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University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


UCM’s Performing Arts Series Presents ‘An Evening with Groucho’

Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Nov. 2, 2011) – The wit and humor of the legendary Groucho Marx comes to the University of Central Missouri’s Hendricks Hall stage as the Performing Arts Series presents award-winning actor, director and playwright Frank Ferrante in “An Evening with Groucho” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11.

Frank Ferrante as Groucho Marx
Frank Ferrante as Groucho Marx

Ferrante repeats his New York, London and Public Broadcasting System triumphs by recreating Groucho Marx onstage. The fast-paced comedy, presented in two acts, includes songs, stories and the best of Groucho’s one-liners and anecdotes, mixed with ad-libs that literally draw the audience into becoming part of the show.

Accompanied by his onstage pianist, Jim Furmston, Ferrante portrays the young Groucho of stage and film. He reacquaints the audience with Groucho’s brothers, Chico, Gummo, Harpo and Zeppo, as well as Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, Greta Garbo and Margaret Dumont, Groucho’s comic foil in many of the Marx Brothers films.

Ferrante’s two-day residency at UCM includes his introduction of a free screening of the Marx Brothers film “Duck Soup” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 in Laura J. Nahm Auditorium and a free comedy and improv master acting class for high school and college students at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, in Hendricks Hall. These educational opportunities are sponsored by the Greer-Oppenheimer General Educational Presentation Series and the UCM Film Institute. For more information about these events, contact the Performing Arts Series office at 660-543-4263.

Born Julius Henry Marx, Groucho and his brothers grew up in vaudeville, turning their act into a Broadway and film success. Groucho continued his career in television from 1947 to 1961 as host of the comedy quiz show “You Bet Your Life,” which gave him the perfect venue for his ad lib style of humor. He performed at Carnegie Hall at age 82, and received a special Academy Award in 1974 for the “brilliant and unequalled achievements of the Marx Brothers.” He died at age 86 in 1977.

Ferrante was discovered as a student at the University of Southern California by Groucho Marx’s son, Arthur Marx. Ferrante has won worldwide acclaim for his portrayal of Groucho in Broadway revivals of Marx Brothers films. He won New York’s Theatre World Award in 1987 and was nominated for an Outer Critics Award for his portrayal of Groucho in “Groucho-A Life in Revue,” written by Arthur Marx. He also has appeared in a variety of roles on stage television and has produced and directed stage and television productions. 

Tickets for “An Evening with Groucho” are available through the Performing Arts Series box office in Administration 100, by calling 660-543-8888, or online. In recognition of Veterans Day, the Performing Arts Series is offering free admission for all active and retired military personnel and veterans with proper ID. This offer is effective through Nov. 11.