Love Letter to Growing Up in 1970s America Created and Performed By Seinfeld and Tonight Show Writer Pat Hazell Takes Audiences Back to Lawn Darts, Family Station Wagons, and More

Opens August 2 at the Ruth Caplin Theatre

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – July 21, 2016 – The 2016 Heritage Theatre Festival season will close on a hilarious and nostalgic note with the acclaimed one-man-show The Wonder Bread Years. Written and performed by Seinfeld and The Tonight Show writer Pat Hazell and opening August 2 at the Ruth Caplin Theatre, the show is a comedic and wistful love letter to growing up in the simpler times of 1970s America.

As a former writer for Jerry, George, Elaine, Kramer, and Co., Pat Hazell knows how to make something funny out of nothing. In his acclaimed The Wonder Bread Years, Hazell is the highly-entertaining chaperone on a “field trip back in time.” This nationally touring one-man show is a warm and funny salute to Americana and a nostalgic and comedic love letter to Baby Boomers everywhere that comes complete with tales of Country Squire station wagons, lawn darts, Big Wheels, Eskimo Pies, and a sense of wonder that is much needed in today’s world. Seinfeld himself calls the show “milk-snortingly funny.”

The Wonder Bread Years, starring Pat Hazell, will be presented at the Ruth Caplin Theatre from August 2-6 at 8pm, and on August 6 at 2pm. Tickets are $25.00 if purchased prior to August 2, and $30.00 if purchased after that date. Student tickets are $15.00. Tickets are available online at www.heritagetheatrefestival.org, by phone at 434-924-3376, or at the UVA Arts Box Office, located in the lobby of the Drama Building.

“I generally look at this show as an homage to our sense of wonder, where we lost it, and how we get it back,” Hazell said. “I discovered when I was doing The Tonight Show that my sense of humor was often very reflective, and that I was really charmed by the holidays and cereal prizes and riding in the back of the station wagon, and people seemed to latch onto this. That is where I found my voice as a standup comic, and this is an extension of that, with a little bit of multimedia, some family slide shows, some film strips, and a general setting that is familiar to a lot of folks in terms of flashing back to simpler times. The show really hits a sweet spot for anyone who is wanting to go back into the attic in their mind to look through all their favorite memories.”

The show’s success, Hazell said, can be tied largely to the great appeal of storytelling. “I think that storytelling is contagious,” he said. “If you think about when you sit down to dinner at Thanksgiving or another time, what happens is one person tells a story that reminds somebody of another story, and it goes from there. The take-home value of this show is that people think of all the toys and games and jingles and recipes that were specific to their own lives. That generates a certain amount of joy, and that nostalgia is generally associated with something evocative that allows them to share the stories with somebody else.”

Hazell particularly enjoys the fact that this audience engagement means that no two shows are ever the same. “The audience comes on board and sometimes will tell a story that makes the people around them say ‘You never told me that!’”

The Heritage Theatre Festival is hosted by the University of Virginia Department of Drama, and the Heritage 2016 Season is presented by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the UVA Department of Drama, the University of Virginia College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Office of the Provost and Vice Provost for the Arts.

The Heritage Theatre Festival’s production of The Wonder Bread Years is supported by Travinia Italian Kitchen and CBS 19.

Parking for Heritage Theatre Festival performances is available at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage, conveniently located alongside the theaters.

To access photos of this production, visit is https://virginia.box.com/s/g7c03p0lmbkpidi19957wnlt9xdu1pkq.

For more information on Heritage’s 2016 summer season, visit heritagetheatrefestival.org.