act3 press release




David Elzer


[email protected]






to star in


ACT 3...

Written by David Ambrose and Claudia Nellens

Directed by Martin Bergman

Limited Engagement Opens Saturday, January 9


at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach!

November 4, 2015…Laguna Beach, CA…The Laguna Playhouse Executive and

Artistic Directors, Karen Wood and Ann E. Wareham are thrilled to announce the third show in their 2015-2016 season, the U.S. Premiere of Rita Rudner and Charles

Shaughnessy starring in ACT 3...

, written by David Ambrose and Claudia Nellens and directed by Martin Bergman. “What a delight to have Rita Rudner and Martin

Bergman back and coupled with the incomparable Charles Shaughnessy in this delicious comedy,” comments Wood. “We are delighted to bring the U.S. Premiere of this very smart dramedy to our audiences and subscribers. It’s a great new play and we have a fantastic team putting together its American debut!” adds Wareham.

ACT 3... will begin performances on Wednesday, January 6; will open on Saturday,

January 9 and will run through Sunday, January 31, 2016 at the Laguna Playhouse,

606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

Old enough to know better? But still young enough to want more? That’s a dangerous combination for a couple of a certain age. They’d been together for


ACT 3...

Page Two longer than most marriages. She thought she understood him. He, of course, was quite sure she didn’t. Because he had a secret. But she had a secret too. An even bigger one than his. What happens when secrets collide?


MARTIN BERGMAN (Director) is a British producer, writer and director.

After leaving Cambridge University in 1979, Bergman produced several live arena shows with an Australian partner Michael Edgley, most notably the world tour of ice skaters Torvill and Dean. He also worked on Australian tours of The Moscow

Circus, the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Bolshoi Ballet, as well as producing several live comedy shows in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and the

USA. Bergman married the American comedian Rita Rudner in 1988. They have written several films, plays and TV projects together, including 1992’s awardwinning film “Peter’s Friends” which reunited Bergman with some of his Cambridge University contemporaries. The couple performed together too in a

TV series for the BBC in England, as well as in a series of British TV commercials.

Bergman has directed many of the projects he and Rita wrote together, including

Tickled Pink at the Laguna Playhouse in 2012, and Bergman’s production company has produced most of his wife’s shows, including her record-breaking, thirteenyear-long run in Las Vegas.


has performed over 3,000 solo shows in Las Vegas since the MGM

Corporation built a theatre for her twelve years ago. She also regularly performs concerts and at corporate and charity events across the country. She recently performed as an actress in the world premiere of her play Tickled Pink at the

Laguna Playhouse.

One of the country’s top comedians and a New York Times bestselling author, Rita

Rudner is also an award-winning television personality, screenwriter, playwright,

Broadway dancer, and actress. A house-filling favorite in Las Vegas since she


ACT 3...

Page Three opened as one of the hottest tickets in town in June, 2000, Rudner is known for her epigrammatic one-liners. She performs at The Venetian in Las Vegas, where over the course of a ten year run and 2,000 plus shows, she has sold over one million tickets and become the longest-running solo show in the history of Las Vegas.

She has been named Comedian of the Year nine years in a row and in 2006 received

The Nevada Ballet’s Woman Of The Year Award (other recent recipients include

Bette Midler, Celine Dion, Chita Rivera and Twyla Tharp).

Rita’s first solo HBO special, Rita Rudner’s One Night Stand, was nominated for several awards, as was her eponymous English BBC television show that later appeared in the USA on A&E. Rudner’s two one-hour specials for HBO, Born to Be

Mild and Married Without Children, were ratings standouts and she performed all over the country, filling Carnegie Hall in New York three times and the Universal

Amphitheatre in Los Angeles twice. In 2008 Rita Rudner: Live From Las Vegas was

PBS’s first ever stand-up comedy special.

Rita Rudner has written five books, including her bestselling non-fiction titles,

Naked Beneath My Clothes and Rita Rudner’s Guide to Men and the novels Tickled

Pink and Turning the Tables. The audio version of Tickled Pink received a Grammy nomination. Her latest collection of essays, I Still Have It...I Just Can’t Remember

Where I Put It, was published in May 2008.

In 2003, Rudner launched from Las Vegas her first syndicated daily TV show, Ask

Rita, which featured a panel of celebrities lightheartedly attempting to solve personal problems submitted by members of the public; it ran for two years. For her work on the show, American Women in Radio and Television awarded Rudner a 2004 Gracie Allen Award for Best Program Host. Rita helped write the 2001 and

2003 Oscar shows with Steve Martin and the 2002 Oscar broadcast with Whoopi



ACT 3...

Page Four

Rita Rudner moved to New York at the age of fifteen to become a dancer on

Broadway. She appeared in several shows, including the original productions of

Follies and Mack and Mabel. It was while in Annie on Broadway that she began exploring the comedy clubs of Manhattan. In the early ‘80s, Rudner took a full-time leap from chorus lines to punch lines and was soon a regular guest on both Late

Night With David Letterman and The Tonight Show.

Rudner is a frequent collaborator with her writer/producer husband of twenty years, Martin Bergman. The couple’s first produced film script was Peter’s Friends.

The film, starring Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie, Kenneth Branagh, Imelda

Staunton, Stephen Fry, and Rita, won the Evening Standard Peter Sellers Award for Comedy and was nominated for the Goya Award for Best European Film of

1994. Bergman and Rudner’s latest film, Thanks, recently premiered at the 2011

Palm Springs International Film Festival. The couple’s first play – Room 776 – ran as part of the 2008 season of the Las Vegas Little Theatre. Tickled Pink had its world premiere at the Playhouse.

In 2009, Rita, Bette Midler and Sheryl Crow joined forces to perform a fundraiser for President Obama and the Democratic leader of the Senate, Harry Reid.

Rita Rudner lives in Las Vegas and Monarch Beach, California, with her husband and daughter. For more information on Rita, log on to her website at or become her fan on Facebook.

CHARLES SHAUGHNESSY born and raised in London, England, came from a show business family. His father was the principal writer and script editor on "Upstairs,

Downstairs", his mother was an actress and his brother, David, a director and producer in Television. After graduating from Eton College, Shaughnessy got his BA in Law at the Magdalene College of Cambridge University. "Despite a lifelong love of the theater, I thought it was about time someone in my family did something sensible," he said.


ACT 3...

Page Five

Upon graduation, however, Shaughnessy returned to his first love, acting, and enrolled in drama school in London, where he met American-born actress, Susan

Fallender and with whom he moved to California in 1983. He has enjoyed a successful and varied career on large and small screen. From his six year stint as Maxwell

Sheffield on The Nanny to his memorable arc as St. John Powell in AMC’s hit series:

Mad Men. He was recently seen in the latest installment of Hallmark’s highly rated

Loves… franchise, playing the weasly lawyer, Alex Weaver in Love’s Christmas

Journey, as well as guest appearances on Castle, CSI NEW York, and the popular

Kid’s favorite, Victorious!

Charles’ many stage appearances include the Triple Tony Award winning Broadway musical Urinetown, Pasadena Playhouse’s acclaimed production of Orson’s Shadow as well as double dipping as Arthur in both Cam- (and Spam-) alot! More recently he garnered great reviews for his performance as Henry Higgins in the North Shore

Theater production of My Fair Lady, and has just wrapped a SciFi movie called

Moontrap: Target Earth that will be released in 2015.

Off stage Charles is always interested and engaged in the world around him. He is a regular contributor to the Hollywood Journal, an online Blog that focuses on the

“Soul” of show-business and, grateful for all that his career has given him, Charles spends a lot of time bringing the life-tools of Improvisation to Youth at Risk groups.

Recently he honored to be elected to the Advisory Board at The Robert F. Kennedy

Children’s Action Corps in Massachusetts. It is also a little known fact that Charles is actually a legitimate member of the English aristocracy since inheriting the title of

Lord Shaughnessy 5 th

. Baron of Montreal and Ashford, County Limerick!


ACT 3...

will begin previews on Wednesday, January 6; will open on Saturday,

January 9 at 7:30pm and runs through Sunday, January 31, 2016 at the Laguna

Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.


ACT 3...

Page Six

Performances will be Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm;

Sundays at 1pm. There will be additional performances on Thursday, January 7;

Thursday, January 21 & Thursday, January 28 at 2:00pm, Sunday January 10 &

Sunday, January 17 at 5:30.

Tickets range from $48 - $61 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229.

The box office is open Mondays – Saturdays: 12p.m. to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); Sundays: 11a.m. – 4p.m.

For more information on all shows and programming visit

For more information on all shows and programming visit LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE is located at 606 Laguna

Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

# # #

To schedule press interviews, photos, press comps or for additional information, please contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818/508-1754 or by e-mail at [email protected] or visit


Laguna Playhouse is your “go to” for a great night out – be it plays, musicals, concerts, dance, stand-up comedy, author panels, family entertainment and more. No matter what your entertainment taste, with over 300 performances a year, we’re what’s going on!

Founded in 1920, the Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously-operating not-for-profit theatres on the West Coast and is noted for its artistic excellence, wideranging performing arts programming, award-winning youth education offerings and community partnerships. A member of the League of Resident Theatres, the Laguna

Playhouse is also home to the annual Laguna Dance Festival, the Laguna Beach

Music Festival and the Laguna Beach Concert Band. The Laguna Playhouse has been recognized for excellence by the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, LA Drama

Critics Circle, OC Weekly and more.


ACT 3...

Page Seven

Because of its longstanding commitment to the arts, The Laguna Playhouse has been recognized for excellence by the LA Drama Critics Circle, NAACP, Backstage, ArtsOC,

OC Weekly, Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce and more. Laguna Playhouse’s educational programming, which includes classes, productions by and for children and teens (Youth Theatre) and a school tour, has been honored by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, Arts Orange County and the Orange County Department of Education.

Serving more than 100,000 patrons each season, the Laguna Playhouse has featured many talented performers on stage, including Leslie Caron, Val Kilmer, Ed Asner,

Hershey Felder, Linda Purl, Davis Gaines, Donna McKechnie, Rita Rudner, violinist

Joshua Bell, Lee Rocker, ballerina Misty Copeland, Harrison Ford, and Bette Davis.

The Laguna Playhouse – we’re What’s Going On!

Learn what’s new at


# # #