John Goodman's gay comedy "Normal, OH" didn't make it on television, but another similarly-titled show about a regular guy who announces a drastic change in his life that shocks his small Ohio town is opening April 11 with major stars in Los Angeles. Beau Bridges, Laurie Metcalf and Michael Learned are the leading names in Ron Lagomarsino's production of Jane Anderson's Looking For Normal, making its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse, where it runs through May 6. Others in the cast include Jordan Bridges (Beau's son, who plays Wayne), Kelly Connell (Reverend Muncie), Jim Haynie (Roy Senior), Marjorie Lovett (Em), Dougald Park (Frank) and Becky Wahlstrom (Patty Ann).
Anderson, who recently completed writing and directing the ABC movie of the week "When Billie Beat Bobby," tells the story of Roy and Irma, a happily-married Midwestern couple whose family life is turned upside down when Roy (Beau Bridges) drops a bomb: he's decided to have a sex change. In dealing with this startling revelation, Roy's family discovers things about each other and themselves they never anticipated.
Director Lagomarsino directed Alfred Uhry's Tony Award-winning play The Last Night of Ballyhoo at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway. His other credits include Driving Miss Daisy, My Favorite Year and Beth Henley's Abundance. Beau Bridges' film work includes "Jerry Maguire," "Norma Rae" and "The Hotel New Hampshire," among others.
Metcalf, a member of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, is best known for her regular role in the sitcom, "Roseanne." Learned starred on as Olivia Walton on "The Waltons" for many years, winning an Emmy Award.
Performances of Looking for Normal began April 3. Geffen Playhouse is located at 10886 Le Conte Ave. For tickets and information call (310) 208-5454 or Ticketmaster at (213) 365-3500. — By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent