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Christopher Walken Coming to Stratford

Christopher Walken, international film and stage actor to talk about his acting career in a rare on stage appearance in Stratford, Conn.

Christopher Walken, Academy Award-winning actor and one of the most versatile and respected actors of stage and screen will talk about his life and career in "A Conversation with Christopher Walken" on Feb. 17 at noon at the Scottish Rite Theater in Stratford, Conn.

This is second in a series of American Shakespeare Theatre Alumni Talks scheduled to benefit The Stratford Arts Commission and the SCA, the Stratford Center for the Arts at the American Shakespeare Theatre.

Frank Rizzo, theater writer for The Hartford Courant and Variety and contributor to TV's Fox/CT will conduct the on-stage interview and Q & A with Mr. Walken about his 40-plus year television, film and stage career.

Mr. Walken has appeared in over 100 television and film productions. He is the winner of The Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in The Deer Hunter. In 2002, he received SAG and National Society of Film Critics Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in Catch Me if You Can.

His films have grossed over $1.8 billion dollars. They include Annie Hall, Pulp Fiction, Sleepy Hollow, Batman Returns and The Wedding Crashers. Among his many memorable film roles is James Bond villain, Max Zorn in A View to a Kill.

His most recent film is Seven Psychopaths written and directed by Martin McDonough whose play, "A Behanding in Spokane," Walken appeared in on Broadway in 2010. Mr. Walken received a Tony nomination for his performance in that play. He costars with Alan Arkin and Al Pacino in his newest film Stand Up Guys.

Wilton, Conn., actor Walken played Hamlet at the American Shakespeare Theatre in a 1982 production directed by Peter Coe that included Hollywood and stage luminaries Anne Baxter, Chris Sarandon and Fred Gwynne.

Christopher Walken made his Broadway stage debut as a chorus dancer in 1964. In 1966 he appeared in the role of King Philip of France in "The Lion in Winter" and also appeared in revival of William’s "The Rose Tattoo" that year. Mr. Walken alternated working in films and appearing onstage at Lincoln Center and in regional theater productions. He appeared in many of the great Shakespearean roles -- Macbeth, Romeo, Bassanio, Coriolanus, Iago and Mark Antony. In the 1982 season at The American Shakespeare Theatre he also appeared in "Henry IV, Part 1" as Henry Percy and Hotspur.

Mr. Walken received an Emmy nomination for Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Sarah, Plain and Tall. His television work began in the early 50s during the golden age of television when he worked as a child actor.

In recent years he has appeared seven times as host on Saturday Night Live. He is such a popular SNL host that a Best of Christopher Walken, SNL DVD was issued. This is an honor reserved only for a few non-SNL members like Tom Hanks, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.

Ed Goodrich of The Stratford Arts Commission commented, "Ed Asner as the first alumnus to return to Stratford really kick-started our plans for restoring the Stratford Center for the Arts at The American Shakespeare Theatre. We are pleased that an actor of Mr. Walken’s stature has agreed to be the second speaker in our Alumni Talk series.”

Larry Ciccarelli, Chairman of the SCA board explained, “The Alumni Talks series will benefit capital redevelopment of The American Shakespeare Theatre. We are currently embarking on phase one of a five-phase plan to restore the theatre. This critical first phase addresses safety and occupancy issues that will allow us to begin utilizing the facility for programs and events.”

“As we move forward to achieve occupancy and provide future programming, Mr. Walken’s appearance will play a major role in building awareness and fund raising. We are grateful for his time and interest.”, added Matt Catalano, Executive Director of the SCA.

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A Conversation with Christopher Walken moderated by Frank Rizzo will be held on Sunday, Feb. 17 at noon at The Scottish Rite Theater (formerly The Stratford Movie Theater) on 2422 Main St. near the train station in Stratford Center. Seating is general admission at $25. Limited VIP seating is available at $50. Tickets may be reserved by calling 203-572-8177. Tickets may also be purchased at the Devan News & Variety in Stratford Center and Hannah’s Kitchen on Paradise Green in Stratford, Conn.

Kimberly Meuse. January 29, 2013 at 02:10 PM
This is a terrific way to bring an exciting aspect of the theater's history to the community!
Rose B January 29, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Calling back these actors to Stratford to speak of their experiences -- both on the Shakespeare theatre stage and the global acting stage -- is a stroke of genius. Perhaps Susan Sarandon could be next? Too bad Fred Gwynne, Kathryn Hepburn and Anne Bancroft are no longer with us.
Walt January 29, 2013 at 04:43 PM
Tell them to bring lots of cash, LOTS of cash...
Ann Hedonia January 29, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Let us not forget William Shatner. Gadzooks! What... if..... he.....were...to...bring his... Shatnerness to Stratford? We'd all be talking like that.
max January 29, 2013 at 08:54 PM
I agree with you Walt, if each actor brought their memories and some cash, the Theatre would be up and running sooner than later.

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