Galaxy of Stars series begins Sept. 27 with tribute to Groucho Marx

Award-winning actor and director Frank Ferrante is bringing his acclaimed portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx to Western Carolina University.

The 2015-16 Galaxy of Stars series begins with “An Evening With Groucho,” a fast-paced, 90-minute celebration of what would have been the entertainment icon’s 125th birthday, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27, at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Frank Ferrante. Photo courtesy of Michael Doucett.

Frank Ferrante. Photo courtesy of Michael Doucett.

The two-act comedy features the best of Groucho’s one-liners, anecdotes and songs. Ferrante portrays a young Groucho of stage and film as he introduces the audience to brothers Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo, along with Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields and Margaret Dumont.

The New York Times described Ferrante as “the greatest living interpreter of Groucho Marx material.” He was discovered by Groucho’s son, Arthur, when Ferrante was a drama student at the University of Southern California. Ferrante had the title role in the off-Broadway production of “Groucho: A Life in Review,” which was written by Arthur. The role earned Ferrante New York’s Theatre World Award and an Outer Critics Circle nomination. Ferrante has performed the Groucho role more than 2,500 times and in more than 400 cities.

Tickets are $21 for adults, $16 for WCU faculty and staff, and $7 for students and children. They can be purchased online at bardoartscenter.wcu.edu or by contacting the arts center at 828-227-2479.