After playing to rave reviews and capacity crowds in London and Edinburgh, “Love for Sale,” a cabaret-play devised and performed by Kelly Burke ’05, has opened at the Soho Playhouse in New York. Set to the music of Kurt Weill, Cole Porter and their contemporaries, it follows a naive American girl as she tries to escape the Great Depression in Paris.
“Love for Sale” was developed for London’s historic Wilton’s Music Hall, and is directed by HWS Professor Emeritus of Theatre Robert F. Gross, with Broadway music director Charlie Alterman (“Pippin,” “Next to Normal”) on the piano. The show will run Off-Broadway from Thursday, Jan. 12, through Sunday, Feb. 19.
After earning her B.A. in English from William Smith, Burke graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and has been based in the UK since 2006.
Her 2012 play, “Zelda” – which follows Zelda Sayre’s rise from southern belle to jazz glamour girl and wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald – developed out of her HWS Honors project, “Zelda Fitzgerald: An Investigation through Performance,” under the direction of Gross. A site-specific production of “Zelda” at London’s Charing Cross Hotel earned Burke an OffWestEnd Award Nomination for Best Actress and the show transferred into the West End with Gross directing. Burke’s other London theatre credits include “Passion Play” (Duke of York’s), “Marie and Bruce” (Royal Court), “Maggie and Pierre,” “Our American Cousin,” “Blue Surge,” “The Sluts of Sutton Drive” (Finborough), the world premiere of Neil LaBute’s “Exhibit A” (Theatre Delicatessen), “Lady Windermere’s Fan” (Tabard), “As You Like It” (Jagged Fence), “Avocado” (Kings Head) and “$<0RP!0” (Theatre 503). Her film work has included “Justice League,” “The Mummy,” “Macbeth,” “Kill Your Friends” and radio work Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Blind Man” (opposite Hugh Laurie), “Tender is the Night,” “The Corrections,” “Hombre” and “The Big Sleep” (opposite Toby Stephens).
On campus, Burke was president of the Phoenix Players theater troupe, and a member of the Colleges Chorale and Three Miles Lost. She participated in numerous Bartlett Theatre productions and received multiple awards including the E.E. Griffith Award in Theatre, the Nathan D. Lapham Prize in Public Speaking, the Ann Palmeri Prize, the President’s Public Service Award and the Elizabeth and Ruth Young Peace Prize.
Gross served on the HWS faculty from 1987-2013.