The UA's Arizona Repertory Theatre's production of "The Man Who Came to Dinner" is being directed by someone who has a colorful history with the play.
Guest director Hank Stratton appeared in the 2000 Broadway revival of the 1939 comedy by George Kaufman and Moss Hart. He's now in the Old Pueblo bringing it to life himself, and transmitting his knowledge to UA theatre students.
"Back in 2000, the Roundabout Theatre Company, which was the producing house (of the play) in New York, was interested in reviving (it) and was also inaugurating their theatre," Stratton recalled of his experience with the event. "They were looking for a classic title to open their show."
Stratton was casted as Bert Jefferson, a character who writes a play hoping to hand it off to someone who would like to produce it.
Fast-forward to now, the actor gone director is staging the play almost exactly the way Kaufman did in '39, which is also the way Jerry Zaks, the Broadway revival director staged it.
"The Man Who Came to Dinner" was one of the first stage comedies that "unapologetically based characters on current celebrities."
"It was very unique at the time," Stratton said.
It is also a very good Christmas story, he said. It is about a radio host, Sheridan Whiteside, who slips near an Ohio businessman's home and breaks his hip, so Whiteside and his colleagues have no other choice but to stay at the businessman's home in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
"The Man Who Came to Dinner" is running through Dec. 8. For more information call 621-1162.