Anne Heche and Christian Slater to Star in Actors' Fund's "Casablanca" Reading

News   Anne Heche and Christian Slater to Star in Actors' Fund's "Casablanca" Reading Complete casting has been announced for the Actors' Fund of America's all-star live reading of the Warner Bros. screenplay for "Casablanca."

Anne Heche will play Isla and Christian Slater will portray Rick, the roles created in the landmark film by Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. The 4 PM reading on Oct. 2 at the Pantages Theatre will also feature the talents of René Auberjonois as Berger, Dan Castellaneta as Signor Ugarte, James Cromwell as Major Strasser, Bruce Davison as Emil, André De Shields as Sam, Edward Herrmann as Capt. Louis Renault, Kurtwood Smith as Col. Heinze, Hal Sparks as Jan Brandel and Jennifer Tilly as Yvonne. Tony Award winner Angela Lansbury will host the VIP ticket pre-reception.

The reading of the screenplay — adapted by David Rambo — will benefit the Actors' Fund of America. "Casablanca" follows acclaimed readings of "All About Eve" and "Sunset Boulevard." Peter Hunt will direct the reading of the new stage take on the screenplay by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch.

The Morocco-set story of "Casablanca" follows the chance meeting of an American exile night club owner and his former love at the titular gateway city during World War II. The film — starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman — won 1944 Academy Awards for Best Director (Michael Curtiz), Best Picture (Hal B. Wallis) and Best Writing (Epstein, Epstein and Koch).

Anne Heche made her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning play Proof. She starred opposite Alec Baldwin in the 2004 revival of Twentieth Century, earning a Tony nomination for her performance. She received an Emmy nomination for her work in the Lifetime movie "Gracie's Choice," and her other screen credits include "Six Days Seven Nights," "Wag the Dog" and "Donnie Brasco."

Christian Slater was seen on Broadway last season in the revival of The Glass Menagerie. He also played the lead in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Gielgud Theatre in the West End, and was recently announced for a new London production of Sweet Bird of Youth. On Broadway, he also starred in Side Man. His well-known film roles include "Heathers," "Pump Up the Volume" and "True Romance." The Pantages Theater is located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard. Tickets, priced $28-$2,500, are available by visiting www.actorsfund.org or by calling (323) 933-9244 for VIP tickets and (213) 365-3500 for non-VIP tickets.

The Actors' Fund of America is the only national non-profit organization that provides for the social welfare of all entertainment professionals. For more information, visit www.actorsfund.org.

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The all-star reading of "Casablanca" was originally scheduled for May 1; due to changing production schedules of some of the reading's stars, it was rescheduled for Oct. 2.