'Love Letters' will benefit Le Chat

Austin Rhodes and Meredith Anderson will present Love Letters at Le Chat Noir on Dec. 21-22.



With no lines to memorize and no extensive blocking to learn, Meredith Anderson first thought her role in Love Letters would be “a piece of cake;” however, the News 12 anchor quickly changed her mind.

“This is so challenging,” Anderson said. “Your tone, your expression is everything.”

Anderson and radio personality Austin Rhodes will present A.R. Gurney’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, and Saturday, Dec. 22, at Le Chat Noir. It is a benefit performance for the theater. Tickets are $30 each. A second weekend of shows on Dec. 28 and 29 is possible if there is a demand for the tickets, Rhodes said.

Love Letters chronicles the lifelong relationship of Andy and Melissa through the reading of the letters they write to each other. Their 50-year love affair, begun in the second grade with birthday party thank-you notes, is carried out only through their correspondence.

Rhodes said the play strikes a chord for people who have that type of “what-if” relationship in their lives that is exemplified by the two central characters.

Written in 1989, the production has had a star-studded list of performers during its history, including James Earl Jones, Elizabeth Taylor, Tyne Daly, Jason Robards and George Peppard.

With minimal sets and no music or other theatrical accoutrements, Love Letters depends on the strength of its actors for its success, and the two performers in this production are complimentary of each other.

“I’m impressed beyond words” with Anderson, Rhodes said.

“Austin is so good,” Anderson said. “He’s brought his character to life.”

The production at Le Chat is a benefit performance for the theater, said Rhodes, who was present several years ago when Doug Joiner sketched out on a napkin his dream for a black box theater in Augusta. After his appearance in the show November, Rhodes learned Le Chat, like most arts organizations, was feeling the impact of the economy.

Rhodes said the costs associated with the production have been underwritten by sponsors.

“Every dime is going to Le Chat Noir’s bottom line,” he said.

For tickets, call Le Chat Noir at (706) 722-3322 or visit www.lcnaugusta.com.