“The Lady with All the Answers” at the Public — plus special blogger opportunity

If you grew up poring over the advice that Ann Landers and Dear Abby handed out in their daily columns — or if you just enjoy a night of great live theater — you’ll want to check out the next production at the Pittsburgh Public Theater: "The Lady with All the Answers." (Local bloggers have a chance to see and write about the show too — read on for details.)


November 13 – December 14, 2008
Starring Helena Ruoti
By David Rambo
Directed by Ted Pappas

For Ann Landers, no topic was taboo. If you needed blunt advice, she was the one to ask.  She answered countless letters in a newspaper column that made her a legend. But who could she turn to when life threw her a curve? Pittsburgh treasure Helena Ruoti brings Landers to life in this one-woman play that’s as honest and humorous as the lady herself.

Here’s an extended description from the press release:

Before web sites and blogs, Ann Landers’ groundbreaking newspaper advice column started a dialogue that gave voice to a changing American culture

Helena Ruoti stars in this dazzling one-woman show directed by Ted Pappas

PITTSBURGH (Oct. 9, 2008) — Pittsburgh Public Theater brings to life newspaper advice columnist Ann Landers in The Lady With All the Answers, running Nov. 13 – Dec. 14, 2008 in the O’Reilly Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater’s home in the heart of Downtown’s Cultural District. Tickets are available at 412.316.1600 or www.ppt.org <http://www.ppt.org> . Pittsburgh Public Theater is led by Producing Artistic Director Ted Pappas.

This stylish and surprising one-woman show stars Pittsburgh’s extraordinary Helena Ruoti as Ann Landers. Ted Pappas directs and is also the costume designer. The Lady With All the Answers was written by David Rambo, who is also a writer and producer of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” the most widely viewed television show in the world.

Ann Landers started life as Eppie Lederer, along with her identical twin sister, Popo. In 1955 she became the writer of a newspaper advice column that would eventually bring her 60 million readers. In The Lady With All the Answers we’ll meet Ann in 1975, a chic and sassy 57-year-old who describes herself as a “Jewish Joan of Arc.” At this point she is a celebrity, living in a world of Chanel and chocolate, bubble baths and bouffant hair.

Speaking directly to the audience, Ann will tell us about her friends – everyone from Hubert Humphrey to Hugh Hefner – and her twin, who became Dear Abby. But mostly she’ll talk about the questions that led to her most famous columns. A trivial question about the correct way to hang toilet paper brought a landslide of responses. More important, people wrote to Ann because they didn’t have anywhere else to turn. Women’s rights, gun control, the sexual revolution, and cancer were all topics she brought to light. Ann was the first to put the word homosexual in print. In The Lady With All the Answers we’ll learn about Ann’s experience with the movie Deep Throat, hear about her trip to Vietnam, and ultimately learn what was the hardest column of her career to write.

The design team for Pittsburgh Public Theater’s production of The Lady With All the Answers is: James Noone (Scenic), Allen Hahn (Lighting), and Zach Moore (Sound). Fred Noel is the Production Stage Manager and Adrienne Wells is the Assistant Stage Manager.

About the Playwright
In addition to his work on television’s “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” David Rambo wrote the plays God’s Man in Texas, The Spin Cycle and The Ice-Breaker, which was read at Pittsburgh Public Theater as part of the Public Exposure series. He has adapted Sinclair Lewis’ Babbit, written a new book for the Lerner & Loewe musical Paint Your Wagon, and adapted several classic screenplays for live performance, including All About Eve, Casablanca, Adam’s Rib, and Sunset Boulevard.

For interviews and photos contact Margie Romero at 412.316.8200 ext. 707 or mromero at ppt.org

SPECIAL NOTE: The Public is offering a special deal to bloggers for this show. If you’d like to attend the show and blog about it, the theater will provide you with one or two complimentary "press" tickets for a night of your choosing (depending on availability of course). Interested? Please email Margie Romero (mromero at ppt.org) with your name, the name and URL of your blog, and the show date and time you’d like to attend. There are a limited number of press comps available, so act quickly!

Find information on show times and tickets at the Pittsburgh Public Theater website.