Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

FIFTH OF JULY Begins 5/20 at The Production Company’s Lex Theatre


Lanford Wilson's masterpiece comedy-drama FIFTH OF JULY roars to life beginning May 20, 2011 as The Production Company presents their third 2011 Season production at The Lex Theatre, 6760 Lexington Avenue, Hollywood, CA 90038. FIFTH OF JULY will run Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM through June 25th. Tickets are available online at or by phone at 1-800-838-3006. Both surprisingly timely and entertaining, critics have hailed the play as "a major work by one of the theater's most important and celebrated writers, ...alternately funny and moving".

Set in 1977, the story deals with a group of old friends and the changes that have occurred in their lives and attitudes in the years since they were antiwar activists in Berkeley. Ken, who lost his legs in Vietnam, and is now considering abandoning his house, his career as a teacher and possibly his devoted lover, Jed Jenkins, for a life of isolating travel. Ken's sister, June Talley, has arrived in a state of high defensiveness, while heiress and aspiring rock star Gwen and her husband/manager, John Landis, simply seem high. Then there's Weston Hurley, the spacey, childlike composer, as well as Sally Friedman, Ken's aunt, and Shirley Talley, June's daughter, who respectively embody the foibles of advancing age and narcissistic youth. They have ostensibly gathered at Ken's rambling family homestead in Lebanon, Mo., for the Fourth of July, but as the play hurtles forward, questions about motives start to arise.

As the night of the Fourth segues into the morning of the Fifth, with the attendant physical and psychic hangovers, Mr. Wilson achieves a telling, rhythmic pattern of the stings and comforts exchanged by people of long acquaintance and the ways in which they do and do not know one another. Even among friends, manners and postures are worn protectively, from Ken's hard-won flippancy to John's jocular bonhomie.

When the masks start to slip, as masks will when people share a space for too long, fireworks follow. Most important, however, you believe in the intimacy among these people: that Ken and June are siblings, that Gwen and John are married, that the past they all share chafes as much as it soothes. Like all major playwrights, Mr. Wilson also hears what's unspoken. This production invites you to listen to the sounds beneath the fury of its combustible characters.

The cast includes Scott Victor Nelson (Ken), Christopher Carver (John), Jen Albert (Gwen), Johnny Patrick Yoder (Jed), Jennifer Sorenson (June), Margaret Dwyer (Shirley), Judy Nazemetz (Sally), and Rob Herring (Weston). The production is directed by August Viverito, and produced and assistant directed by T L Kolman. Costumes are by Shon Lebalnc, sound by Ferrell Marshall, and lights and set are by Viverito.


FIFTH OF JULY opens on Friday, May 20th, 2011 and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM. No performance Sunday, May 22nd. Tickets may be purchased at or 1-800-838-3006. Tickets are $25 and advance purchase is highly recommended. For further information, call The Production Company at (323) 871-1150. The Lex Theatre - 6760 Lexington Avenue, Hollywood, CA 9038. One block north of Santa Monica Boulevard, just East of Highland Avenue.


Related Articles View More Los Angeles Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You