Civic Theatre to Open OTHER DESERT CITIES on 2/28

Civic Theatre to Open OTHER DESERT CITIES on 2/28

Civic Theatre continues its 2013-2014 main stage season with the Lehigh Valley premiere of the highly acclaimed drama, "Other Desert Cities" -- opening on Friday, February 28 with performances through Saturday, March 15. Civic's artistic director William Sanders directs this riveting new play by Jon Robin Baitz, a Pulitzer Prize nominee and creator of TV's hit drama "Brothers & Sisters." All performances will be held at Civic's historic Nineteenth Street Theatre at 527 N. 19th Street in Allentown. Special discounted tickets are available for performances on opening weekend. Please call the box office or visit for more information.

"Other Desert Cities" was named the Outstanding Play by the Outer Critics Circle in 2011 and called "the best new play on Broadway" by The New York Times.

It is Christmas Eve, 2004, at the Palm Springs mansion of Lyman (Barry Glassman) and Polly Wyeth (Becky Engborg) -a notably conservative, politically connected California couple. Home for the holidays are their son Trip (Will Morris), a laid-back Hollywood producer; daughter Brooke (Gretchen Furst), a liberal writer with a history of depression who has brought along the manuscript of her soon-to-be-published book; and Polly's sister Silda (Marianne Green), a liberal former screenwriter recently released from rehab. As the family gathers for the holidays, they discover that Brooke's new book is in fact a memoir - one that threatens to expose a long-buried family secret.

"The daughter's book is a metaphor for perspective, for the stories we remember and the stories we tell and how our perspective informs years of pain or joy, anger or release," says Civic Artistic Director, William Sanders. "The family is a cross section, a microcosm of American politics and perspective. That conflict creates some really intriguing tension, as well as some laugh out loud one liners."

"Other Desert Cities is everything a well made play should be. It is taut, surprising, funny, witty, razor-sharp and ultimately thrilling and moving. That's why all the top theaters in the world are producing it," adds Sanders. "This play is a roller coaster and will have you on the edge of your seat."

Jon Robin Baitz's other plays include "The Film Society", "The Substance of Fire", "The End of the Day", "Three Hotels", "A Fair Country" (a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1996), "Mizlansky/Zilinsky," "Ten Unknowns," and "The Paris Letter", as well as a version of "Hedda Gabler", which ran on Broadway in 2001. He created "Brothers & Sisters," the TV series which ran for five seasons until 2011. Other TV work includes PBS' version of "Three Hotels," for which he won the Humanitas Award and episodes of "The West Wing" and "Alias." He is the author of two screenplays, the film script for "The Substance of Fire" in 1996 and "People I Know" in 2002. He is a founding member of Naked Angels Theatre Company and on the faculties of the MFA programs at The New School for Drama and SUNY Stony Brook/ Southampton.

Civic's production of "Other Desert Cities" features set design by Jason Sherwood. Lighting and costume design are by Will Morris. Sound design is by Helena Confer. Kim Danish designs the hair and wigs. Emily Heller and Jillian Hutton are production stage managers.

Civic Theatre is a non-profit organization that has produced high-quality live productions for the Lehigh Valley for decades; all productions are performed in our 1928 Art Deco Theater. And with 450 annual screenings of acclaimed art films, documentaries, and independent films, Civic Theatre is a cultural gem in the heart of Allentown's West End neighborhood.

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