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Arts & Culture Family Featured Music & Events Fara Illich February 21, 2011

Saturday night, the Arizona Theatre Company brought romance, comedy, and drama to the Herberger Theatre. Set during the 1930’s and the 1940’s on a beautifully rotating stage, Ten Chimneys gave us a slice of the private life for two Broadway legends, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, at their country home in Genesse Depot, Wisconsin.
10_chimneysCommissioned by the Arizona Theatre Company and written by the nationally acclaimed playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, Ten Chimneys offers a look at the private lives of artists who are always on the stage. During the Two-Act play, Lunt and Fontanne decide to perform Chekhov’s masterpiece, The Sea Gull. When a young actress named Uta Hagen arrives, a romantic triangle begins to mirror the events in Chekov’s play about passion and art.
Oh, la la!
The dialogue is snappy and the acting is first-rate. Steve Hendrickson (Lunt) and Suzanne Bouchard (Fontanne) not only channeled the famous couple but they looked like them too. They were fabulous.
Ten Chimneys is not a what but a where. Lunt and Fontanne would retreat to their Wisconsin estate, which they dubbed Ten Chimneys, every summer. It had become an actors retreat for them and many of their artistic friends like Noel Coward, Helen Hayes, Laurence Olivier, and Vivien Leigh. During the 15-minute intermission, be sure to head out to the lobby to look at the old photographs of Lunt and Fontanne and their beautiful home. Today, Ten Chimneys is opened to the public as a world-class house museum and a national resource for theatre, the arts, and even the art of living.
Ten Chimneys will run through March 6 at the Herberger Theatre Center. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Arizona Theatre Company Box Office at www.arizonatheatre.org.