Marilu Henner, Judd Hirsch to star in Theatre Aspen’s ‘Love Letters’ | AspenTimes.com
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Marilu Henner, Judd Hirsch to star in Theatre Aspen’s ‘Love Letters’

Marilu Henner will star in Theatre Aspen's production of "Love Letters" commemorating Valentine's Day.
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Co-stars of the Emmy Award-winning Taxi will reunite in Theatre Aspen’s staging of A.R. Gurney’s celebrated play Love Letters in time for Valentine’s.

Theatre Aspen is kicking off 2023 with the first of several events marking its 40th anniversary and fundraising efforts by commemorating Valentine’s Day weekend with Tony Award, Emmy, and Golden Globe winner Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans) and Golden Globe nominee and New York Times best-selling author Marilu Henner (L.A. Story).

The play will be directed by Pioneer Theatre Co.’s artistic director, Karen Azenberg (Next to Normal, Rent, and the 2019 production God of Carnage).



Love Letters originally opened at the off-Broadway, Promenade Theatre in New York City in 1989, starring Kathleen Turner and John Rubenstein, and has gone through many runs and iterations since, often starring real-life couples or former couples.

The play is comprised of two actors sitting across from one another reading letters exchanged over a lifetime between them as they grew up together, went their separate ways, and continued to share confidences.




Love Letters for Valentine’s Day weekend, you couldn’t have a better fit in terms of the theme and the time of year,” said Jed Bernstein, the producing director of Theatre Aspen. “This is one of those plays that is, on the one hand, funny and charming but, on the other hand, rather poignant and nostalgic and is always the most effective when the two actors are either married or are associated very closely with each other. And, Marilu and Judd, of course, have that because of Taxi.”

The sitcom Taxi, based on the lives and interactions of a group of Manhattan taxi drivers and dispatchers, premiered in 1978 and became a critical and commercial success. It was nominated for 31 Emmy Awards and won 13, including three straight years for Outstanding Comedy, and has remained in syndicated reruns ever since.

Henner, who played a single mom working as a receptionist at an art gallery who drove a cab to make ends meet, was the lone female actor starring alongside theater and comedy heavyweights Judd Hirsch, Jeff Conaway, Tony Danza, Christopher Loyd, Danny Devito, and Andy Kauffman. She has been open throughout the years about dating Danza and Hirsch decades ago.

Judd Hirsch will reunite with Taxi co-star Marilu Henner in Love Letters.
Photo Credit Krum Holtz

And, although the surviving Taxi cast have remained in each others’ lives as close friends and confidantes, Love Letters will be the first time she and Hirsch will star opposite one another since it went off the air in 1983.

“I’m very excited about doing the play because I adore Judd,” Henner said. “I think people will get a kick out of seeing us together. And, there are some people who know our history. I think people will find themselves reading between the lines about that, and Judd is just so compelling as an actor.”

Not only will she be reunited with Hirsch, who is generating Oscar buzz around his performance in Spielberg’s latest film, The Fablemans, she is also looking forward to collaborating with Bernstein again, whom she worked alongside when she reprised her Broadway role as Lee in The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife at the Bucks County Playhouse while he was the producing director there.

“I worked with Jed, and then we were just always friends. The theater is my true love. That’s what I love more than anything: Getting up and performing live in front of people. There’s preparation, and you hope the timing is right. The clock is ticking, and there’s an adrenaline rush. So, I was honored to be asked. And when I found out Judd was doing it, I got so excited,” she said.

Henner is not just looking forward to seeing and working with Hirsch and Bernstein again, but also thrilled to return to the Roaring Fork Valley, where she once owned a home and spent much of her time from 1993 to 2002. She hasn’t been back to the valley in 10 years, but the place has left an indelible mark on her.

“In fact, when I gave birth to my sons, when I was in labor, I imagined all the runs on Snowmass. I’d think ‘Now, I’m on Sneaky’s’ and ‘Now, I’m on Bull Run,’” she said. “I thought ‘OK, forget the epidural. I’m going to pretend I am on my Snowmass runs to get through this.’ I just love it there.”

If you go…

What: The February Fling:A Benefit for Theatre Aspen. A performance of A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters” starring Judd Hirsch and Marilu Henner
When: Saturday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Paepke Auditorium, Aspen
More Info: The February Fling, Feb. 11, is a benefit for Theatre Aspen and helps to support the 2023 artists. For underwriting hosts, the evening begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception at the Albright Pavilion in the Aspen Meadows and will be followed by the performance of Love Letters at 7:30 p.m.

Underwriting opportunities include:
$15,000 Premier Host – private cocktail reception, 10 performance tickets, and premier recognition
$5,000 Host – private cocktail reception, 6 performance tickets, and premier recognition
$500 Supporter – 2 performance tickets and premier recognition
Those interested in hosting opportunities can contact Paul Gabbard by email at pgabbard@theatreaspen.org.

A limited number of single tickets ($85) for Love Letters will be available to the general public. Tickets are available at TheatreAspen.org or by calling 970-300-4474.

Love Letters is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service Inc., New York.

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