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City Theatre to premiere Smart Blonde


City Theatre continues its 40th anniversary season with a world premiere, commissioned play. Smart Blonde, by Willy Holtzman, directed by Peter Flynn, will run in City Theatre’s Hamburg Studio November 15 – December 21.

From the author of The Morini Strad, this music-filled portrait tells the story of Judy Holliday, star of Born Yesterday. Set in New York City, 1964 – the tape is rolling as Holliday lays down a series of tracks about her rise to fame amidst the politics of the 1950s. Memory and song converge as the “dumb blonde” with a genius IQ charts her experiences from Greenwich Village to Broadway and beyond with notable show business alums, including Leonard Bernstein and Marilyn Monroe.

“Judy Holliday was an incredible woman who led an extraordinary life; far beyond her label as the classic dumb blonde from movies like Born Yesterday.” says City Theatre artistic director, Tracy Brigden. “When playwright Willy Holtzman first told me the story of Judy’s life, I was amazed at all she had accomplished at a time when women in show business rarely called the shots. I also love the vivid setting: mid-century Manhattan, replete with smoky jazz clubs, Broadway openings and the McCarthy trials. And of course there’s also the music: standards from the era sung by the incomparable Andréa Burns who is playing Judy.”

After producing the premiere of his work The Morini Strad in 2011, City Theatre welcomes back playwright Willy Holtzman for this world premiere staging of Smart Blonde. An American playwright and screenwriter – Mr. Holtzman has received two Pulitzer Prize nominations, a Humanitas Prize, a Writers Guild Award, a Peabody Award, as well as an HBO Award at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference for his work, which often focuses on theatrical representations of actual historical events.

Peter Flynn also returns to City Theatre to direct Smart Blonde, after directing The Mountaintop by Katori Hall, last season.

Tickets are available at the City Theatre box office, 1300 Bingham Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203, by calling 412-431-CITY (2489) or at


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