Photo Flash: Melanie Griffith Stars in THE GRADUATE at Laguna Playhouse

Laguna Playhouse is thrilled to announce that due to overwhelming demand, the fifth show in its 97th season, Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Melanie Griffith starring as Mrs. Robinson in THE GRADUATE, adapted by Terry Johnson, based on the novel by Charles Webb and the screenplay by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham, directed by Ovation Award-winner Michael Matthews (Twelve Angry Men, Billy & Ray) is EXTENDING through SUNDAY, MARCH 25 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Drive in Laguna Beach. THE GRADUATE will begin previews on Wednesday, February 21 and will open on Sunday, March 4 at 5:30pm.

Benjamin's got excellent grades, very proud parents and, having spent four years achieving a brilliant scholastic record, a clear uncertainty about this future, trying to avoid the one question everyone keeps asking: What does he want to do with his life? An unexpected diversion crops up when he is seduced by Mrs. Robinson.

And even more unexpected, he finds himself falling in love with the one person Mrs. Robinson demanded he stay away from, her upbeat and optimistic daughter, Elaine.

Terry Johnson's stage adaptation of THE GRADUATE, based on the novel and the iconic 1967 film, is a bitterly hilarious dark comedy, full of rapid-fire dialogue between fascinating characters boldly celebrating a May-December romance in 1960's California, in which the future can be summed up in one word: Plastics.

Melanie Griffith (Mrs. Robinson) received an Academy Award nomination, a BAFTA nomination and won a Golden Globe award for her memorable role as Tess McGill in Mike Nichol's smash hit "Working Girl." In 2003, she made her Broadway musical debut in Chicago as the fame-hungry Roxie Hart, impressing critics and audiences alike. Griffith's performance opposite Liev Schreiber, John Malkovich and James Cromwell in the HBO movie "RKO 281" earned her both an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination. She received rave reviews for her performances in the following films - "Crazy in Alabama," directed by Antonio Banderas, Larry Clark's "Another Day in Paradise," and Woody Allen's "Celebrity," opposite Kenneth Branagh. She also provided the voice of 'Margalo' in Sony's family hit, "Stuart Little 2." Griffith has collaborated with some of the film industry's most important directors. Her career began at age sixteen in Arthur Penn's "Night Moves." She then appeared in the murder mystery "The Drowning Pool" starring Paul Newman, gained attention as a starlet who holds the missing piece to the murder puzzle in Brian De Palma's "Body Double," and then co-starred in Jonathan Demme's off-beat comedy-drama "Something Wild." She received Golden Globe nominations for her roles in both "Body Double" and "Something Wild." She went on to star in Mike Figgis' stylish film noir "Stormy Monday "with Tommy Lee Jones and Sting, Robert Redford's "The Milagro Beanfield War," and John Schlesinger's psychological thriller "Pacific Heights" opposite Michael Keaton and Matthew Modine. Reteaming with director Brian De Palma, she starred with Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis in "Bonfire of the Vanities," before joining Michael Douglas and Liam Neeson in the World War II espionage romance "Shining Through."

After starring in "Paradise" with Don Johnson, Griffith followed with Sidney Lumet's police drama "A Stranger Among Us," a remake of Garson Kanin's Born Yesterday, and Robert Benton's "Nobody's Fool" opposite Paul Newman. Her other film credits include Richard Benjamin's charming comedy "Milk Money" opposite Ed Harris, a cameo role in "Now and Then," Fernando Trueba's "Two Much," starring Antonio Banderas and Daryl Hannah, Lee Tamahori's "Mulholland Falls" with Nick Nolte, Adrian Lyne's controversial film "Lolita," John Waters' "Cecil B. Demented," the crime thriller "Tempo, Shade" opposite Sylvester Stallone and Gabriel Byrne, Suri Krishnamma's "Dark Tourist," and "Automata."

On television, Griffith starred in the comedy "Twins," opposite Sara Gilbert. She also starred in the mini-series "Buffalo Girls," which earned her a Golden Globe nomination, and starred with James Woods in the HBO film "Women & Men: Hills Like White Elephants." She also appeared in the casino drama "Viva Laughlin." Griffith's other TV credits include a guest star on the TV comedy series "Raising Hope," USA network's TV movie "Call Me Crazy," CBS' "Hawaii 5-0," and Hulu's "The Path."

In 2001, Griffith was honored with a Special Festival Award for her body of work at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2014, Melanie was honored with the Taormina Arte Award in Taormina, Italy. Her most recent on-screen credits include the independent feature "Day Out of Days," for writer/director Zoe Cassavetes, as well as the Hallmark feature "JL Ranch" with Jon Voight. She can currently be seen in "The Pirates of Somalia" with Evan Peters and Al Pacino and "The Disaster Artist" with James Franco and Seth Rogen.

Michael Matthews (Director) is thrilled to be returning to Laguna Playhouse after directing its critically acclaimed production of Twelve Angry Men. Other credits include: Billy & Ray at the Laguna Playhouse, Failure, a Love Story (Ovation Award, Director; LA Premiere and it's remount at The Kirk Douglas Theatre), Bootycandy (LA Premiere), Sons of the Prophet (L.A. Premiere) Psyche (World Premiere), Peter Pan; the Boy Who Hated Mothers (LA Weekly Nom, Director), Rabbit Hole (La Mirada), Funny Girl (Ovation Nom, Director), Very Still and Hard To See (LA Weekly Nom, Director; World Premiere),

The Color Purple, The Musical (Ovation and LA Weekly Awards, Director), What's Wrong With Angry? (Ovation Nom, Director), Take Me Out! (Ovation Nom, Director; NAACP Award, Director) The Women of Brewster Place, the Musical (Ovation Nom, Director; NAACP Award, Director), The Bacchae (Ovation Nom, Director), Beautiful Thing (Ovation Nom, Director). Michael is the recipient of the 2015 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Career Achievement in Direction.

The cast of THE GRADUATE will also feature: Nick Tag as Benjamin (Sex and Education at Laguna Playhouse; "My Crazy Ex," "Brothers in Arms"), Geoffrey Lower as Mr. Robinson, Martha Magruder as Elaine Robinson, Richard Burgi as Mr. Braddock, Valerie Perri as Mrs. Braddock and the ensemble will feature John Massey, Greg Butler, Joey Fabrizi and Taylor Rene LaBarbera.

The Scenic Design is by Stephen Gifford. The Lighting Design is by Tim Swiss. The Costume Design is by Kate Bergh. The Production Stage Manager is Vernon Willett.

This season is generously underwritten by The Hale Family. THE GRADUATE is produced by Paul and Heather Singarella. Additional Season Sponsors are South Coast Plaza, Haskell White, Surterre Properties, Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders, Gelson's, and Nolet's Silver Dry Gin.

THE GRADUATE will begin previews on Wednesday, February 21; will open on Sunday, March 4 at 5:30pm and is EXTENDING through SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2018 at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

Performances will be Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm; Thursdays and Saturdays at 2pm & 7:30pm; Sundays at 1pm. There will no Thursday performances on Thursday, March 1; Thursday, March 15 & Thursday, March 22 at 2pm. There will be additional Sunday performances on Sunday, February 25; Sunday, March 18 & Sunday, March 25 at 5:30pm.

Tickets range from $86 - $101 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 Mondays - Saturdays: 11a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until showtime on performance days); Sundays: 11a.m. - 4p.m. For more information on all shows and programming visit For more information on all shows and programming visit Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach.

Photo credit: Ed Krieger

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