Halley Feiffer's 'A FUNNY THING...' Opens Tonight at Geffen Playhouse
The Geffen Playhouse presents the first play in its 2017 / 2018 season, Halley Feiffer's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City.
Directed by Trip Cullman (Broadway's Six Degrees of Separation, Significant Other; Geffen's Barcelona, Choir Boy), this West Coast Premiere features Feiffer as Karla, Jason Butler Harner as Don, Eileen T'Kaye as Geena and JoBeth Williams as Marcie. The production marks Feiffer's first appearance in one of her own plays.
Sitting bedside at Memorial Sloan Kettering has never been so entertaining. While their ailing mothers share a hospital room, Karla and Don discover truth in the old cliché that opposites attract...and repel...and attract.
The Geffen's production of A Funny Thing Happened... is the fifth collaboration for Feiffer and Cullman. Previously, Cullman directed this summer's world premiere of Feiffer's Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow at Williamstown Theatre Festival; the world premiere of MCC Theater's production of A Funny Thing Happened... at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in 2016, in which 2 Broke Girls actor and Geffen board member Beth Behrs starred; and Feiffer's play, I'm Gonna Pray for You So Hard, at the Atlantic Theater Company in 2015. He also directed her as an actor in the 2014 Off-Broadway revival of Jon Robin Baitz's Substance of Fire at Second Stage Theater.
IF YOU GO:
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY
Written by Halley Feiffer
Directed by Trip Cullman
Previews: Tuesday, September 5 - Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Opening Night: Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Closing Night: Sunday, October 8, 2017
Performance Schedule: Monday No performance; Tuesday - Friday 8:00 p.m.; Saturday 3:00 and 8:00 p.m.; Sunday 2:00 and 7:00 p.m.
Halley Feiffer as Karla
Jason Butler Harner as Don
Eileen T'Kaye as Geena
Set Designer Lauren Helpern
Costume Designer David Kay Mickelsen
Lighting Designer Matthew Richards
Sound Designer Darron L West
Production Stage Manager Ross Jackson
Assistant Stage Manager Jade Cagalawan
Casting Director Phyllis Schuringa, CSA
The run of A Funny Thing Happened... will feature the Geffen's popular Talk Back Tuesdays, which give theater lovers a chance for a deeper conversation to discuss plot, character themes and other questions directly with the artists in a post-show Q&A from the stage. Dates: September 19 and 26, October 3
Rush tickets for each day's performance are made available to the general public 30 minutes before show time at the box office. $35.00 General / $10.00 Student
Through a variety of events and other opportunities, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes college students to experience the live storytelling presented on our stages. We are proud of our association with UCLA's School of Theater, Film, and Television, and open our doors to all college students throughout Los Angeles. More information is available at www.geffenplayhouse.org/college.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Halley Feiffer (Playwright, Karla)
Halley Feiffer is a writer and actor. Plays include I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic Theater Company, Outer Critics Circle Nomination), Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow (Williamstown Theatre Festival), How To Make Friends and Then Kill Them (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City, originally produced at MCC Theater. Her plays have been produced around the country and in the U.K., and have been developed by Second Stage, New York Theatre and the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. She has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Atlantic Theater Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival and three times by Manhattan Theatre Club. Television writing credits include The One Percent (Starz), Purity (Showtime), Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon) and original pilots for FX and TNT. Acting credits include the Broadway revivals of The Front Page and The House of Blue Leaves (Theater World Award), as well as numerous Off-Broadway productions including Tigers Be Still (Roundabout Theatre Company, Drama League Nomination). Television and film work includes recurring roles on HBO's MildrEd Pierce and Bored to Death and the films The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding and He's Way More Famous than You, which she co-wrote. She is a graduate of Wesleyan University and teaches playwriting at NYU.
Trip Cullman (Director)
Broadway: Six Degrees of Separation, Significant Other. Select Off Broadway: Punk Rock (Obie Award), Yen, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City (MCC); The Layover, Lonely I'm Not, The Substance of Fire, Bachelorette, Swimming In The Shallows, Some Men (Second Stage Theater); A Small Fire (Drama Desk nomination), Assistance, The Drunken City (Playwrights Horizons); I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard (Atlantic Theater Company); Significant Other (Roundabout Theatre Company); Choir Boy (Manhattan Theatre Club); Murder Ballad (Manhattan Theatre Club and Union Square Theater); Roulette (Ensemble Studio Theatre); The Hallway Trilogy: Nursing (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); Dog Sees God (Century Center); The Last Sunday In June (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Century Center); US Drag (stageFARM); and several productions with The Play Company. London: The Colby Sisters of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Tricycle Theatre). Select regional: Geffen Playhouse (Ovation nominations), ALLIANCE THEATRE (NAACP and Suzi Bass awards), The Old Globe, South Coast Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse, Bay Street Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival. Upcoming: Lobby Hero (Broadway), This Ain't No Disco (Atlantic Theater Company).
Jason Butler Harner (Don)
Jason Butler Harner was most recently seen in the Tony-nominated revival of The Crucible. Stage appearances on the West End, on and Off-Broadway, and in theaters across the country include American premieres (The Coast of Utopia, The Village Bike, COCK, The Paris Letter) and reinterpretations of classics (Hamlet, Hedda Gabler, Long Day's Journey Into Night). Productions of personal note include The Glass Menagerie with Sally Field, Invention of Love with James Cromwell and Through a Glass Darkly with Carrie Mulligan. He can currently be seen on Netflix's hit series Ozark with Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. Recent television arcs include This Is Us, Ray Donovan, Scandal, Homeland, as well as a full season on Alcatraz. Films include the Oscar-nominated Changeling, The Family Fang, Non-Stop, Blackhat, The Extra Man, Letters from the Big Man and The Green, for which he won numerous awards. He has also earned two Drama Desk nominations, an OBIE Award and a Masters degree from NYU.
Eileen T'Kaye (Geena)
Eileen T'Kaye has been acting, general managing and producing theater for 40 years. Acting credits include Coney Island Christmas (Geffen Playhouse), The Rehearsal (Disney Hall), Doubt and Other Desert Cities (International City Theatre), A Parallelogram (Mark Taper Forum), The Government Inspector (Boston Court), You Can't Take It with You (Colony Theatre, LA Weekly Award), Collected Stories (Coachella Valley Repertory Theatre), Ivanov (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble), The Tale of the Allergist's Wife (La Mirada Theatre), The Fantasticks (Reprise!) and They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (Greenway Court, LADCC and LA Weekly Awards). Producing credits include The Elephant Man (2002 Broadway Revival at The Royale), Make Me a Song: The Music of William Finn (New World Stages, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Nominations) and Shiva Arms (Coast Playhouse, Ovation Award for Best World Premiere). T'Kaye was the Project Manager for the creation of Boston Court Performing Arts Center and its Founding Producing Director. She thanks her husband David for his loving support.
JoBeth Williams is returning to the Geffen Playhouse, having starred in Jane Anderson's The Quality of Life with Laurie Metcalf. Additional Los Angeles stage credits include Other Desert Cities (Mark Taper Forum), The Night is a Child (Pasadena Playhouse) and The Fall to Earth (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble). In New York, she starred in Annie Baker's Body Awareness (Atlantic Theater Company), Last Dance (Manhattan Theatre Club), Moonchildren, Lady House Blues, A Couple of White Chicks and Gardenia. Her regional credits include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (McCarter Theatre Company), Idiot's Delight (The Kennedy Center) and Antony and Cleopatra (The Old Globe). Williams's film credits include Poltergeist, The Big Chill, Kramer vs. Kramer, Switch, Stir Crazy, American Dreamer and Fever Pitch. Television credits include Payne, The Client, Private Practice and Marry Me. She has been nominated for three Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and an Oscar for directing the short film On Hope.
Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the not-for-profit organization continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates and is currently helmed by Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr., and Co-Chairs of the Board Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains extensive education and community engagement programs, designed to involve underserved young people and the community at large in the arts. Visit www.geffenplayhouse.org for more information.