Patrick Kerr, Mary Beth Peil and More Set for La Jolla Playhouse's HIS GIRL FRIDAY; Full Cast Announced!
La Jolla Playhouse announces the cast and creative team for His Girl Friday, adapted by John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation, House of Blue Leaves) from the Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur play The Front Page and the Columbia Pictures film His Girl Friday. Directed by Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley (Glengarry Glen Ross, Memphis), the production will kick off the 2013/2014 season, running May 28 - June 30 in The Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Theatre.
The cast features Playhouse veterans Patrick Kerr (Mother Courage and her Children) as "Earl," Donald Sage MacKay (Blood and Gifts) as "Bruce," George McDaniel as "Mayor," Matt McGrath (Loot) as "Bensinger" and Mary Beth Peil (The Third Story) as "Mrs. Baldwin," along with newcomers Bill Christ as "Woodenshoes," William Hill as "Sheriff," Bethany Anne Lind as "Molly Malloy" and Dion Mucciacito as "Diamond Louie."
The cast also includes several local actors: Steve Gunderson (The Nightingale) as "Pinkus," Kevin Koppman-Gue (Accomplice: San Diego) as "Sweeney," Jonathan McMurtry (A Midsummer Night's Dream) as "Reverend," Victor Morris (A Lonely Boy's Guide to Survival (And Werewolves)), Evan D'Angeles, Dale Morris, James Saba and Mike Sears (Bonnie & Clyde) as "Reporters," as well as UC San Diego M.F.A. students Michael Hammond, Chaz Hodges, Gerard Joseph and Ronald Washington in various roles.
Joining the company in the romantic leads are acclaimed stage and screen actors Jenn Lyon (Broadway's The Coast of Utopia, Lindsey Salazar on TV's Justified,) as "Hildy Johnson" and Tony Award nominee Douglas Sills (Broadway's The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Addams Family) as "Walter Burns."
The creative team includes Playhouse favorites Robert Brill (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Wiz), Scenic Designer; Paul Tazewell (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots), Costume Designer; David Lander (Glengarry Glen Ross), Lighting Designer; Mark Bennett (An Iliad), Sound Designer; Steve Rankin, Fight Director; Eva Barnes, Voice & Dialect Coach; and Gabriel Greene, Dramaturg."His Girl Friday is packed with verbal fireworks, rapid-fire comedy -- not to mention a great love story -- and these tremendous actors are ready to sink their teeth into it," said Ashley. "In an age where media sensationalism and the role of journalism are consistently in the spotlight, John Guare's fresh and funny adaptation of this classic has more resonance than ever."
In His Girl Friday, a major story is brewing in a 1939 Chicago press room when ace reporter Hildy Johnson stops by for one last visit before leaving the newspaper game for good. But when her former editor and ex-husband entices her with the promise of the scoop of a lifetime, the lure of fame and rekindled romance prove more than she can resist. Renowned playwright John Guare and Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley team up to deliver this fast-paced romantic comedy that exposes the unsavory politics of tabloid journalism.
Christopher Ashley (Director, His Girl Friday) has served as Artistic Director at La Jolla Playhouse since October, 2007. During his tenure, he helmed the world premieres of Claudia Shear's Restoration and Arthur Kopit and Anton Dudley's A Dram of Drummhicit, as well as Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross, Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and the musicals Xanadu and Memphis, which went on to Broadway, winning four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical. In addition, he spearheaded The Playhouse's Resident Theatre program and oversaw the world premieres of Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Hands on a Hardbody, Milk Like Sugar, Little Miss Sunshine, Limelight: The Story of Charlie Chaplin, Surf Report, Bonnie & Clyde, Doug Wright's adaptation of Creditors, the Page To Stage workshop of Charlayne Woodard's The Night Watcher, and the West Coast premiere of 33 Variations. Prior to joining The Playhouse, Mr. Ashley directed the Broadway productions of Xanadu (Drama Desk nomination), All Shook Up and The Rocky Horror Show (Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations), as well as the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration productions of Sweeney Todd and Merrily We Roll Along. Other New York credits include: Leap of Faith, Blown Sideways Through Life, Jeffrey (Lucille Lortel and Obie Awards), The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Valhalla, Regrets Only, Wonder of the World, Bunny Bunny, Communicating Doors, The Night Hank Williams Died, Fires in the Mirror (Lucille Lortel Award), among others. He also directed the feature film Jeffrey and the American Playhouse production of Blown Sideways Through Life for PBS. Mr. Ashley is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award, the Drama League Director Fellowship and an NEA/TCG Director Fellowship.
John Guare's (Adaptor, His Girl Friday) plays include A Free Man of Color; Lydie Breeze; Bosoms and Neglect; The House of Blue Leaves, which won an Obie and NY Drama Critics Circle Award for the Best American Play of 1970- 71 and four Tony Awards in its 1986 Lincoln Center Theater revival; and Six Degrees of Separation, which received the NY Drama Critics Circle Award in 1991 for its LCT production and the Olivier Best Play Award in 1993. He also wrote the lyrics and co-authored the book for the 1972 Tony Award-winning musical Two Gentlemen of Verona, as well as the book for the musical The Sweet Smell of Success. His screenplay for Louis Malle's Atlantic City earned him an Oscar nomination. In 2003 he won the PEN/Laura Pels Master Dramatist Award; in 2004, the Gold Medal in Drama from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in 2005 the Obie for sustained excellence. He is a council member of the Dramatists Guild and co-editor of The Lincoln Center Theater Review.
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 hit Jersey Boys, 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, Chaplin: The Musical, Bonnie & Clyde, Peter and the Starcatcher and Hands on a Hardbody. 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. La Jolla Playhouse is led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg.