That book, of course, has its origins in the Vicki Baum novel that inspired the classic MGM all-star movie Grand Hotel, and while there are minor differences between the play and the film, the main characters—and the all-important setting of 1928 Berlin—remain the same. Coming through the revolving doors of the Grand are a host of characters: a down-on-his-luck nobleman (Steve Dawson), an aging ballerina (Kaylene McCaw), her loyal companion (Ellie Pattison), a dying Jewish bookkeeper (Chip Fisher), an ambitious typist (Julianne Randolph) and an overbearing businessman (Clifford J. Cespedes) chief among them. Each is at a moment of crisis, and as their stories come together we glimpse not only personal dramas but a picture of a world on the verge of economic, political and cultural change. All is overseen by a supporting cast of telephone operators, maids, bellboys and scullery workers, in addition to the cynical and war-wounded doctor (Robert Mansell) who acts as a narrator at the beginning and end of the show.
Steve Dawson, Chip Fisher (background) and Julianne Randolph in the Players’ Grand Hotel.