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Hollywood Star to Headline Death of a Salesman at St. Jacobs Country Playhouse

Casting Coup for Drayton Entertainment Fall Production

Posted on Tue, Aug 1st, 2017 1:55 pm by news services

WATERLOO REGION – The tranquil village of St. Jacobs will become Hollywood North this fall with the arrival of an iconic television actor. Actor George Wendt, best known for his role as Norm Peterson on the classic sitcom Cheers, will play the lead role of Willy Loman in Drayton Entertainment’s classic drama Death of a Salesman.
The production runs at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse from October 18 to November 4.
“George Wendt is revered for his comedic prowess but over the years has quietly built an equally impressive set of credentials with dramatic roles,” says Alex Mustakas, Artistic Director of Drayton Entertainment. “He is beloved by many generations, and his enduring appeal will undoubtedly attract many tourists to visit the tourism mecca of St. Jacobs this fall.”
Cheers (1982-1993) was a defining sitcom of the ‘80s, spending a season as the top-rated show on television. Wendt appeared in all 275 episodes, earning six Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series along the way. The show earned 28 Primetime Emmy Awards from a record 117 nominations.
Wendt’s acclaimed career on the small screen includes more than 100 TV shows (among them Taxi, Soap, M*A*S*H, Wings, Frasier, and The Simpsons, along with nine appearances on Saturday Night Live).
On Broadway, Wendt appeared in the play ART, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. He notably originated the role of Santa Claus in the Broadway smash hit ELF, a new musical adaptation of the Will Ferrell movie from Warner Bros. Other theatre credits include productions off-Broadway, in London, and the US Tour of Roundabout Theatre’s production of the searing drama Twelve Angry Men.
Tackling the role of Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman is a natural progression for Wendt at this stage of his acclaimed career, as the dramatic masterpiece is considered one of the greatest plays of the 20th century. Written by playwright Arthur Miller, it was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. The play premiered on Broadway in February 1949, running for 742 performances, and has been revived on Broadway four times, winning three Tony Awards for Best Revival.
In this elegant and savage work, the illusions of picture-perfect business and family life cave in on a traveling salesman caught up in the pressures and delusions of living the American Dream.
The production will be directed by Marti Maraden, whose pedigree includes 30 years at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals.
“We strive to offer the same calibre of theatre experience found in larger urban centres, but at a price point that is more affordable and accessible,” says Mustakas. “This is a rare opportunity to see a world-class artist in one of the most coveted roles in dramatic theatre in a charming, intimate venue.”
Regular performance tickets are $46 for adults and $27 for youth under 20 years of age; $37 tickets are also available for select Discount Dates. Tickets can be purchased in person at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse, online at or by calling the Box Office at (519) 747-7788 or toll free at 1-855-drayton (372-9866).
Death of a Salesman is proudly sponsored by Josslin Insurance. Media Sponsors are 570 News and The Wellington Advertiser. Design Sponsors are Holiday Inn Express & Suites and KPMG. The 2017 Media Season Sponsor is CTV.
The production is made possible in part through funding provided by the Government of Ontario.