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A&E >  Entertainment

Travolta, Bannon to perform benefit

Couple starring in ‘Love Letters’ at UI

Ellen Travolta and Jack Bannon are taking their love story on the road to the Palouse.

The veteran actors – who are married and longtime residents of Coeur d’Alene – will perform “Love Letters” on Saturday in Moscow as a benefit for the Idaho Repertory Theatre at the University of Idaho.

Travolta loves “Love Letters.” It’s a story she and Bannon have performed many times to much acclaim.

“It’s a lovely piece,” she said.

It tells the story of two people, Melissa and Andrew, through the letters they’ve written to each other over the course of their 50-year friendship.

“They always love each other, but they marry different people. They have different lives,” Travolta said.

The show is being held in conjunction with the university’s Moms’ Weekend as a fundraiser for Idaho Repertory, which is one of the oldest professional summer theater companies in the Northwest. It is housed at the Hartung Theatre on campus, which is undergoing a multiphase renovation. The six-week summer season typically features three productions starring student actors and professionals from around the country.

“We love the Hartung Theatre,” Travolta said. “It’s beautiful.”

Travolta and Bannon are longtime friends of Kelly Quinnett, whom they met while filming 1999’s “The Basket.” Quinnett, who has acted at Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre, is an acting professor at UI. (She’s also family – her husband is Travolta’s nephew, Jonathan Rau.)

“We’re family, we’re friends. I think she’s incredibly talented,” Travolta said. “So when Kelly said would you ever consider helping us, I said yes and Jack said absolutely.”

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