Bart DeLorenzo directs the new work by Rivers, Douglas Bernstein and Denis Markell. The comedy will officially open Feb. 13 for a run currently scheduled through March 30.
"Set immediately before a big awards preshow," as show notes reveal, "Rivers uses her dressing room (B, not A), her cheese plate (puny, not plentiful) and her producer (the bigwig's nephew, not the bigwig), as impetus for an introspective look at aging, going through life's ups and downs and being a woman in Hollywood."
Joining Rivers in the four-member cast are Emily Kosloski (Les Miserables) as Svetlana, "the well-meaning but rather incompetent make-up artist"; Tara Joyce (Hellcab) as Evan, "the newly minted studio executive"; and Adam Kulbersh ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") as Kenny, "the nepotism-blessed associate producer." (Yosefa Forma had been previously announced to play the role of Svetlana.)
The play, under the working title The Joan Rivers Theater Project, was workshopped at San Francisco's Magic Theater in August 2007.
Rivers made her Broadway stage debut in Fun City and later was a replacement player in Neil Simon's Broadway Bound. A stand-up comic making guest-host appearances on "The Tonight Show," Rivers eventually hosted her own talk show, "The Joan Rivers Show." She received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actress for her work in Sally Marr...and Her Escorts — which she also co-wrote. The design team for Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress includes Tom Buderwitz (set), Rand Ryan (lighting), John Ballinger (sound) and Christina Haatainen (costumes). Liz Brohm serves as production stage manager.
The Rivers show replaces the previously announced Michael Mayer staging of Female of the Species. That Joanne Murray-Smith work was postponed once star Annette Bening withdrew.
Tickets to Joan Rivers at the Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Avenue in Los Angeles, CA, are available by calling (310) 208-5454. For more information visit GeffenPlayhouse.com.