Photo Flash: SEMINAR Begins Rehearsals at LA's Ahmanson Theatre - Jeff Goldbum, Aya Cash and More!
Rehearsals have begun for "Seminar," the sexy, smart new comedy starring Jeff Goldblum, an Academy Award and Emmy Award-nominee. "Seminar," by Pulitzer Prize finalist and "Smash" creator Theresa Rebeck and directed by Obie Award-winner Sam Gold, begins previews October 10 and opens October 17, 2012, at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. The first production of the Ahmanson Theatre's 2012-2013 season, "Seminar" will continue performances through November 18, 2012. Check out photos of the cast at rehearsal below!In "Seminar," four aspiring young writers played by Aya Cash, Jennifer Ikeda, Greg Keller and Lucas Near-Verbrugghe sign up for private writing classes taught by an international literary figure played by Goldblum. Under his recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon and hearts are unmoored. The wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious as innocence collides with experience in this provocative new comedy. (Near-Verbrugghe replaces the previously announced Patrick Heusinger.) "Seminar" arrives in Los Angeles directly from its hit Broadway run, where it made its world premiere in November 2011. Goldblum joined the cast in April 2012. The production of "Seminar" at the Ahmanson features the complete Broadway design team: set and costume design by Tony Award-nominee and two-time Obie Award-winner David Zinn, lighting design by Drama Desk Award-nominee Ben Stanton and original music and sound design by two-time Drama Desk Award-winner John Gromada.
"Seminar" is produced by Jeffrey Finn, Jill Furman, John N. Hart Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Roy Furman, David Ian, David Mirvish, Amy Nauiokas and James Spry.
Jeff Goldblum is a celebrated actor in theatre, film and television, who also appeared on Broadway in "The Pillowman" in 2005, and more recently in two productions for The Old Vic in London, "Speed-the-Plow" (2008) and "The Prisoner of Second Avenue" (2010). His diverse film credits include some of the highest-grossing films of all-time – "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" and "Independence Day," as well as such classics as "Nashville," "Death Wish," "The Big Chill," "Annie Hall," "The Life Aquatic," "Igby Goes Down" and "The Fly." He was nominated for an Oscar for his direction of the live action short film "Little Surprises." On television, he most recently starred on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent." He earned an Emmy nomination for his guest appearance on "Will & Grace" and recently guest-starred on the hit series "Glee."
Aya Cash's theatre credits include "The Other Place," "Killers and Other Family," "Offices," "Happy Hour," "Three Changes," "From Up Here," "The Pain and the Itch," "Not Waving, Whore," "Playlist," "Missed Connections," "Cookie Crumble," "Jasper Lake," "The Three Sisters," "The Glass Menagerie," "The Diary of Anne Frank," "Winter's Tale," "A Midsummer Nights' Dream," "Much Ado About Nothing" and "Richard III." Television credits include "Traffic Light," "Spellbound," "A Gifted Man," "Mercy," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: CI," "Law & Order: SVU," "In Men We Trust" and "Brotherhood." Film credits include "The Oranges," "The Bits in Between," "Deception," "Off Jackson Avenue," "Winter of Frozen Dreams," "January," and the upcoming "The Wolf of Wall Street," "Can A Song Save Your Life?," "The Happy House" and "Sleepwalk With Me." Jennifer Ikeda's New York credits include "Top Girls" at Manhattan Theatre Club, Edward Albee's "Seascape" at Lincoln Center, "The Bacchae" and "As You Like It" both at the Delacorte, "Titus Andronicus," "As You Like It" and "The Two Noble Kinsmen" at The Public Theater, and "Hamlet" and "Oliver Twist" with Theatre for a New Audience. TV and film credits include recurring roles on "Smash" and "Lipstick Jungle," "Suits," "Fringe," "Law & Order," "Guiding Light," "Heavy Petting," "Lefty Loosey Righty Tighty," and the short film "Incoming," which was screened by the L.A. Shorts Festival and Noor Film Festival, and for which Jennifer was awarded Best Actress by the Asians On Film Festival. Jennifer is a graduate of Juilliard.
Greg Keller was last seen at the Ahmanson Theatre in "33 Variations" with Jane Fonda. He made his Broadway debut earlier this year in Margaret Edson's "Wit" with co-star Cynthia Nixon. His other credits include "Cradle and All" (MTC), "The Seagull" (with Dianne Weist and Alan Cumming at CSC), "Belleville" (Yale Rep), "Smudge" (Women's Project), "That Pretty Pretty" (Rattlestick), and eight plays at the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Greg holds an MFA in acting from NYU and was a Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellow at the Juilliard School, where he was a two-time Lecomte du Nouy Prize winner. His plays have been produced at the Cherry Lane Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berskshire Theatre Festival, and LAByrinth Theater Company, where he is a member.
Lucas Near-Verbrugghe has appeared on Broadway in "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" (also at The Public Theater) and "The Ritz." Off-Broadway, he performed in "The Common Pursuit," "Assistance," "Macbeth," "Oorah!," "boom," "The Most Excellent Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet" and "As You Like It." His television and film credits include "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU," "Guiding Light" and the upcoming and recent films "A Birder's Guide to Everything," "My Idiot Brother" and the short film "Bridge to Bourne."
For nearly a decade, Theresa Rebeck's more than a dozen plays have been produced in New York, regionally and internationally, including the world premiere of "Poor Behavior" last year at the CTG/Mark Taper Forum. Rebeck's new comedy, "Dead Accounts," will open on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre this November starring Katie Holmes and Norbert Leo-Butz. She made her Broadway debut with the Manhattan Theatre Club presentation of "Mauritius." "Seminar" marks the first time one of her works was produced as a commercial Broadway production. In 2003 she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her work "Omnium Gatherum." In addition to her work as a playwright, Rebeck is also a respected, award-winning television writer and producer – "NYPD Blue," (Peabody Award) and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," and she is the creator of NBC's hit TV series "Smash." Her film writing credits include "Harriet the Spy" and "Seducing Charlie Barker," and her books include "Twelve Rooms with a View" and "Three Girls and Their Brother."
Sam Gold is one of the most consistently praised directors to emerge on the New York theatrical scene in the last several years. He made his mark with an impressive string of critically embraced off-Broadway productions prior to making his Broadway debut with "Seminar." He notably won a 2010 Obie Award for directing two Annie Baker productions, "Circle Mirror Transformation" and "The Aliens." His other acclaimed New York productions include the recent "The Big Meal," "Look Back in Anger," "Kin," "The Coward" and "Tigers Be Still," as well as Annie Baker's adaptation of "Uncle Vanya."
For tickets and information, go to CenterTheatreGroup.org, the Center Theatre Group box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre or call (213) 972-4400. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel