Burton, Rees, Asner, Plummer and More Join L.A. Theatre Works' New Season

News   Burton, Rees, Asner, Plummer and More Join L.A. Theatre Works' New Season Kate Burton, Roger Rees, Jean Smart, Stacy Keach, Alex Kingston, Ed Asner, Justine Bateman, Kimberly Elise, Dule Hill, Amanda Plummer and Josh Radnor will be part of Los Angeles Theatre Works' new season.

They join a roster of artists that include the previously announced Henry Winkler, Harriet Harris, Gregory Itzin, Ron Rifkin, Patricia Wettig, John Michael Higgins and John Glover and Kevin Chamberlin — the latter as a director.

Part of the company's "The Play's The Thing" radio theatre series, performances will play the Skirball Cultural Center and will be recorded for future broadcast.

Featuring "a mix of ten exciting new plays and enduring classics," as an announcement reveals, the new line-up is titled "High Rollers: Upping the Ante." "This is a bold, risk-taking season about people who are pushing the envelope, putting themselves on the line," said LATW producing artistic director Susan Loewenberg. "Each of these plays is about people who have the courage to risk assumptions and dare to pursue the truth."

The season (subject to change) follows:

  • The Life of Galileo, new translation by David Hare of the Bertolt Brecht work (Oct. 17-27)
    Martin Jarvis directs a cast that includes Alex Kingston, Julian Sands, Kenneth Danziger, Jeannie Elias, Jill Gascoine, Christopher Neame, Moira Quirk, Darren Richardson, Alan Shearman, W. Morgan Sheppard, Simon Templeman, Douglas Weston and Matthew Wolf.
    The American premiere, "straight from London's National Theatre," centers on Galileo, who "shatters beliefs held sacred for two thousand years. But, under threat of torture by the Holy Inquisition, his scientific and personal integrity are put to the test, as he argues for his very life in a passionate debate over science, politics, religion and ethics that resonates to this day."
  • Stick Fly by Lydia Diamond (Nov. 14-18)
    Shirley Jo Finney directs Carl Lumbly, Justine Bateman, Kimberly Elise and Dule Hill.
    The West Coast premiere of the work that follows "Sensitive Kent LeVay and his slick brother 'Spoon' [who] see their weekend at the family home on Martha's Vineyard as the perfect opportunity to introduce their girlfriends to their upper-class African American parents. Instead they stumble into a domestic powder keg that exposes secrets of prejudice, hypocrisy, and adultery."
  • Major Barbara by George Bernard Shaw (Dec. 12-16)
    Rosalind Ayre directs Kate Burton and Roger Rees.
    "Barbara is a major in the Salvation Army - but she's also the daughter of Andrew Undershaft, a man who's made millions from the sale of weapons of war. The real battle, however, rages between the devilish father and his idealistic daughter as they answer the question: does salvation come through faith or finance?"
  • Secret Order by Bob Clyman (Jan. 16-20, 2008)
    Charles Towers directs Edward Asner.
    The Los Angeles premiere of this "part medical drama, part suspense-filled thriller," according to show notes. "In the high-stakes world of cancer research, Dr. William Shumway has just made a stunning breakthrough. But is it really the long-sought cure for cancer? Despite the young scientist's reservations, a senior mentor pressures him to trumpet his findings to the world."
  • The Paris Letter by Jon Robin Baitz (Feb. 20-24, 2008)
    Ron Rifkin, Patricia Wettig and John Glover star.
    Baitz, the creator of the television series "Brothers and Sisters," penned this drama, which centers on "financial powerhouse Sandy Sonnenberg, [who] finds his personal and professional life threatened by unraveling secrets from his past. A tragic game of financial and moral betrayal plays out over four decades, with an exacting price - family, friends, love and marriage."
  • Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers by Geoffrey Cowan & Leroy Aarons (March 12-16, 2008)
    John Rubinstein directs a cast that includes John Vickery, Bo Foxworth, James Gleason, Russell Soder, Tom Virtue and Geoffrey Wade.
    Billed as a docudrama in the tradition of The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial, the work questions the balance between free speech and national security. "When the Washington Post decides to publish the infamous Pentagon Papers detailing U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the Nixon Administration will stop at nothing to suppress it." The work will end its national tour at L.A.T.W.
  • Boats on a River by Julie Marie Myatt (April 9-13, 2008)
    Michael Bigelow Dixon directs Gregory Itzin and Jean Smart.
    "American expatriate Sidney Webb and Sister Margaret, his British colleague, work tirelessly to rehabilitate Cambodian children from the nightmare of prostitution. After a surprise raid on a brothel, an eager young U.S. lawyer places three liberated orphans under Sidney and the Sister's care. The girls (played by young women in performance) begin the inspirational process of recovery under the loving watch of their new protectors."
  • Tonight at 8:30 by Noël Coward (May 12-18, 2008)
    Kevin Chamberlin directs Harriet Sansom Harris, John Michael Higgins, Cristine Rose and Maggie Welsh.
    A "memorable series of musical one-acts that made Noël Coward and co-star Gertrude Lawrence the toast of Broadway!"
  • Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams (June 18-22, 2008)
    Amanda Plummer and David Selby star.
    The legendary playwright's "sensuous portrait of sexual repression" set in Mississippi follows "the sheltered daughter of a minister, [who] secretly harbors a lifelong love for the boy next door, Dr. John Buchanan."
  • Broadway Bound by Neil Simon (July 9-13, 2008)
    Brendon Fox directs Henry Winkler and Josh Radnor.
    The 1987 Tony Award winner for Best Play is the final installment of the playwright's biographical trilogy (with Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues). "Having returned from World War II, Eugene Jerome and his brother Stanley pair up to break into the world of professional comedy writing. Inspiration strikes when they aim their sights on their dysfunctional family – and the network broadcasts it nationwide!" LATW's nationally syndicated radio show "The Play's The Thing" series can be heard in cities across the country, including Boston, Seattle, Albuquerque as well as on XM Satellite radio. The two-hour radio broadcasts include special backstage features and interviews with actors, playwrights and directors. The L.A. Theatre Works Audio Theatre Collection is available in book stores, libraries, through their catalog or digitally on audible.com, the L.A. Theatre Works website and iTunes.

    For tickets to any of "The Play's The Thing" productions at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, call the L.A. Theatre Works box office at (310) 827-0889. For more information visit latw.org.