Joe Spano & More to Star in Rolling Southern California Premiere of THE REALISTIC JONESES

THE REALISTIC JONESES begins performances on Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 pm and runs through Sunday, May 14 at 1:00pm.

By: Mar. 30, 2023
Joe Spano & More to Star in Rolling Southern California Premiere of THE REALISTIC JONESES
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Laguna Playhouse announced, in association with Gare St. Lazare, Ireland and the Rubicon Theatre Company, Faline England, Sorcha Fox, Conor Lovett and Joe Spano starring in the rolling Southern California premiere of THE REALISTIC JONESES, written by Will Eno and directed by Judy Hegarty-Lovett. THE REALISTIC JONESES begins previews on Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30 pm, with a press opening on Sunday, April 30 at 5:30 pm and runs through Sunday, May 14 at 1:00pm at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Dr. in Laguna Beach.

Meet Bob and Jennifer and their new neighbors John and Pony, two suburban couples who discover they have more in common than their identical homes and their surnames. Spare, suggestive, slyly hilarious, and strangely maddening, this profound play explores what is said what is unsaid and the role that denial plays in helping us navigate life's chaos. Nominated for the Outer Critics and Drama League Awards and listed by The New York Times as one of the "Best Plays of the Year," THE REALISTIC JONESES will haunt you long after the play ends, leaving you wondering whether we can ever truly know anyone, including ourselves.


Faline England

(Pony) was last seen pre-pandemic as Georgie Burns in the Laguna Playhouse/Rubicon Theatre Company's co-production of Simon Stephens' Heisenberg opposite Joe Spano. She also appeared with The Rubicon Theatre Company in Gulf View Drive, Crimes of the Heart, Turn of the Screw, and All My Sons. Some of her many other stage credits include: Julius Caesar and Twelfth Night with Shakespeare Center L.A., Carry the World: Women and Peace with Creative Visions, Twelfth Night, Chicago, The Rover, The Three Sisters, Playboy of the Western World, The Changeling, The Tavern, Heartbreak House and The Tempest with the Theatre Artist's Group, an original telling of Finnegan's Wake with Santa Barbara Dance Theatre, Purge! with James Donlon & Co., and All in the Timing at Western Stage. She received her B.F.A. in Theatre from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has also appeared in numerous television productions including: "9-1-1," "Station 19," "Criminal Minds," "The Mentalist," "Nip/Tuck," "CSI," "Numb3rs," "Medium," and "Without a Trace."


(Jennifer) has twice been the recipient of an Irish Arts Council Bursary Award for her performance poetry. She received the UNESCO New Work award for her commissioned poetry performance Remember for Lingo: A Spoken Word Festival. She was Theatre Artist in Residence at The Glens Centre and The Dock Arts Centre in Leitrim, Ireland. Sorcha performed in Fishamble's Little Thing, Big Thing by Donal O'Kellywhich won the Stage Award for Acting Excellence at the Edinburgh Festival and toured to 59E59 in New York and the Adelaide Arts Festival, Australia. She has performed with Fishamble on Tiny Plays for Ireland 2 at the Project Arts Centre which toured to the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and The Irish Arts Centre, New York. She was co-director of Benbo productions with Donal O'Kelly. She won Best Actress Award at the first Irish Festival in New York twice, in 2011 and 2015 for Bogboy and Little Thing, Big Thing respectively. She performed in The Cambria which toured the U.S and ran at The Irish Arts Center, New York in rep with Frederick Douglass Now and in conjunction with The Classical Theatre of Harlem. Sorcha played the part of Julia in Rosaleen McDonagh's play Walls and Windows at The Abbey Theatre in 2021.

Conor Lovett

(John) trained as an actor at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris. He has an international reputation as a Beckett actor and has performed over 18 Beckett roles in 21 productions. Joint artistic director of Gare St. Lazare Ireland he has toured to over 84 cities in 25 countries with the company. Beckett work with Gare St. Lazare includes Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, Texts For Nothing, First Love, The End, The Calmative, Here All Night and How It Is, all directed by Judy Hegarty-Lovett. He has also been directed by Walter Asmus in A Piece of Monologue (for Gare St. Lazare) and Waiting For Godot (in productions for The Gate Theatre, Dublin's and Rubicon Theatre, Los Angeles). He also performed A Piece of Monologue with Corcadorca and Acts Without Words 1 and 2 and What Where for The Gate Theatre, Dublin. Other theatre work includes Title and Deed by Will Eno (Gare St. Lazare/Signature), Leaves (Druid/Royal Court), The Bull (Fabulous Beast), The Feast During The Plague(Clod Ensemble), Orpheus (Steeple Theatre) and The Oginski Polonaise (The Gate, London). Nominations and Awards include The Stage Best Actor nominee Edinburgh, Best Performer 'Indie' Santa Barbara Independent, Irish Theatre Awards Judges Special Prize nominee and Best Actor nominee 2009, Lucille Lortel nominee for Outstanding Solo Performance, The Stage Award for Acting Excellence, Off West End Best Actor nominee and Shanghai Theatre Festival Awards in Moby Dick and Waiting For Godot.

Joe Spano

(Bob) Emmy Award-winner in his 20th season as Tobias Fornell on the television series "NCIS." He starred for 7 years as Lt. Henry Goldblume on "Hill Street Blues." Also starred in the series: "Mercy Point," "Amazing Grace," "Murder One," "NYPD Blue" and 20 films made for television. Has guest-starred on 38 episodic television shows, appeared in 30 feature films, including "Hart's War," "Primal Fear," "Apollo 13," "American Graffiti," "Hollywoodland," "Fracture" and "Frost/Nixon." New York stage: Roundabout Theatre Company production of Arthur Miller's The Price (Tony nominated for Best Revival). West Coast: ten seasons with The Berkeley Repertory Theater, of which he is a founding member; American Buffalo, (LADCC Award); School for Scandal, Speed the Plow and A Chorus of Disapproval for South Coast Rep; and Bill Cain's Equivocation at the Geffen. At The Rubicon Theater, Joe has appeared in Sylvia, Waiting for Godot, R. Buckminster Fuller: The History...and MYSTERY of the Universe (Ovation Award), Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Karyl Lynn Burns' beautiful adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Simon Stephens' Heisenberg (also at the Laguna Playhouse) and, most recently, The Gin Game, with JoBeth Williams.

Will Eno

(Playwright) recently completed the Residency Five Fellowship at the Signature Theatre, which premiered his play Title and Deed in 2012 (coproduction with Gare St. Lazare Ireland), The Open House in 2014, and Wakey, Wakey in 2017. Will's play The Underlying Chris premiered at 2nd Stage Theatre in October 2019, directed by Kenny Leon, and The Plot premiered at Yale Repertory in November 2019, directed by Oliver Butler. The Realistic Joneses appeared on Broadway in 2014, where it won a Drama Desk Award, was named USA Today's "Best Play on Broadway," topped The Guardian's 2014 list of American plays, and was included in The New York Times' "Best Theatre of 2014." The play was recently included in "25 Significant Plays of the last 25 Years," in The New York Times. The French premiere, Juste Les Jones, will be directed for the Paris stage by documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman. The Open House won the 2014 Obie Award, the Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, and a Drama Desk Award, and was included in both the Time Out New York and Time Magazine Top 10 Plays of the Year. Title and Deed was on The New York Times and The New Yorker magazine's Top Ten Plays of 2012. Middletown, winner of the 2011 Horton Foote Award, premiered at the Vineyard Theatre and subsequently at Steppenwolf Theater and many other American Theaters and universities. The Canadian premiere, at The Shaw Festival in 2017, received a rapturous response from critics and audiences and was remounted in 2018 in Toronto. Thom Pain (based on nothing) was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. It was performed by Michael C. Hall in a sold-out revival at the Signature Theater in the fall of 2018. The L.A. premiere was performed by Rainn Wilson at The Geffen Playhouse in 2016, and a film was made from those performances, directed by Will and Oliver Butler. In spring 2019, Will wrote the book for the hugely successful ad campaign Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical, which also starred Michael C. Hall.


(Director) has a PhD from University of Reading, a degree in Fine Art from Crawford College, Cork and a post graduate degree in Dramatherapy from University of Hertfordshire. She has directed all but one of Gare St. Lazare Ireland's 23 Beckett titles since 1996 when she directed Conor Lovett in Molloy by Samuel Beckett at Riverside Studios, London and at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Other Beckett titles include Waiting for Godot, Rockaby, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, Lessness, Enough, Texts For Nothing, Worstward Ho, All That Fall, Embers, Cascando, Words and Music, The Old Tune, Rough For Radio 1 & 2, First Love, The Calmative, The End, How It Is, Ill Seen Ill Said,

And the collaborative music/visual art creation, Here all Night. Other non-Beckett directing credits includes Copenhagen (Los Angeles Times Critics Choice), Title and Deed by Will Eno (New York Times/New Yorker/Time Out NY Critics Picks), Moby Dick by Herman Melville (adapted by Judy with Conor Lovett), Swallow by Michael Harding, Tanks a Lot by Judy Hegarty-Lovett and Raymond Keane and The Good Thief by Conor McPherson. Judy's work has been nominated and awarded in London, Berlin, Boston, Dublin, Edinburgh, New York, Santa Barbara and Shanghai, and has been nominated for 7 Irish Times Theatre Awards, with 2018's How It Is (Part 1)winning Best Soundscape (Mel Mercier) and Best Lighting (Kris Stone) in 2019. In 2020 Judy was nominated for Best Director for How It Is (Part 2) at The Everyman.


Scenic and Costume Design by MOLLY O'CATHAIN who is based in Dublin and works across theatre, dance, opera, and various other art forms. Molly's recent designs include Absent The Wrong (Set Design/Abbey Theatre/ Dublin Fringe Festival), Constellations (Gate Theatre), Bajazet (Irish National Opera / Royal Opera House/ Best Opera Production Olivier Award nomination), An Octoroon (Costume Design/Abbey Theatre), It Was Easy (in the end) (Abbey /THEATREclub) and Ask Too Much of Me (Abbey/ NYT), Minseach (Sibeal Davitt Dance), The Playboy of The Western World (Dublin Theatre Festival/The Gaiety Theatre/The Lyric Belfast); La Liberazione di Ruggiero (Royal Irish Academy of Music); Serious Money and The Ash Fire (The Lir); Mr Burns (Rough Magic), The Enemy Within (An Grianan Theatre), To the Lighthouse (The Everyman/Hatch Productions), Shit(ThisIsPopBaby). Her designs for Malaprop Theatre; Where Sat the Lovers, Before You Say Anything, Saved

Jericho, BlackCatfishMusketeer and LOVE+. Her Associate design credits include The Ocean at The End of The Lane (Fly Davis/National Theatre London), The Welkin (Bunny Christie/National Theatre London), The Snapper (Paul Wills/ Gate Theatre Dublin), Road (Chloe Lamford/Royal Court Theatre London).


British lighting designer SIMON BENNISON is from Manchester and has trained in lighting, architecture and music at UCL, Yale, Surrey and RADA and was Lighting Associate of the Royal Opera House until 2022. His many designs for The Royal Ballet include Pilgrim (Dante Project), Anemoi, Scherzo, The Illustrated Farewell, Morgen, Tarantella, Ballo della Regina, Consolations & Liebestraum, Summertime, Carousel Pas de Deux, See Even Night Herself is Here and Dance of the Blessed Spirit. Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 and Raven Girl were made as Associate to Lucy Carter. His work with Viacheslav Samodurov includes Non-linear Interactions, Tric-Trac (Royal Ballet), In a Minor Key (Mikhailovsky Ballet), Ondine (Bolshoi Ballet), Romeo and Juliet (Royal Ballet of Flanders & Ekaterinburg Ballet). Other designs include Nureyev Legend & Legacy, the Headspace Dance Company programmes Three & Four Quarters and If Play Is Play, fourteen works for Cathy Marston, Sea of Troubles for English National Ballet, pieces for George Piper Dances and Ballet Nacional d'España. He also has created work with the choreographers Claire Russ, Shobana Jeyasingh, Javier De Frutos, Liz Lea, Kim Brandstrup, Mats Ek, Didy Veldman, Lica Silvestrini, Fin Walker, Ben Wright, Lisa Torun, Adam Cooper, Kristin McNally, William Tuckett, Matthew Hawkins, Emma Diamond, Jonathan Watkins and Kenneth Tharp amongst others. In association with Wayne McGregor and Christopher Wheeldon works have been recreated for the Hamburg Ballet, Royal Danish Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Bolshoi Ballet, Polish National Ballet, Houston Ballet, Australian Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, Darmstadt Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. Recent works for Theatre include Happy Days and Disgraced for the Norwegian National Theatre, How it Is Parts 1 and 2, First Love, The End, The Beckett Trilogy, Here All Night (Gare St. Lazare), The Lady from the Sea, Dead Dogs and Ivy & Joan (The Coronet). Other works have been created for the Hampstead Theatre, Hammersmith Lyric, Royal Court, Oxford Stage Company, Chichester Festival Theatre, and the Bush Theatre. The Price transferred from the Tricycle Theatre to the West End. Howie the Rookie won multiple awards and transferred to Broadway.Lighting for opera includes Swanhunter (Opera North). Rita and The Bear (Royal Opera), Carmen (English Touring Opera). And recent works for film include Agnus Dei for Arthur Pita and Ballet Boyz and the full length How it Is for Gare St. Lazare and the Dublin Theatre Festival. The Tempest for Cathy Marston and Baisir de la Féefor Scottish Ballet were both filmed for the BBC. Scenes from an Execution for Dundee Repertory Theatre and In a Minor Key for the Mikhailovsky Ballet were both nominated for Best Lighting awards. Scherzo and Anemoi have each received best new dance piece awards from the South Bank and the Dance Critics 2021 and the Dante Project won best dance work 2022.

Mel Mercier

Sound design is by Tony Nominee Mel Mercier, a multi-disciplinary artist with an international reputation as a sound artist, composer and performer. A multi-award-winning composer, he has composed the music for many critically acclaimed theatre productions and art installations that have been presented at theatres and venues in Ireland, the UK, Europe and America. He is also renowned as an innovative performer, rooted in Irish traditional music and committed to collaborating across music genres and art forms. He is Professor and Chair of Performing Arts at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. Mel collaborates regularly with some of the world's most respected theatre artists, including director Deborah Warner, actor Fiona Shaw, and film/theatre director Phyllida Lloyd. He also works regularly with Cork theatre company, Corcadorca, collaborating on many site-specific theatre pieces, and with Gare St. Lazare Ireland. Recent theatre composition and sound design projects include: The Tempest (Ustinov Theatre, Bath); Guests of the Nation (Corcadorca, Cork); How It Is - Part 2 (Coronet Theatre, London); How It Is- Parts ½ (Gare St. Lazare/Everyman Theatre, Cork/Coronet Theatre, London); Far Away (Corcadorca/Spike Island, Cork); CONCERT with Colin Dunne (Baryshnikov, New York/CND, Paris/Dublin Dance Festival) Le Testament de Marie (Comédie Francaise/Odeon, Paris); King Lear (Old Vic, London); The Tempest (Salzburg Festival). Mel has created/co-created several large-scale, installation projects: Arcadia, a sound and light installation with his original soundscape of music and nature poetry was created with Deborah Warner for Manchester International Festival 2021; Peace Camp: A Coastal Installation, a sound and light installation with his original soundscape of music and love poetry was created with Warner and actor Fiona Shaw, and commissioned by London 2012: Cultural Olympiad. In 2010, at the Glucksman Gallery in Cork, his installation From the Sources featured multiple simultaneous projections of film footage featuring performances by 100 contemporary Irish traditional musicians, who played almost 1,000 17th and 18th Century Irish airs collected in Aloys Fleischmann's Sources of Irish Traditional Music C.1600-1855. Awards received include: Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Soundscape for the Gare St. Lazare production of Beckett's How It Is - Part I (2018); Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Soundscape for the Corcadorca production of Caryl Churchill's Far Away (2017); the Gradam Cheoil Award for Collaboration for Colin Dunne's solo dance show CONCERT (TG4, 2018); the New York Festival Bronze Medal Award for his radio documentary, PeadarMercier (RTÉ Doc on One, 2017); the New York Drama Desk Award and Tony Award nomination for his sound score for Colm Tóibín's Testament of Mary (Broadway 2012); and a nomination for an Irish Times Theatre Award for The Abbey Theatre/Fibín production of Paul Mercier's Sétanta. In 2002, Mel was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for The Abbey Theatre/Broadway production of Medea.


MAURA O'KEEFFE (Producer) is an independent theatre producer with over 25 years of experience working in Irish theatre and dance both nationally and internationally. Maura is Associate Producer with Gare St. Lazare Ireland, an Irish theatre company internationally renowned for their stagings of Beckett's prose works. Recent and current projects with GSLI include the world premiere of How It Is (Part 1) at the Everyman, Cork; the Irish premiere of the company's music theatre creation, Here All Night at The Abbey Theatre and on national tour; a return visit to Lincoln Center's White Light Festival in November 2017 and a Beckett Festival in the Print Room at the Coronet, London in 2016 as well as extensive touring both nationally and internationally over the past 21 years. Other independent producing projects include: Concert, a solo dance show by Colin Dunne created in collaboration with Mel Mercier and Sinead Rushe (Recipient of the 2018 TG4 Gradam Ceoil Award for Collaboration); Front of House, a site-specific chamber opera made for Cork Opera House (Cork Midsummer Festival 2017 - Irish Times nomination for Best Opera Award 2017); Out of Time, Colin Dunne's solo dance show (Olivier and Critics' Circle nominated production; international touring 2009-2016); The Girl Who Believed in Magic a solo show created and performed by Julie Feeney (Project Arts Centre, 2015); Man of Aran Re-imagined, a live presentation created and directed by Paul Keogan, with new score by Mel Mercier and live narration by Liam Ó Maonlaí (Druid Lane Theatre, Galway, 2010); The Train Show, created and directed by Tom Creed (Cork Midsummer Festival 2006); Drive-By, a co-production with The Performance Corporation, directed by Jo Mangan (Cork Midsummer Festival & Dublin Fringe Festival), Tintype, a one-man show written and performed by Frankie McCafferty, directed by Jackie Doyle (Kilkenny Arts Festival 2006) and The Rep Experiment, an ensemble project of three plays (Platonov by Checkov, Metamorphosis a version by Stephen Berkoff and Mr Kolpert by David Gieselmann) with one acting and design company, directed by Darragh McKeon, David Horan and Tom Creed (Dublin Fringe Festival 2007); Macbeth for Siren Productions (director Selina Cartmell, The Empty Space 2008); James Son of James for Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre (director Michael Keegan-Dolan, Dublin Theatre Festival 2007 and UK Tour 2008); Don Carlos for Rough Magic Theatre Co (director Lynne Parker); The Salvage Shop for Garter Lane Arts Centre (director Jim Nolan) Access All Beckett for Gare St. Lazare in Dublin Docklands and the Irish Museum of Modern Art as part of the Beckett Centenary Festival, and in The Fisher Center, Bard College New York and UCLA Live Festival 2006 (director Judy Hegarty-Lovett) and the multi- award winning Titus Andronicus for Siren Productions (director Selina Cartmell, 2006). Maura was Marketing & Development Director of the Dublin Theatre Festival from 2000-2004, was a consultant to the Ark, Childrens' Cultural Centre, advising on the theatre and dance programme from 2004-2007 and has also worked as a line producer and marketeer with Lane Productions. She also worked regularly with actor Des Keogh and produced his successful one- man show The Love-Hungry Farmer which toured extensively in Ireland and played at the Assembly Rooms at Edinburgh Fringe 2004 and the Adelaide Fringe in Australia. In 2007 she produced a nationwide tour of Keogh's successful commercial revue show with Rosaleen Linehan, Des & Rosie at Large.


THE REALISTIC JONESES will preview on Wednesday, April 26 at 7:30pm; Thursday, April 27 at 2pm and 7:30pm; Friday, April 28 at 7:30pm & Saturday, April 29 at 2pm and 7:30pm; will open on Sunday, April 30 at 5:30pm (press opening) and perform through Sunday, May 14 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Dr. in Laguna Beach.

Performances will be Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 2pm & 7:30pm; Sundays at 1:00pm & 5:30pm. There will be added performances on Thursday, April 27 at 2:00pm and Tuesday, May 9 at 7:30pm. There will be no performance on Sunday, May 14 at 5:30pm.

Tickets range from $56 - $81 and can be purchased online at or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229. Prices subject to change.

The box office is open Tuesdays - Sundays: 12pm to 4pm; Mondays open 2 hours prior to show time and until 15 minutes after curtain. Open until showtime on all performance days.

For more information on all shows and programming visit LAGUNA PLAYHOUSE is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

Founded in 1920, the historic Laguna Playhouse is one of the oldest continuously-operating not-for-profit theatres on the West Coast and is proud to be an active participant in the celebrated Laguna Beach arts community. From classic plays and musical comedies to the current off-Broadway smash, cutting edge and traditional music exhibitions, dance festivals and stand-up comedy performances, Laguna Playhouse brings the magical experience of the performing arts direct to over 80,000 patrons each season.

Laguna Playhouse educational programming includes year-round classes, productions by and for children and teens (Youth Theatre) and is one of the few companies in the region that offer a curriculum-based professional theatre-touring program, TheatreReach, which aligns with the California State Standards for literature, history and performing arts curriculum.

Laguna Playhouse has been recognized in for the past five years as one of Orange County Register's "Best of OC" in the category of Live Theatre. The Laguna Playhouse has featured many talented performers on stage, including Ed Asner, Leslie Caron, Hershey Felder, Harrison Ford, Melanie Griffith, Val Kilmer, Gregory Harrison, Dan Lauria, Hal Linden, Wendie Malick, Rita Rudner, Charles Shaughnessy, French Stewart, Loretta Swit, and Bette Davis.


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