Al Pacino to Participate in Benefit Staged Reading of THE BASIC TRAINING OF PAVLO HUMMEL
Al Pacino (The Irishman, Scent of a Woman, The Godfather) will participate in a benefit staged reading of award-winning Vietnam veteran playwright David Rabe's The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummer, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, in collaboration with The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles, on Sunday, March 8, 2020, 7 pm, in The Wallis' Bram Goldsmith Theater. The Oscar, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor will reprise the title role of Pavlo Hummel, which he played in the original 1977 Broadway production, winning a Best Actor Tony Award. The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, the first in Rabe's acclaimed Vietnam War trilogy, follows a naive and directionless young man drafted into the U.S. Army. Alienated from his fellow soldiers and searching for meaning and status, the story of Hummel's life and military experiences unfold backwards after a fateful encounter in a Saigon brothel. Single tickets and VIP ticket packages, which include a post-performance cast reception and other benefits, are sold out, and a wait list is available.
A portion of the proceeds from the reading benefits the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations (NAVSO), the only national nonprofit exclusively focused on accelerating the access, impact, reach and capacity of individual veteran-serving organizations nationwide and improving the lives of veterans and military families, and The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles' Veterans in Art program, a transitional training and employment initiative for chronically unemployed veterans enrolled in vocational rehabilitation programs in technical theatre. Strobe lights, explosions and lighting effects that simulate war conditions are featured in the performance.
The staged reading of The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel is directed by Robert Allan Ackerman, a two-time Golden Globe and five-time Emmy Award nominee and veteran director of Broadway and London's West End. In addition to Pacino, the cast includes Joel Steingold (Ardell), Anzu Lawson (Yen/Mrs. Sorrentino), Rif Hutton (Sgt. Tower/Parham), Matthew Wolf (Kress/Mickey), Matt Nolan (Pierce/Sgt. Wall), Robert Baker (Parker/Brisbey) Darren Richardson (Corporal/Hinkle), Sheldon Donenberg (Jones/Grennel/Ryan), Karen Strassman (Mrs. Hummel), Chase Fein (Captain/Officer/Burns), Kazumi Aihara (Mamasan).Serving as the "Chorus" are Takuma Anzai, Toru Uchikado, Gavin Lee, Taishi Mizuno and Shin Shimizu.
Additionally, seven production interns from Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles' Veterans in Arts program are involved in the reading, gaining vital professional theater experience: Chad Rowlett, Technical Director Intern, US Navy Seabee Builder & Engineer E-6, 2000-2012; Kevin Lamb, Propsmaster Intern, US Army Infantry E-3, 2003-2005; Joe Casillas, Front of House Intern, Sgt. US Army 2002-2008; Darrell Morrison, Sound Board Operator Intern, US Marines, Infantry E-3, 2008-2012; Derek McGee, Production Management Intern, US Army Security Forces/Element Leader E-4, 1999-2004; Joshua Valdez, Costume Coordination Intern, US Air Force F-15 Crew Chief, 1993-1997.
"The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel has great meaning for me," says Pacino. "The play was the first of its kind to explore the national trauma of Vietnam and has as much relevance today as it did 40 years ago. It's wonderful to be doing this masterwork of David Rabe's in this setting as a reading, especially because it will benefit such a great cause for our Veterans."
"Al Pacino has long been one of our most treasured and talented performers across stage and screen, and it is a distinct honor for The Wallis to partner with him and the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles on this reading of David Rabe's powerful play," says The Wallis' Artistic Director Paul Crewes. "With his passion for theater combined with him revisiting his Tony Award-winning role, it will be a thrilling performance. We are delighted to welcome him into our growing home of local artists."
"We are thrilled that SCLA's Veterans in Art program, has inspired this collaboration on such a seminal play," says The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles Artistic Director Ben Donenberg. "Al Pacino's recognition of this successful signature program shows the value of the training we offer, and the contributions of our veteran students to theatre, and to our community."
"The team at NAVSO is delighted to partner with Mr. Pacino, The Wallis, and the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles as a tribute to our nation's veterans and their families," says Tim Farrell, CEO, NAVSO. "NAVSO is immersed in the greater Los Angeles area, in particular with deep planning and strategy on the county's Veteran Peer Access Network; a $33 million program that will encourage the most vulnerable in our nation's largest population of veterans to get the help they need, and will be replicable in many areas nationwide. We're privileged to be featured in this impactful platform with Mr. Pacino and our wonderful Southern California partners".
Reserved admission tickets, $49 to $125, are SOLD OUT but a wait list is available through the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at 310-746-4000 or TheWallis.org/Hummel. VIP packages that include a post-performance reception with Al Pacino and the cast are SOLD OUT. The Wallis is located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills.
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