MICHAEL KEATON (Frank Logan / Director)
After appearing in guest spots in several television series as a young actor (including opposite a then-unknown Jim Belushi in the sitcom “Working Stiffs”), Michael Keaton became one of the industry’s most reliable leading men after his first two films Night Shift and Mr. Mom were back-to-back blockbusters. Over the next several years, Keaton starred in such memorable comedies as Johnny Dangerously, Gung Ho, and The Dream Team, as well as playing the title character in Tim Burton’s beloved Beetlejuice. Keaton defied critics and wowed audiences as he turned to darker, more serious fare, including working with Burton again in Batman and Batman Returns; as a recovering addict in Glenn Gordon Caron’s Clean and Sober; and as a nefarious and deadly tenant in John Schlesinger’s Pacific Heights.
Keaton’s other credits include Much Ado About Nothing directed by Kenneth Branagh as the loveable Dogberry; Ron Howard’s The Paper; Harold Ramis’ Multiplicity; Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown; and Barbet Schroeder’s Desperate Measures. On television, in addition to hosting Saturday Night Live and lending his vocal talents to The Simpsons and King of the Hill, Keaton starred in the HBO telefilm Live from Baghdad, which earned him a Golden Globe Nomination. Recently, Keaton appeared as the president in First Daughter; starred in Michael Hoffman’s Game 6; opposite Lindsay Lohan in Herbie Fully Loaded; and in the horror hit White Noise. In addition, he voiced a character in Pixar’s hit Cars and will take on the role of Noah in the upcoming animated Noah’s Ark: The New Beginning.
The Merry Gentleman marks Michael Keaton’s directorial debut; he served as executive producer for the 1999 film Body Shots.
KELLY MACDONALD (Kate Frazier)
A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Kelly Macdonald first made herself known in the role of Diane in the 1996 smash Trainspotting, opposite Ewan MacGregor and Robert Carlyle. Her subsequent roles include the acclaimed Stella Does Tricks; opposite Daniel Craig in Some Voices; Cousin Bette with Jessica Lange; Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett; Gregg Araki’s Splendor; Phil Joanou’s Entropy; Mike Figgis’ The Loss of Sexual Innocence; and the independent Two Family House, which earned her a Spirit Award nomination for Best Female Lead.
In 2000, Macdonald appeared as the meek Mary in Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, for which she shared numerous ensemble acting awards, including the prestigious SAG Award for Best Ensemble. That lead to a starring role in the British television series State of Play, and cameos in hits like Finding Neverland (as Peter Pan), A Cock and Bull Story, and The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In 2005, Macdonald won accolades and an Emmy Award for her performance in the original HBO film The Girl in the Café, co-starring with Bill Nighy. Her recent roles include Nanny McPhee with Emma Thompson, Lassie with Peter O’Toole and Samantha Morton, and the Coen Brothers’ acclaimed No Country for Old Men. Her other upcoming films include Choke, written and directed by Clark Gregg and based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, and starring Angelica Huston; and Bertrand Tavernier’s In the Electric Mist with Tommy Lee Jones and Mary Steenburgen.
TOM BASTOUNES (Murcheson / Producer)
A native of the Chicago land area and a graduate of Purdue University, Tom Bastounes is CEO of Auster Acquisitions LLC, and co-owner and founder of South Water Pictures, the Chicago-based production company which developed The Merry Gentleman. South Water previously produced The Opera Lover, and recently finished Chucking Tomatoes, both filmed in Chicago. As an actor, Bastounes has performed on stage at Second City in Chicago, and played the lead in The Opera Lover and Chucking Tomatoes. Tom resides in Park Ridge, IL with his wife, Lisa, and sons Nick and Elliott.
BOBBY CANAVALE (Michael)
Bobby made his Broadway debut in Theresa Rebeck’s Mauritus and was nominated for a Tony Award this year for his performance. He also received rave reviews in the recent Off-Broadway revival of Hurlyburly.
On television Bobby won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Star in a Comedy for his performance as Will’s boyfriend in “Will and Grace.” He has appeared in many series including a recurring role on HBO’s “Six Feet Under.” He will be seen next year starring in his own series for ABC, in which he plays the title character, “Cupid.”
Bobby’s film credits include The Station Agent for which he and his co-stars were nominated for a SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Other film credits include Diminished Capacity, Dedication, The Ten, Fast Food Nation, The Night Listener, Snakes on a Plane, The Postman, Night Falls on Manhattan, Gloria, The Bone Collector, and Washington Heights. Canavale will next be seen in the feature comedy, Mall Cop opposite Kevin James.
DARLENE HUNT (Diane)
Darlene Hunt’s professional acting credits include guest stints on popular television shows like “Becker,” “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Will and Grace.” On screen, she was seen in The King, I Heart Huckabees and Idiocracy. Currently, Darlene is developing two pilots for Sony and Paramount. Prior to that, Darlene starred in the series “Help Me Help You” for ABC. In the past, she developed her pilot “Platonically Incorrect,” for ABC, and worked as Executive Story Editor on “Good Morning Miami” and wrote for “Will and Grace.”
GUY VAN SWEARINGEN (Goldman)
Guy Van Swearingen is a native Chicagoan. During his high school years, he found a great affinity for the live theater, and went on to major in theater at Truman College, Northeastern Illinois University, and Loyola University. With five years of College and still no degree, he signed up for the Firefighter’s entrance exam (at the behest of his dear mother) and soon became a member of Chicago Fire Department. Fifteen years ago, he helped found A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago where he is currently Artistic Director.
Shows with A Red Orchid include The Connection, Cops, Victims of Duty, Seven Stories, The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, The Questioning of Nick³, Canus Lunis Balloonis, ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore, The Removalists, The Killer, The Cut, Bug, Gagarin Way, The Sea Horse and Blasted.
Shows with other theaters include Come Like Shadows with Plasticene, Eleven Rooms of Proust with The Lookingglass Theatre, Beyond Mozambique with the Mary Arrchie Theatre, Taking Care and The Time of Your Life with the Steppenwolf Theatre.
Since making his debut in the 1993 film Mad Dog and Glory with Robert DeNiro and Uma Thurman, his film credits include The Negotiator with Samuel L. Jackson, Ali with Will Smith, The Weatherman with Nicolas Cage, and Adam Rapp’s Blackbird. His television credits include the series Turks and Early Edition.
WILLIAM DICK (Mr. Weiss)
William Dick has had the good fortune to have worked with some wonderful film directors and actors recently, including in Robert Altman’s The Company where he played Malcom McDowell’s aide-de-camp, Eduard. He also appeared with John Cusack and Billy Bob thornton in Harold Ramis’ Ice Harvest; with Jennifer Aniston in The Break-Up; with Will Ferrell in Marc Forster’s Stranger Than Fiction; with Vince Vaughn in the boxoffice hit Fred Claus (as the group therapy leader of “Siblings Anonymous”); and with Dennis Quaid in the upcoming The Express. William is based in Chicago, where he is a familiar face to Chicago theater-goers and in regional theaters. He has performed at the Goodman Theater as Ben Hecht in the world-premiere of Moonlight and Magnolias; in the mid-west premieres of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, and Alan Ayckbourne’s twin plays House and Garden; Rebecca Gillman’s Spinning Into Butter; and Eric Bogosian’s Griller. At the Steppenwolf Theater, he appeared in the world premiere of Bruce Norris’ We All Went Down to Amsterdam. He has also performed extensively with Chicago Shakespeare Theater in roles such as Touchstone in As You Like It, Etienne in David Ives’ adaptation of A Flea in Her Ear, and also in productions of The Merchant of Venice, Troilus and Cressida, Cymbeline, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.