Al Pacino Stars in LA Salome April 14 - May 14

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Al Pacino, Kevin Anderson and Jessica Chastain will appear in a presentation with music of Oscar Wilde's masterpiece SALOME at the Wadsworth Theatre for 26 performances only, April 14 to May 14. Presented as it was on Broadway in spring, 2003 by Robert Fox, Daryl Roth and Amy Nederlander, it will again be directed by Estelle Parsons with original music by Yukio Tsuji. The press opening is April 27; lower priced previews are April 14 to 26.

Tickets for SALOME ($66 to $93, VIP also available) go on sale Sunday, March 26 at the Wadsworth Theatre Box Office, 11301 Wilshire Blvd. on the Veterans Administration Grounds, by phone at Ticketmaster at 213-365-3500, at all Ticketmaster outlets, and online at www.WadsworthTheatre.com.

Pacino and director Estelle Parsons spent nearly two years developing this production of SALOME before bringing it to Broadway, and are now delighted to bring it to Los Angeles. "We made the decision to mount SALOME in this way because we felt it would better serve Wilde's text," said Pacino. "A staged reading yields a significant style unlike any other - it allows an audience the freedom to imagine and connect to the play in a different way."

A dramatic production based on the biblical tale of lust and revenge, Oscar Wilde's SALOME draws the audience into a decadent world of passion and betrayal. SALOME follows the legend of King Herod and his unbridled desire for Salome, the young daughter of his wife, Herodias. Salome, indifferent to Herod's advances, longs for the love of the imprisoned John the Baptist. When he rejects her, she uses her powers of seduction and manipulation - and the Dance of the Seven Veils - to seek her revenge.

This production of SALOME was developed at the Actor's Studio (Estelle Parsons, Artistic Director) and was presented at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn (November 2002), at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie, NY (February 2003), and on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre (April, 2003). Ben Brantley, in the The New York Times, said SALOME is "Smashing. Inspired and sexy as all get-out."

An Irish-born English poet, novelist and playwright, Oscar Wilde was considered an eccentric, as he was leader of the aesthetic movement that advocated "art for art's sake" and was once imprisoned for two years with hard labor for homosexual practices. SALOME (1893) written in French, was refused a license in London but, 13 years later, was adapted by Richard Strauss into a successful opera. Translated by Lord Alfred Douglas, it later appeared in England.

About the artists

Al Pacino (Herod). Broadway: Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? (Tony Award), The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel (Tony Award), Richard III. Off-Broadway: NAT's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Indian Wants the Bronx (Obie and Theatre World Awards), The Connection, Tiger at the Gates, The Local Stigmatic, Camino Real, American Buffalo and Hello, Out There. Circle in the Square: Salome, Chinese Coffee and appeared in and directed Hughie.

Kevin Anderson (John the Baptist). Broadway: Brooklyn, Orphans, (Theatre World Award), Orpheus Descending, Death of a Salesman (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle awards, Tony® nomination). Off-Broadway: Red Address, Speaking in Tongues. London: Orphans, Sunset Boulevard. Steppenwolf Ensemble: Orphans, Our Town, I Never Sang for My Father. Film: Orphans, Liebestraum, Hoffa, Eye of God, Firelight, The Doe Boy, Rising Sun, Ruby's Bucket of Blood, A Thousand Acres, Power and Beauty, Sleeping With the Enemy. TV: "Nothing Sacred" (Golden Globe nomination).

JESSICA CHASTAIN (Salome). Off-Broadway: Rodney's Wife (Playwright's Horizons). Regional: The Cherry Orchard (Williamstown). TV: "Blackbeard" (Hallmark Entertainment), "Close to Home", "The Evidence", "Law & Order: Trial by Jury", "Veronica Mars", "ER." Graduate of The Juilliard School Drama Division (2003).

OSCAR WILDE (Playwright). Born Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde in Dublin, Oscar Wilde proved to be a brilliant scholar at Oxford, winning the Newdigate Prize for his poem Ravenna. His first collection, Poems, was published in 1881. After 1890, he had enormous success on stage with his sparkling comedies, Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893), An Ideal Husband (1985) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). Wilde's play Salome (1893), written in French, was refused a license in London but, 13 years later, was adapted by Richard Strauss into a successful opera. Translated by Lord Alfred Douglas, it later appeared in England. Douglas's father, the Marquis of Queensberry, strongly disapproved of Wilde and a quarrel ensued which eventually led to his imprisonment for homosexuality. Wilde was sentenced to two years hard labor and was released in 1897. He moved to France under the name Sebastian Melmoth. While there, he wrote his famous poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol. He did in exile in 1900.

Estelle Parsons (Director) directed a multi-cultural, multi-lingual Antony and Cleopatra at the Interart Theatre in NYC, which Arthur Holmberg described in the Shakespeare Quarterly as "the most exciting and innovative presentation of Shakespeare…since Peter Brooks' Midsummer Night's Dream." The Public Theatre invited her to put together a multi-cultural, multi-lingual Shakespeare company, which played for two seasons to NYC high school students. The company played Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and As You Like It at the Public Theatre and then at the Belasco on Broadway. Two years ago, Ms. Parsons started collaboration with Al Pacino with the W.B. Yeats version of Sophodes' King Oedipus and now with this reading of Oscar Wilde's Salome. Other than her work with Mr. Pacino, she has an active acting career and is artistic director of the Actor's Studio.

Photo by Platon

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