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Movie Cast to Meet Public

Community Invited to Meet Cast of "Adopt a Sailor" on Thursday, Aug. 2

Bebe Neuwirth, Peter Coyote and Ethan Peck to star in film based on play by UCR theater professor Charles Evered.

(July 25, 2007)

PALM DESERT, Calif. (“Adopt a Sailor,” a movie based on the play by award-winning UC Riverside playwright Charles Evered, will begin shooting in the Coachella Valley in August. The film stars Emmy and Tony Award-winner Bebe Neuwirth, Emmy winner Peter Coyote and Ethan Peck, grandson of actor Gregory Peck.

The public is invited to meet the cast and crew from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 2, in the theater at the UC Riverside Palm Desert Graduate Center, Frank Sinatra Drive and Cook Street. Evered, who is directing the film, producer Kim Waltrip of WonderStar Productions, and cast members Neuwirth, Coyote and Peck will speak.

Reservations are requested. To RSVP contact Christine Murphy at 760-408-3285.

“Adopt a Sailor” began as a 10-minute play that was part of a Brave New World showcase to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It is the story of a sophisticated couple from New York City’s Upper West Side who forget they’ve volunteered to “adopt” a sailor for dinner during Fleet Week.

Evered, an assistant professor of theater, expanded the play and shifted the focus to a more universal theme about the sacrifices of men and women in the armed forces.

“This is about three very different people who on paper should not get along,” Evered said. “When they find themselves in the same apartment for dinner, politics becomes less important, war becomes less important. It’s about how they find a commonality. We’re living in a very divisive time. This film, in its own little way, could be a tonic for that.”

“Adopt a Sailor” is patriotic in the classic sense of the word, Evered said. “It about how just because we hold different viewpoints, that doesn’t make us unpatriotic.”

Some scenes were shot during Fleet Week in New York City in May. The remaining scenes will be shot in a Coachella Valley home decorated to resemble a posh New York apartment.

Neuwirth, known for her role of Dr. Lilith Sternin in “Frasier,” was one of several actors who performed in the original short play five years ago. “Bebe said she fell in love with this,” Waltrip said. “I think it’s the poignancy of the message. It’s about human beings and what we’re capable of.”

Evered, a lieutenant in the Navy Reserves, said 1 percent of the film’s profits will be donated to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides free housing for families of service members who are hospitalized.

“Adopt a Sailor” will appear first at international film festivals before it is released for general distribution, Evered said.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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