BROTHERS AND SISTERS' Luke Macfarlane Stars in La Jolla Playhouse's SAM BENDRIX AT THE BON SOIR, Now thru 10/10

La Jolla Playhouse presents the next production in its acclaimed Without Walls (WoW) series this fall, featuring award-winning actor Luke MacFarlane (ABC's Brothers and Sisters) in Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir, by Keith Bunin, directed by Mark Rucker.

This west coast premiere will run tonight, September 24 – October 10 at Martinis Above Fourth (3940 Fourth Avenue, Suite 200, in Hillcrest). Performances run Mon/Tue/Wed at 7:30 pm; Sat at 2:00 pm; Sun at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets are $35 and are available by calling (858) 550-1010 or at beginning now for subscribers and August 5 for the general public.

In a 1958 Greenwich Village nightclub - a decade before the Stonewall riots - the drinks and music flow as a young singer and his band take the stage for his last performance before leaving New York City for good. Featuring the songs of Cole Porter, Kurt Weill and George Gershwin, Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir showcases acclaimed actor Luke MacFarlane as he tells the poignant tale of a gay man looking for love in the wrong decade.

"Our first two WoW presentations – Susurrus at the San Diego Botanic Garden and The Car Plays: San Diego in The Playhouse's parking area – gave our audiences unique theatrical experiences in unexpected places," said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley. "We continue this tradition by presenting Keith Bunin's moving play at Martinis Above Fourth in the heart of Hillcrest."

Luke MacFarlane (Sam Bendrix) is well known to television audiences for his role on the hit ABC series Brothers and Sisters. Other television credits include Iron Road, Supreme Courtships, Over There and Tanner on Tanner. Film credits include Trapped Ashes, Recalled and Kinsey. A graduate of Juilliard, Mr. Macfarlane has appeared in The Normal Heart on Broadway, The Busy World Is Hushed and Juvenilia at Playwrights Horizons, and Where Do We Live at The Vineyard Theatre.

Keith Bunin (Playwright) is the author of the plays The Busy World Is Hushed, The World Over, The Credeaux Canvas, The Principality of Sorrows, The King of Clocks and A Joke. He has also written for film and television. He is a graduate of Goddard College and Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn.

Mark Rucker (Director) is Associate Artistic Director at American Conservatory Theatre, where he directed Once in a Lifetime, The Rainmaker and The Beard of Avon, among others. He is an associate artist at South Coast Rep, where he has directed more than 20 productions, including world premieres by Richard Greenberg, Annie Weisman and Culture Clash. Other regional credits include work at Yale Rep, Arena Stage, Intiman Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater and Berkeley Repertory Theatre. His feature film, Die, Mommie, Die!, won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

Funded by a generous grant from The James Irvine Foundation, Without Walls is an exciting La Jolla Playhouse initiative designed to break the barriers of traditional theatre. Over the course of four years, The Playhouse has been commissioning and presenting a series of site-based productions at locations throughout the San Diego community. Underscoring the theatre's mission of providing "unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow," coupled with the idea that The Playhouse is defined by the work it creates – not the space in which it is performed – WoW is designed to offer theatrical experiences that venture beyond the physical confines of The Playhouse's facilities.

Building on the success of the first two WoW productions, Susurrus and The Car Plays: San Diego – both extended by popular demand – The Playhouse recently announced that it will host a WoW Festival in October, 2013, featuring several site-based pieces by artists and companies from around the world. In addition to a special return engagement of The Car Plays, The Playhouse has also commissioned such renowned artists as puppeteer Basil Twist (Peter and Wendy, Dogugaeshi) to create works for the festival. The festival location will be primarily centered around The Playhouse, with various productions taking place throughout La Jolla. Dates and additional programming for the WoW Festival will be announced shortly.

Located in the heart of Hillcrest, Martinis Above Fourth (MA4) is an eclectic contemporary restaurant, lounge and bar featuring award-winning martinis and casual fine dining. Voted #1 Martini Bar in San Diego from the UT San Diego, MA4 features over 100 specialty martinis, along with a wide selection of spirits, wine and beer. MA4's menu offers a broad selection of starters and entrees, from our famous in-house crab cakes to our blue cheese-stuffed filet. And don't miss the horseradish-infused au-gratin potatoes. Nightly entertainment is showcased on the main stage with performers spanning the entire musical spectrum from jazz to pop and everything in-between. Special cabaret performances are presented throughout each month with featured entertainers from L.A. and New York.

The nationally acclaimed, Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is known for its tradition of creating the most exciting and adventurous new work in regional theatre. The Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and is considered one of the most well-respected not-for-profit theatres in the country. Numerous Playhouse productions have moved to Broadway, including the currently-running, multiple Tony Award-winning hits Jersey Boys and Peter and the Starcatcher, as well as Memphis, Big River, The Who's Tommy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Walk in the Woods, Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Farnsworth Invention, 33 Variations and Bonnie & Clyde. Located on the UC San Diego campus, La Jolla Playhouse is made up of three primary performance spaces: the Mandell Weiss Theatre, the Mandell Weiss Forum Theatre and the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center for La Jolla Playhouse, a state-of-the-Art Theatre complex which features the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre. The Playhouse is led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg.

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. The Foundation's grantmaking focuses on three program areas: Arts, California Democracy and Youth. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1 billion in grants to more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With about $1.5 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $65 million in 2011 for the people of California.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

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