LOVE LETTERS Tour, Starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal to Launch at The Wallis This Month
They made history 45 years ago when they starred in LOVE STORY, the most talked about film of its day -- Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal now reunite for LOVE LETTERS, a special theatrical tour that will make its official tour launch at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. LOVE LETTERS by celebrated American playwright A.R. Gurney is an enduring romance about first loves and second chances.
Directed by two time Tony-winning director Gregory Mosher, it will perform Tuesday, Oct 13 through Sunday, Oct 25, (press opening Oct. 14), onstage at the Bram Goldsmith Theater at The Wallis.
LOVE LETTERS is the story of Andrew Makepeace Ladd III (O'Neal) and Melissa Gardner (MacGraw), two young people from similar backgrounds who take very different paths in life. Despite leading lives which should not intersect, they can't let go of each other throughout their 50-year friendship, and their marriages and families with other people.
LOVE LETTERS was produced on Broadway by Nelle Nugent, Barbara Broccoli, Frederick Zollo, Olympus Theatrical, Michael G. Wilson, Lou Spisto, Colleen Camp, Postmark Entertainment Group, Judith Ann Abrams/Pat Flicker Addis, Kenneth Teaton in association with Jon Bierman, Tim Degraye, Daniel Frishwasser, Elliott Masie, Mai Nguyen, Scott Lane/Joseph Sirola, Jonathan Demar/Jeffrey Solis.
There will be two post-performance "Talk-Backs" with the stars on Thursday, Oct 15 and Thursday, Oct 22 immediately following the show.
More information at www.LoveLettersOnTour.com.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Ali MacGraw (Melissa Gardner) was born in Westchester County, New York and attended Wellesley College where she studied art history, languages and literature. She began her professional career as Diana Vreeland's assistant at Harper's Bazaar. After leaving Harper's Bazaar, she went to work as a stylist for photographer Melvin Sokolsky in New York for six years. Ali's acting career began when producer Stanley R. Jaffe and director Larry Peerce offered her the leading role of Brenda Patamkin in the screen version of Philip Roth's short novel, Goodbye Columbus. The movie was an international success, opening to tremendous popular and critical acclaim. Wanting her next film to be something special, Ali looked for a script that touched her on a personal level. That picture was Love Story and it proved to be her major break. An original screenplay (and later a best-selling novel) by Erich Segal, the film earned Ali international fame, an Academy Award nomination, a Golden Globe award, and many additional honors worldwide. Ali's third picture, The Getaway, co-starring Steve McQueen, completed her trio of blockbuster films. Nevertheless, after The Getaway, Ali took a five-year hiatus from Hollywood to raise her son Joshua. She returned to the screen to co-star in Sam Peckinpah's Convoy with Kris Kristofferson. Other film credits include Players co-starring Dean Paul Martin, and Just Tell Me What You Want, directed by Sidney Lumet and co-starred Alan King and Myrna Loy. Ali has appeared in a number of television projects, starring in Herman Wouk's epic mini-series, "The Winds of War," with Robert Mitchum. In addition, she guest-starred for a season on the popular ABC-TV series, "Dynasty." Ali published her autobiography, Moving Pictures, (Bantam Books) and watched it climb the New York Times Bestseller List. The book went on become an international bestseller in England, France and South America. She also teamed up with Warner Home Video to distribute an instructional yoga video called "Yoga Mind & Body." The video features respected yoga instructor Erich Schiffman. It was filmed in beautiful Whites Sands, New Mexico and remains popular in the U.S. and in Europe selling over 500,000 copies. Ali currently lives in New Mexico. She travels extensively, appearing in documentaries and working on behalf of numerous social, animal and environmental causes including the Humane Society of the United States, Animal Protection of New Mexico and a number of specific animal sanctuaries. She is actively involved with the Santa Fe Rape Crisis and Trauma Treatment Centre, the Lensic Theatre for the performing Arts, Santa Fe Pro Musica, the Tibetan Centre of Santa Fe, and many other New Mexico non-profits. She received the Luminaria Award in 2008 from the Santa Fe Community Foundation, and the Governor's Award for contribution to the Arts in the same year.
Ryan O'Neal (Andrew Makepeace Ladd III) Born Patrick Ryan O'Neal on April 20, 1941 in Los Angeles, California, Ryan O'Neal was born into show business as the son of writer Charles "Blackie" O'Neal and actress Patricia O'Callaghan. Determined to make his own way, O'Neal trained to become a professional boxer, competing in two Golden Gloves championships in Los Angeles in 1956 and 1957. He had an impressive amateur fighting record - 18 wins to 4 losses, with 13 knockouts. In the late 1950s, O'Neal and his family moved to Germany for his father's job writing broadcasts for Radio Free Europe. O'Neal landed his first job in the entertainment industry as a stuntman on the American television series Tales of the Vikings. In 1964, O'Neal's first major television role on Peyton Place led him to starring in films such as The Big Bounce (1969), and The Games (1970). His big break soon followed when he was chosen from more than 300 hopefuls for the role of Oliver Barrett opposite Ali MacGraw in Arthur Hiller's adaptation of Erich Segal's best-seller Love Story in 1970. The film was a huge success and landed O'Neal both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor. After Love Story, O'Neal turned to comedy and starred opposite Barbara Streisand in smash hit What's Up, Doc? (1971). He then starred with Warren Oates and Jacqueline Bisset in The Thief Who Came To Dinner (1973). O'Neal next played a drifter working con games with his daughter (played by real life daughter, Tatum) in the critically acclaimed hit Paper Moon (1973) for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actor. Tatum won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role. O'Neal then went on to star in Stanley Kubrick's 1975 historical drama Barry Lyndon; Oliver's Story, a sequel to Love Story in 1978; and the noir hit The Driver, also in 1978. In 1979, O'Neal scored another box office win with The Main Event, starring again with Barbara Streisand. In 1979, O'Neal met and fell in love with actress Farrah Fawcett. Together they had one child, a son Redmond. O'Neal and Fawcett co-starred in the made-for-TV miniseries Small Sacrifices (1989), based on the true story of Diane Downs. O'Neal returned to episodic television, again co-starring with real-life love, Farrah Fawcett in 1991 with the sitcom Good Sports. O'Neal's other roles included starring alongside Robert Downey in Chances Are (1989), Faithful co-starring Cher (1996), and the comedic Malibu's Most Wanted (2003). O'Neal can currently be seen on FOX's hit crime drama Bones and will soon make an appearance in Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups (2015).
A.R. Gurney (Playwright) has been writing plays for quite a while. Besides LOVE LETTERS, his more familiar ones are The Dining Room, The Cocktail Hour, Sylvia and Ancestral Voices. He taught literature at MIT for many years before turning to writing full time. Besides plays, Gurney has written three novels, two opera librettos, and several efforts for TV. Most of his plays have been produced Off-Broadway by such theatre organizations as Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center, Primary Stages and the Flea Theater in Tribeca. He has received a number of professional awards, along with honorary degrees from Williams College and Buffalo State University. A member of the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he is the father of four children, eight grandchildren and has been married to his wife Molly for 57 years.
Gregory Mosher (Director) has directed or produced nearly 200 stage productions at the Lincoln Center and Goodman Theatres (both of which he led), on and off Broadway, at the Royal National Theatre, and in London's West End. Among them were the first productions of John Guare's Six Degrees of Separation, David Rabe's Hurly Burly, the South African township musical Sarafina!, Richard Nelson's musical adaptation of James Joyce's The Dead, John Leguizamo's Freak and over 20 plays with David Mamet, including American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross. Recent work includes Broadway productions of A View from the Bridge (with Liev Schrieber and Scarlett Johansson), That Championship Season (with Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric, Chris Noth and Brian Cox) and the Kennedy Center's production of Richard Nelson's adaptation Ferenc Molnar's The Guardsman (with Finn Wittrock and Sarah Wayne Callies). He has produced or directed new work by Samuel Beckett, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Elaine May, Spalding Gray, and Nobel Prize winners Wole Soyinka and Derek Walcott, and directed many leading actors, including Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Sally Field, Ed Harris, Ian Holm, and Jessica Lange
About The Wallis - Located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts ("The Wallis") brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world's most talented and sought-after artists. With eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles, and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the U.S. and around the globe. The mission of The Wallis is to be a vital cultural hub that uses unique arts events and education programming to entertain, enlighten and inspire children and adults in our community and across the nation. Nominated for 12 Ovation Awards, four L.A. Drama Critic's Circle Awards and the recipient of five architectural awards since opening in 2013, this fall marks The Wallis' third season, which includes its prestigious Arts & Ideas series, conversations with guests from the realms of culture, literature and politics. Housed in a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA of Studio Pali Fekete architects, The Wallis celebrates the classic and the modern. The building features the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater's dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, GRoW at The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education (a gift of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family and the Annenberg Foundation) and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these structures embrace the city's history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike. For more information, visit www.thewallis.org.
Photo Credit: Austin Hargrave