Chalifant “Red Dog Howls” to Have Limited Run at El Portal

LOS ANGELES–Kathleen Chalfant, one of the theater’s most celebrated actors, will star in the World Premiere of Alexander Dinelaris’ searing new play, “Red Dog Howls” at the El Portal Theatre for a strictly limited five week engagement from May 14 to June 13. The press opening is May 19. “Red Dog Howls” also stars Matthew Rauch and Darcie Siciliano, and is directed by Michael Peretzian. “Red Dog Howls” is produced by Gang of Five-New York.
Chalfant is well known to New York audiences and worldwide for her portrayal of Vivian Bearing in the off-Broadway, Los Angeles and London productions of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Wit.” For her performance, Ms. Chalfant received the Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League Award, LA Ovation Award, Connecticut Critics Circle Award, as well as her second Obie Award.
Playwright Alexander Dinelaris was nominated for two Drama Desk awards in 2003 for his work on the book and lyrics for the Off-Broadway hit “Zanna Don’t.” He also worked on the screenplay for the next film by producer director Alejandro Gonz?lez-I??rritu, Academy Award nominee for “Babel” and producer of “21 Grams”.
Matthew Rauch was seen on Broadway in “Prelude to a Kiss” and “Proposals.” The sets are by Tom Buderwitz and costumes by Bobby Pearce, with lighting design by Michael Gilliam and original music composed and performed by Ara Dabandjian.
Set in present day New York, “Red Dog Howls” deals frankly with the terrible legacy of the Armenian genocide, and brings to light the human toll of one of the darkest chapters of world history.
It tells the story of Michael Kiriakos, a young man who is forced to confront his family’s most terrible secret, in order for him to move forward with his own life. After his father dies, he discovers a box of letters from his grandmother Rose, whom his father had told him was long dead. Michael finds her, and as they establish a relationship, Rose begins reveals the truth about Michael’s family: that he is Armenian, not Greek, and that his family, like many Armenia’s, was destroyed by the Turks in the early part of the century.
As they become closer, Michael’s wife’s pregnancy advances and events begin to collide. The play climaxes when Rose tells him the final secret, a dark sacrifice that has cursed the family ever since. Once he learns the truth, Michael realizes he must summon all his strength to end the curse once and for all.
Tickets for “Red Dog Howls” are available online at www.reddoghowls.com or www.elportaltheatre.com and by phone at (818) 508-4200. For group sales please call (818) 508-4200. The El Portal Theatre is at 5269 North Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood.
In addition to her award winning turn in “Wit,” Kathleen Chalfant was also acclaimed for her Tony-nominated performance as Hannah Pitt in Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” on Broadway. As familiar a face in film as in the theatre, Ms. Chalfant can also be seen in the feature films “A Perfect Stranger” opposite Halle Berry and Bruce Willis, “The Last New Yorker,” “Kinsey,” “Lackwanna Blues,” “Dark Water,” “Random Hearts,” Boaz Yakin’s ”A Price Below Rubies,” Whit Stillman’s “The Last Days of Disco,” “Side Streets,” ”Company Men,” and “The Pornographer.”
She co-starred in the NBC series “The Book of Daniel” and has appeared on the small screen in the CBS drama “The Guardian,” HBO’s “The Laramie Project,” The Stephen King mini-series “Storm of the Century”; “Voices from the White House” (PBS), “A Death in the Family” (American Masterpiece Theatre/PBS), with recurring roles on the critically acclaimed “Prince Street” and “One Life to Live”; and guest spots on “Law & Order,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “Spin City” and “New York Undercover.”
In 1996, she made her Shakespearean debut in the Public Theater’s “Henry V,” where her Mistress Quickly garnered her a 1996 Calloway Award for Best Classical Performance of the Year.
Chalfant most recently appeared Off-Broadway in “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” at Playwrights Horizons opposite Mary-Louise Parker. Some of her other stage credits include “Spalding Gray: Stories Left To Tell,” “Great Expectations,” “Guantanamo,” “5 By Tenn” at the Kennedy Center and Manhattan Theatre Club, “The Last Letter” with TFNA, “Far Away” at New York Theatre Workshop, “Bloomer Girl” at City Center Encores!, “The Vagina Monologues” at the West Side Arts Theater in New York and the San Francisco production, “The Last Letter” at Theatre for a New Audience, “Savannah Bay” at Classic Stage Company, “True History and Real Adventures” at the Vineyard Theatre, “Nine Armenia’s” at the Manhattan Theatre Club; the premiere of David Hare’s new play “Racing Demon” at Lincoln Center; “Twelve Dreams”, directed by James Lapine; “M. Butterfly” opposite John Lithgow; “The Crucible” as Anne Putnam, “Sister Mary Ignatius…” and “The Party.”
Matthew Rauch, who costars as Michael, appeared on Broadway in “Prelude to a Kiss,” and “Proposals.” Off-Broadway credits include “Edward the Second” (Red Bull), “1001” (Page 73), “Expats” (New Group), “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” (New Group), “In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer” (Keen Company), “Revenger’s Tragedy” (Red Bull), “Hurlyburly” (New Group), and “Book of Days” (Signature Theatre).
His regional credits include “The Front Page” (Williamstown), “Modern Orthodox” (Long Wharf), “The Miser” (Arena Stage), “Henry V” and “Macbeth” (Shakespeare Theatre), “Arcadia” and “Ghosts” (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), “The Brothers Karamazov” (Cincinnati Playhouse), “Book of Days” (Hartford Stage), “Black Snow,” “Cakewalk” and “The LA Plays” (American Repertory Theatre), “Othello” (Philadelphia Drama Guild).
Matthew has appeared on television in "Without a Trace,"Criminal Intent,"Jonny Zero,"Navy NCIS,"Leap of Faith,"The DA,"Law & Order," and the pilot of "Metropolis,” and on film in “No Reservations,” “Order of Redemption,” “Invitation to a Suicide,” “Frankenfish,” “Future Imperfect,” and “Balkanization.”

Darcie Siciliano, who plays Gabriella, performed the role in New York at the premiere reading of “Red Dog Howls” in June 2007. Other New York credits include: “Chaos Theories” (Resistance/Shotgun); “Caseload”; “Soundtrack To Cezanne”(WorkShop Theatre Co.); “Big Kids” (Shotgun); multiple appearances with The A-Train Musicals (Playwright Horizons, Kaye Playhouse, New World Stages, et al), Women’s Project, and Metropolitan More Playhouse. She starred as Carrie Ann, alongside Danny Aiello, in many readings of Dinelaris’ STILL LIFE; and she also acted as a line coach for the Broadway production of MATCH, directed by Nicholas Martin.
Regional credits include the East Coast premieres of both Michael Weller’s “Help!” (Schoolhouse Theatre) and “Don’t Hug Me” (New Jersey Rep); “First In Flight” (TheatreWorks/USA); “All’s Well That Ends Well” (Vineyard Playhouse); Joan of Arc in “Joan” (Northeastern Theatre); “Sorrows and Rejoicings” (New Day Rep); “Lady of Copper” (TheatreGarden Ltd); “Christmas Carol” (Westport Acting Co.); “Months On End” (Bay Street Theatre). In addition to her musical theater credits, she has performed as a singer in New York at Joe’s Pub, the Zipper, Danny’s, the Knitting Factory, Southpaw, and at Guild Hall in East Hampton. Darcie is a graduate of Connecticut College and the Neighborhood Playhouse.
In addition to “Zanna Don’t,” and his work with Alejandro Gonz?lez-I??rritu, playwright Alexander Dinelaris wrote the play “The Chaos Theories,” which was the hit of the 2004 New York Fringe Festival, and chosen as a top pick of the Festival by the New York Times and Daily News. It was re-mounted and played to sold-out audiences last year.
At present, he has two plays optioned for Broadway — “Folding The Monster” (with Academy Award nominee Danny Aiello) and “Still Life,” slated for fall of 2008. His other works include “Big Kids,” “Adam & Evelyn,” and “Pathetique.” He has been a script doctor for New Line Cinema and recently finished work on “Crisis Center: NYC,” his first television pilot, and he is also developing a television drama with Warren Littlefield and The Littlefield Co.
Michael Peretzian directed “Phil and Mac” by David Briggs for Los Angeles Actors’ Theatre, the West Coast Premiere of “Talking With” by Jane Martin for the Mark Taper Forum Taper Too, a staged reading of Truman Capote’s “One Christmas” for the Taper, and “A Christmas Memory,” broadcast for many years on KCRW FM (NPR). He also staged “A Christmas Memory” for Pacific Resident Theatre. At Theatre 40, he directed productions of Michael Cristofer’s “The Shadow Box,” James Prideaux’s “The Orphans,” Garry Williams’ one act “Rain,” David Storey’s “Home,” and productions of Hugh Leonard’s “Summer” and “A Life,” the latter of which won Peretzian the Los Angeles Critics’ Award for Best Director.

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