On Sept. 3, 1903, Griffith J. Griffith, one of Los Angeles' most wealthy men and the donor of Griffith Park, shot his wife in the face as she pleaded for her life. "Alias"' Kevin Weisman stars as Griffith in Crazy-Drunk, a colorful episode from the true history of L.A., which featured a trial complete with land swindles, stampeding ostriches and the "alcoholic insanity" defense.
Crazy-Drunk, written by Robert Fieldsteel and directed by Matt Almos, plays Nov. 7-Dec. 22 at [Inside] the Ford in Hollywood.
Crazy-Drunk is recounted through the memories of flamboyant lawyer Earl Rogers, who defended Griffith and his daughter, who became the journalist Adela Rogers St. Johns. Griffith had accused his wife of plotting with the Pope in a plot to overthrow the President and planning to poison him before shooting her, but she lived to testify against him. It was partially his money, partially his 3,015-acre land donation to Los Angeles and partially Rogers' defense that got Griffith only two years in prison. He died in the 1910's, but a Greek Theatre and later an observatory was built on his former property, the latter of which still bears his name.
Weisman, who plays the stuttering techie Marshall Flinkman on "Alias," often appears with the Buffalo Nights Theatre Company, including in their recent productions of J.B., Salome, The Firebugs, Sophistry and Incident at Vichy. Buffalo Nights founding member Maury Sterling ("Alright Already") is Earl Rogers with Alicia Wollerton (Tamara) as Adela Rogers St. Johns and Kara Zediker (the premiere of Oleanna, A Slip of the Tongue with John Malkovitch) as Tina Griffith.
The chorus is Evan Arnold, AnnaLea Rawicz and Marco Sanchez. Tickets are $15-$20. [Inside] the Ford is located at 2580 Cahuenga Boulevard East. For reservations, call (323) 461-3673. [Inside] the Ford is on the web at http://www.fordamphitheatre.org
— By Christine Ehren