Sean Mathias (Indiscretions, The Elephant Man) directs Anton Chekhov's classic drama which begins Feb. 2, 2006 at the Center Theatre Group's Mark Taper Forum for a run through March 29. Bening takes on the role of Madame Ranyevskaya, who attempts to escape her woes in Paris at her Russian country estate only to discover trouble awaits her there. Molina will perform as Lopakhin for the Los Angeles revival.
Molina appeared as the villain Dr. Ock in the film "Spider-Man 2," and is currently at work on Ron Howard's film take on "The Da Vinci Code." The London-born actor made his Broadway debut in the 1998 Tony Award-winning play Art opposite Alan Alda and Victor Garber. He returned to Broadway in 2004 to tackle the role of Tevye in the new David Leveaux staging of Fiddler on the Roof.
Bening has graced the Los Angeles boards in runs of Hedda Gabler and Alan Bennett's Talking Heads. She is perhaps best known for her film work which includes "American Beauty," "The American President," "Regarding Henry," "What Planet Are You From?" and the recent "Being Julia."
The new season at the Taper will begin with David Mamet's Romance (Sept. 29-Nov. 13) and Robert Schenkkan's Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates (Nov. 30, 2005-January 22, 2006) before The Cherry Orchard. Next up will be Joshua Sobol's iWitness (March 30-May 21, 2006), Alfred Uhry's Without Walls (June 1-July 16, 2006) and Culture Clash's Water & Power (July 27 Sept. 17, 2006).
Subscriptions to the new season at the Taper, 135 North Grand Ave. in Los Angeles, CA can be purchased by calling (213) 628-2772 or on-line at www.TaperAhmanson.com.