With the official opening of Mark St. Germain’s new play, Dr. Ruth, All the Way, just days away, local talk has turned to just how close the actor chosen to play the world’s most famous – and respected – sex expert looks like the real Dr. Ruth. Yet word is that when you see Debra Jo Rupp on stage, she creates her own persona based on the legendary author and television personality.
And the latest photos just made available prove it.
Everyone knows the pioneering radio and television sex therapist Dr. Ruth but few know the incredible journey that preceded it. From fleeing the Nazis in the Kindertransport to joining the Haganah in Jerusalem, to her struggles to succeed as a single mother coming to America, Dr. Ruth, All the Way is filled with the humor, honesty and life-affirming spirit of Korola Ruth Siegel, the girl who became “Dr. Ruth.”
The title role is played by Debra Jo Rupp who has performed locally for many years. She has been spending time with both Dr. Ruth and a dialect coach to master the famous therapists’ bizarre accent which is as much a trademark as her famous smile.
Rupp has appeared with Barrington Stage in Ring ‘Round the Moon, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Laramie Project. Debra Jo Rupp is never happier than when she is performing on stage in the Berkshires, close to home. She has performed at Williamstown Theatre Festival in True West and A Flea in Her Ear, Berkshire Theatre Festival in Mornings at Seven and the Chester Theatre Company production of Lee Blessings’ Body of Water. In New York, Debra Jo has appeared on Broadway with Kathleen Turner and Charles Durning in the 1990 revival of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. She starred Off-Broadway in Cynthia Heimel’s A Girl’s Guide to Chaos (American Place), Frankie and Johnny in The Clair de Lune (Westside Arts) and The Butcher of Baraboo (Second Stage).
“We are thrilled to be presenting the sixth world premiere by BSC Associate Artist Mark St Germain,” said Artistic Director Julianne Boyd.“Working on Dr. Ruth, All the Way with Mark, Debra Jo Rupp and Dr. Ruth has been an exhilarating experience. We are moved and honored that Dr. Ruth has allowed us to tell her life story, one filled with humor, sadness, longing but above all else, resilience.”
Dr. Ruth, All the Way is the first commission of Barrington Stage’s New Works Initiative. This commission is courtesy of Sydelle and Lee Blatt & Rosita Sarnoff and Beth Sapery.
The story of how Mark St. Germain got permission from Dr. Ruth Westheimer to create a play based on her life has become local legend, proving that Dr. Ruth is just a girl who can’t say “no” to a sincere suitor. A local favorite, Mark St, Germain is an acclaimed playwright whose works include The Best of Enemies and Freud’s Last Session. The latter is Barrington Stage Company’s longest running play, with over 700 performances Off-Broadway, and has been performed nationally and internationally. He’s written Ears on a Beatle (BSC), The God Committee (BSC) and Out of Gas on Lover’s Leap. Other plays include Camping with Henry and Tom (Outer Critics Circle Award and Lucille Lortel Award) and Forgiving Typhoid Mary. Mark co-wrote the screenplay for Carroll Ballard’s Warner Brothers film, Duma. He most recently directed and produced the documentary My Dog, An Unconditional Love Story, featuring Richard Gere, Lynn Redgrave and Glenn Close.
Run Extended to July 21
Interest in Dr. Ruth, All the Way has translated to ticket sales at the box office, and will now run from June 19 through July 21 at St. Germain Stage (formerly Stage 2) at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. Performances are Tuesday-Friday at 7:30pm, Thursday at 3pm (excluding June 21), Saturday at 4pm (no 4pm on June 23 and June 30) and 8pm, Sunday at 3pm. Please note Saturday, July 7 evening performance is at 7:30pm. Opening Night: Saturday, June 30 at 8pm. Tickets: $15-$49. Seniors: $28 all matinees.
For tickets call 413-236-8888 or click www.barringtonstageco.org
June 29. Book Signing with Dr. Ruth. Friday at 4pm. Dr. Ruth Westheimer will sign her new book Sexually Speaking: What Every Woman Needs to Know about Sexual Health as well as her witty and touching book Musically Speaking: A Life Through Song. Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 555 Hubbard Avenue, Pittsfield, MA.
July 2. TALKING SEX WITH DR. RUTH. Moderated by playwright Mark St. Germain, Mainstage, 30 Union Street, Pittsfield. Monday at 7pm. Join America’s favorite sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer for a brief talk followed by a Q&A as she answers all your most pressing questions. Buy a VIP ticket and join us for a special post-show Chocolate & Champagne reception with Dr. Ruth. Tickets: $35 and $25; VIP: $75. All proceeds will benefit BSC’s New Works Initiative.
July 3. Post-Show Discussion: DR. RUTH, ALL THE WAY. St. Germain Stage (formerly Stage 2) at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield. Following the Tuesday 7:30pm performance.