Brian McDonald directs the ensemble play about assorted Midwestern characters stranded at a Kansas bus depot during a snowstorm. Opening is Feb. 23.
The cast features Rubicon favorite and Broadway and regional veteran John Bennett Perry as aging ranch hand Virgil and Rubicon newcomer Jason Chanos as Cherie's clumsy beau, Bo.
"This American classic, written in the 1950s, takes place one late night when a blizzard traps a hodge-podge of characters in Grace's Diner," according to Rubicon. "However, Inge infuses this seemingly simple scene of the American Midwest with great warmth and tenderness. The ordinary folk of Bus Stop are deeply sympathetic as they struggle with their individual loves, longings, and loneliness."
Cherie is "a fragile young chanteuse who can't decide what type of a love she wants (but she doubts it's Bo's)"; Elma is "a naive and precocious young waitress who'd like a little romance herself"; Grace, who runs the diner, is a "widow who has some needs that remain unfulfilled"; Carl is "the amiable bus driver with an eye for Grace"; Dr. Lyman is "an alcoholic professor with a penchant for young girls"; and Will is "the sheriff who manages to be a source of wisdom and keep everyone in line."
Bus Stop premiered on Broadway in 1955. Elaine Stritch played Grace. The film version starred Marilyn Monroe as Cherie. Late Pulitzer Prize winner Inge is currently represented on Broadway by Come Back, Little Sheba. Christian played Miss Dorothy in the Tony Award-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie (for which she was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award), and created the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Woman in White in London and on Broadway (and is heard on the Millie and Woman cast albums). Her most recent New York role was in Anais Nin: One of Her Lives. She made her Broadway debut as Lily in Richard Nelson's James Joyce's The Dead.
Perry, local Ojai resident and film and television veteran, appeared in Rubicon's Defying Gravity, The Rainmaker, The Little Foxes and Love Letters. His Broadway appearances include Mother Earth, Show Me Where the Good Times Are and Leonard Bernstein's Mass.
Chanos is a native of Oklahoma with regional credits at Denver Center Theatre Company and Kansas City Rep. He was recently seen in the Ensemble Theatre's The Uneasy Chair in Santa Barbara.
The cast also features Rubicon vet Alison Coutts-Jordon as Grace; respected Texas actor Steve Larkin as Sheriff Will Masters; recent New York actor Carl Palmer as bus driver Carl; Lauren Patten and Leonard Kelly Young as, respectively, the naïve young student and the professor with an interest in young girls.
The design team for Bus Stop includes scenic and lighting designer Thomas S. Giamaro, sound designer David Beaudry, costume designer Marcy Froehlich, dialect coach Joel Goldes, production stage manager Linda M. Tross, property designer T. Theresa Scarano and hair/make-up designer Spanky Reynoso.
Rubicon producing artistic director Karyl Lynn Burns stated, "We included Bus Stop in this 10th anniversary season because it is such a fulfilling depiction and celebration of humanity — with all its struggles and hardships, ups and downs, it is still joyful. We wanted that joy to resonate throughout the season."
For ticket and information, call (805) 667-2900 or visit www.rubicontheatre.org.