Westport Reads Mister Roberts on Veterans Day


Westport Country Playhouse knows who’s in its reading of Mister Roberts Nov. 11. The play, adapted in 1948 by Thomas Heggen from his own 1946 novel, is part of WCP’s Script in Hand series, directed by Anne Keefe.


Mister Roberts, originally directed and co-adapted by American theater legend Josh Logan, inspired a whole genre of plays, movies and TV shows about hi-jinks in the U.S. Army or Navy. These range from The Wackiest Ship in the Army to Operation Madball the sitcom McHale’s Navy. A film version wasn’t made until 1955, with the play’s Broadway star Henry Fonda plus James Cagney, William Powell and Jack Lemmon.


The Westport reading is Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. The Westport Country Playhouse is at 25 Powers Court in Westport.


The cast:


Lt. Doug Roberts: Mark Shanahan.

The Captain: Michael McCormick

Doc: Kevin O’Rourke

Ensign Pulver: Brian J. Carter

Wiley: Jake Robards

Lt. Ann Girard: Ammie Renee Kinsman

Chief Petty Officer Dowdy: Mike Boland

Mannion: Sean Patrick Reilly

Insigna: Jim Bracchitta

Yeoman 3rd Class Dolan: Eric Bryant

Lindstrom: Robert Eli

…plus Chad Kinsman reading stage directions and providing the play’s intermittent “radio voices.”


Yeah, the guy who plays the mayor on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is being Doc.

Lots of New York theater credits in that cast, not to mention national tours and regional theater. Many of ‘em have done Script in Hand series shows before. Nearly all of ‘em have been in Westport Country Playhouse mainstage shows.


The Mister Roberts reading is being presented on Veterans Day. Yellow ribbons will be handed out to audience members in remembrance of veterans.


The next Script in Hand reading, Dec. 9, is Susan Sandler’s Crossing Delancey.


The Westport Country Playhouse’s mainstage season ended last week with the comedy Room Service (which featured Bracchitta, Bryant and McCormick in its cast). The 2014 season opens April 29 with Noel Coward’s A Song at Twilight.