in 1966, it became the musical “I Do! I Do!” He was nominated for a Nobel Prize in 1972 for “The Peaceable Kingdom.”

TRTC’s production features the talented Nikki B. Montany and Mike Monroney. Montany is a classically trained singer who has sung throughout the U.S. and Europe, including with The Santa Fe Opera. This past summer she was seen as Mme. Thenardier in Theatre Aspen’s hit production of “Les Misérables.” She has also performed locally with Aspen Fringe, CMC Theatre and Aspen Community Theatre. Monroney directed TRTC’s “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” last Dec. He was a longtime veteran of Aspen’s Crystal Palace, and past host of Aspen Today on TV16. He is the “History Coach” for the Aspen Historical Society and his play, “A Briefly Complete History of Aspen” has been performed up and down the valley and in Los Angeles and Lincoln, Neb. Monroney has acted and/or directed for Theatre Aspen, the Hudson Reed Ensemble, Snowmass Chapel, The Broadway Players, Pegasus and Aspen Community Theatre.



De Hartog (April 22, 1914, Netherlands – Sept. 22, 2002, Texas) was a Dutch playwright, novelist and occasional social critic who moved to the U.S. in the early 1960s. De Hartog was raised in the city of Haarlem, Holland. At around the age of 11, he ran away to become a cabin boy, otherwise referred to as a “sea mouse” on board a Dutch fishing boat. His theater career began in the late 1930s at the Amsterdam Municipal Theater, where he acted and wrote. The Gestapo took a lively interest in de Hartog himself, who had joined the nonmilitary Dutch resistance movement, performing and writing plays while assisting in the concealment and relocation of Jewish babies to avoid having them sent to concentration camps. He was forced into hiding, assuming the identity of an elderly woman in a nursing home. He relocated to the U.S. and made the professional decision to write most of his later works in English, beginning with “The Lost Sea” (1951), which was a fictional account of his experiences working aboard ship as a boy.

The Fourposter continues Dec. 13, 14, 15 and 19, 20, 21, 22. Curtain is 7:30 p.m., except Dec. 15 and 22 Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults and $12 for students. The theatre is located in downtown Carbondale. Further information and tickets are available at http://www.thunderrivertheatre.com or by calling 970-963-8200.




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