Thursday, September 8, through Sunday, September 18
Timber Lake Playhouse, 8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll IL
One of the most celebrated country-music stars in history will be showcased at Mt. Carroll's Timber Lake Playhouse September 8 through 18, with the lauded bio-musical Hank Williams: Lost Highway enjoying a run directed by television and stage sensation Ted Lange, an artist recognized the world over for his portrayal of Isaac Washington on the classic television show The Love Boat.
Described by the New York Times as "smart, sweet, poignant" and the New York Post as "the best example of a musician’s bio put on stage that I’ve ever seen," Hank Williams: Lost Highway is a spectacular theatrical entertaining on the legendary singer/songwriter frequently mentioned alongside Louis Armstrong, Robert Johnson, Duke Ellington, Elvis Presley, and Bob Dylan as one of the great innovators of American popular music. The musical follows Williams’ rise from his beginnings on the Louisiana Hayride to his triumphs on the Grand Ole Opry to his eventual self-destruction at 29, and along the way, audiences are treated to indelible songs including “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Move It on Over,” and “Hey, Good Lookin'" that are given fresh and profound resonance set in the context of Williams’ life. As lauded by Rolling Stone, Hank Williams: Lost Highway has "the exhilarating feeling of Williams on stage in a particular place on a particular night" and "serves up classic country with the edges raw and the energy hot. By the end of the play, you’ve traveled on a profound emotional journey."
On-board as the show's director, Ted Lange's theatre-directing career includes more than 50 productions including Othello, with the artist both directing and starring in the stage and film version. Lange’s film and television directing career includes the feature For Love of Amy, as well episodes of TV series The First Family, Mr Box Office, Are We There Yet?, All of Us, Eve, Dharma & Greg, In the House, Moesha, and 17 episodes of the original, iconic Love Boat.
“When we found ourselves in need of a director for Lost Highway," said the Timber Lake Playhouse's executive director Dan Danielowski, "we began a nation-wide search. When one of our actors suggested Ted to direct the show, I immediately reached out to him. We talked a few times, Ted’s schedule allowed him to do the show, and the rest, as they say, is history. We had a lot of interest, but being able to secure a director with Ted’s experience and résumé was great for TLP."
Lange is a graduate of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, an outstanding actor of stage and screen, an exceptional movie and television director, and a prolific writer. He made his Broadway début in the musical hit Hair and his theatre acting career spans more than 40 plays, including Galileo and a national tour of Driving Miss Daisy. Lange received the Best Actor Award from the NAACP Theatre Committee for his portrayal in Gus Edwards' Louie & Ophelia, and Behind the Mask, Lange’s one-man show based on the life and poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar, has played to sold-out houses across the nation. He has also appeared in the Classical Theatre of Harlem’s Production of King Lear and starred in the Tony Award-winning I’m Not Rappaport.
Additionally, Lange has authored 23 plays. Four Queens – No Trump, a bodacious comedy about four black women, played to rave reviews in Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, and Omaha, and won the Los Angeles NAACP Best Play award. Evil Legacy – the Story of Lucretia Borgia was nominated by LA Weekly for Best One Woman Show, and Lange's additional playwriting credits include Born a Unicorn, a rock musical depicting the life of black Shakespearean actor Ira Aldridge, and the musical The Heart of Biddy Mason. Continuing his American historical play trilogy, George Washington’s Boy has received standing ovations at the National Black Theatre Festival, and his new play Lady Patriot completes the series.
Hank Williams: Lost Highway runs at the Mt. Carroll theatre September 8 through 18, with scheduled performances at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, and Lange will be hosting a talk-back after the September 9 performance; patrons with tickets for any of the Lost Highway productions are welcome to attend. Admission is $25-35, and more information and tickets are available by calling (815)244-2035 and visiting TimberLakePlayhouse.org.