PRESS RELEASE: One-woman musical "13 Things About Ed Carpolotti" Set to Delight Audiences at MRT

CONTACT: Kate Brandt,
PR CONTACT PHONE: 978-654-7595
BOX OFFICE: 978-654-4678


November 28 – December 21

Lowell, MA – Music returns to Merrimack Repertory Theatre this holiday season with “13 Things About Ed Carpolotti.” The one-woman musical with book, music, and lyrics by Barry Kleinbort is based on a play by Jeffrey Hatcher. Directed by Kleinbort, the piece was written for the actress Penny Fuller, who is featured in MRT’s production.

The 70-minute play will run from November 28 – December 21, with press performances at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Sunday, November 30, with a reception following the evening performance.  All performances will be held at the Nancy L. Donahue Theatre, located at 50 East Merrimack Street in historic downtown Lowell. Tickets range from $60 - $20 and are on sale now through or by calling 978-654-4678.

Virginia Carpolotti is a devoted widow with loving memories of her recently-deceased husband. Though her love endures, her confidence in him flounders as one shady character after another comes calling for the debt that Ed put in her name, and things really heat up when a mysterious $1 million ransom note appears.

About the Production
“13 Things About Ed Carpolotti” is a labor of love for its star, Penny Fuller. She and Barry Kleinbort worked together to create seven cabaret performances for Fuller over as many years while they were both teaching at the O’Neill Theatre Conference in Waterford, Connecticut. At the start of the eighth year, Fuller asked Kleinbort to do something else instead – turn the monologue “Thirteen Things About Ed Carpolotti” into a musical. The piece was one of three connected monologues in Jeffrey Hatcher’s play, “Three Viewings,” which she had performed at the Manhattan Theatre Club.

Kleinbort was intrigued by the idea but stumped at first about how to add music in a way that made sense to the story. In Hatcher’s play, Virginia’s physical reaction to stress was a red, hot collar bone. Once Kleinbort tapped into the idea of changing that reaction to something musical, (in the musical, her reaction is humming), a door was opened for him. And now, according to Kleinbort, “the music now feels firmly embedded into the piece.”

The new musical had a reading that year at the O’Neill and was later produced in New York at 59E59 Street Theatre in 2012.

According to MRT Artistic Director Charles Towers, “I directed Penny Fuller in MRT’s production of “A Delicate Balance” in 2008, in which she gave a brilliant performance. When she sent me this delightful one-woman chamber musical, which was written especially for her, I immediately decided it was too good an opportunity to pass up. Penny is a Tony-nominated actor and this is a rare opportunity to have her on our stage.”

Cast and Creative Team
Penny Fuller is returning to MRT, where she won the 2009 Best Supporting Actress IRNE Award for her portrayal of Claire in “A Delicate Balance.” Her extensive Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include two Tony Award nominations for “Applause” and “The Dinner Party”. In television, she won an Emmy Award for “The Elephant Man” and has an additional five Emmy Award nominations.

Penny will be joined on stage by pianist Paul Greenwood, a well-known pianist, arranger and singer in New York. Nationally and internationally, he has performed in concert halls, clubs, and cabarets. Greenwood has accompanied numerous performers in concert, television, and cabaret including George Burns and Art Garfunkel. He arranged, music directed, and appeared in the original O'Neill Theater Center workshop of “Thirteen Things About Ed Carpolotti”, as well as the New York premiere.

In addition to his work with Penny Fuller, Barry Kleinbort has directed and/or written material for Petula Clark, Marvin Hamlisch, Michael Feinstein, Regis Philbin, John Barrowman, and many others. He has written or co-written other musicals including “Was”, “Perfect Harmony”, and “Angelina.”

In addition to director Barry Kleinbort, the creative team is comprised of Bill Clarke (Scenic Designer) and Brian J. Lilienthal (Lighting Designer).

Tickets range from $60 - $20 and are available at or by calling 978-654-4678. Senior discount 10% off adult ticket price. Student tickets $15. Group discounts are available for groups of six or more by calling 978-654-7561. $5 Night: Friday, November 28 at 8:00 pm. Patrons may purchase tickets for $5, cash only, at the Box Office between 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Limit 2 tickets per person. Lowell Night: Wednesday, December 3 at 7:30 pm. Lowell residents may purchase tickets for $10 at the box office from 4:30 pm-7:30 pm. Proper ID required, limit 2 per person.

Special Events
MRT will host two special events during the run of “13 Things About Ed Carpolotti”.
On Tuesday, December 2, MRT will host a discussion with Barry Kleinbort and Penny Fuller about their process of turning a play into a musical. The event is free and open to the public. Time and location will be announced soon.

Ladies Night will be held on Thursday, December 4 with a dessert (from Sweet Lydia’s) and wine reception at 6:00 pm, a 7:30 performance of the play, followed by a Post-Show Discussion. The reception, discussion, and performance are included in the regular price of the ticket for that performance.

“13 Things About Ed Carpolotti” is supported by Production Sponsor Wannalancit Mills Farley White Interests and Media Sponsor 92.5 The River. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and the 2014-15 Season is sponsored by Sage Bank.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) has been Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre company since 1979, and is an integral part of Lowell’s identity as the cultural heart of the region. Under the artistic direction of Charles Towers since 2001, MRT is known for its high production standards and for creating compelling new plays and regional premieres that reflect the lives and emotions of its audiences. It is one of the 74 members nationwide of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT.)

MRT 2014-15 SEASON
“Year Zero” by Michael Golamco
September 11 – October 5, 2014

“Dusk Rings a Bell” by Stephen Belber
October 23 – November 16, 2014

“13 Things About Ed Carpolotti”
Book, music and lyrics by Barry Kleinbort, based on a play by Jeffrey Hatcher
November 28 – December 21, 2014

“The Best Brothers” by Daniel MacIvor
January 8 – February 1, 2015

“Oceanside” by Nick Gandiello
February 12 – March 8, 2015

“Out of the City” by Leslie Ayvazian
March 19 – April 12, 2015

“The Outgoing Tide” by Bruce Graham
April 23 – May 17, 2015

Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Performance Space: The Nancy L. Donahue Theatre
(In Liberty Hall, adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium)
50 E. Merrimack Street
Lowell, MA 01852
Box Office: 978-654-4678

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