Posted: March 13, 2014
Lensic Presents The Queen of Madison Avenue

February 13, 2014 LensicLogo_CMYK.jpg

Contact: Dianna Delling
505-988-7050 ext. 1211

Lensic Presents
Under Construction: New Works in Progress
The Queen of Madison Avenue
A staged reading of a new play exploring
the choices made by a pioneering female ad executive

Play by Ron Bloomberg / Featuring Ali MacGraw

Thursday, March 13, at 7 pM

Santa Fe, NM – As part of its Under Construction: New Works in Progress series, The Lensic proudly presents “The Queen of Madison Avenue,” a staged reading of a play by Santa Fe-based writer Ron Bloomberg. The piece will be read on the Lensic stage by a number of Santa Fe’s most talented actors, with Ali MacGraw in the lead role.

In “The Queen of Madison Avenue” we meet the controversial but brilliant advertising executive Abby Walsh (MacGraw). A pioneer in her day but now retired, Walsh is looking back at the choices she made to succeed in the “boys club” that was New York advertising in the 1960s—choices that included promoting cigarette smoking to young women. Walsh became the highest paid executive in advertising thanks to her breakthrough campaigns that included the Virginia Slims “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” TV commercials, which seductively promoted cigarette smoking as glamorous, feminine, and even feminist. In the play we see a young Abby Walsh (played by Sheridan Johnson) fighting her way to the top in this chauvinistic “Mad Men” world.

In this poignant, often funny drama, Bloomberg skillfully explores the bigger moral issue: Walsh used her undeniable talent to help shorten the lives of literally hundreds of thousands of women. Now in her seventies, does she ever allow that thought to creep into her mind?

“The Queen of Madison Avenue” draws heavily on the experiences of Bloomberg, who owned a Philadelphia-based ad agency in the mid 1960s and was active in the national anti-smoking movement. Bloomberg worked closely with legal activist John F. Banzhaf III to inform the public of the dangers of cigarette smoking. Thanks in large part to Banzhaf’s efforts, cigarette commercials stopped appearing on both TV and radio in 1970.

Following the staged reading, Bloomberg will submit “The Queen of Madison Avenue” to repertory groups across the country. His goal is to see the play produced on Broadway.

The Cast
“The Queen of Madison Avenue” will feature an ensemble of some of the most accomplished actors in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, including:

Ali MacGraw
Barbara Hatch
Jerry Farraccio
Jonathan Richards
Kent Kirkpatrick
Matthew Puett
Nicholas Ballas
Peter Diseth
Sheridan Johnson

About Ron Bloomberg
Ron Bloomberg is a comedy writer whose many television network credits include “All in the Family,” “Three’s Company,” and “Home Improvement,” along with pilots for CBS, NBC, and MTV. He has also written extensively for radio, and his two-minute satirical commentaries on the insanity of everyday life have run in major markets and more than 100 radio stations across the country. Bloomberg’s book “A Voice in the Crowd,” was published in 1977 by Grosset & Dunlap.

Since moving to Santa Fe from Los Angeles in 2004, Bloomberg has been writing plays, six of which have been produced on stage. The seeds for “The Queen of Madison Avenue” were planted when he ran his own ad agency in Philadelphia in the mid-1960s, the “Mad Men” era of advertising.

Lensic Presents
Under Construction: New Works in Progress
March 13, 2014, at 7 pm

Tickets: $10. Tickets are available at www.lensic.org, 505-988-1234, or at The Lensic, 211 W. San Francisco St.

Press Contact: Dianna Delling, Director of Communications, 505-988-7050, ext. 1211, or ddelling@lensic.org

About The Lensic Performing Arts Center
The Lensic Performing Arts Center is a 501c3 nonprofit presenting more than 200 events year-round, from theater, music, and dance to spoken word, films, and lectures. Through our Lensic Presents, performance arts education, and community programs, The Lensic is a major partner and supporter of Santa Fe’s nonprofits, artistic organizations, and schools. For more information on the many presentations and programs of The Lensic, visit www.lensic.org.

About The Lensic’s “Under Construction: New Works in Progress” Series
The Lensic is proud to be sought after as a venue for artists with theatrical works in development. Our Under Construction: New Works in Progress series offers audiences a fascinating look at the process of theatrical creativity as writers and actors hone their work before a live audience. Local and national artists including Joan Tewkesbury, Mike Daisey, Howard Korder, Anne Galjour, Rinde Eckert, and Terry Allen have nurtured new work at The Lensic as part of our Under Construction: New Works in Progress series.

# # #

Share |