Ed Begley, Jr., who created the role of Del in David Mamet's The Cryptogram , will reprise his performance when L.A.'s Geffen Playhouse mounts that work in repertory with Mamet's The Old Neighborhood. The rotating line-up will begin Jan. 12, 1999 and run through Feb. 14. Opening for both plays in Jan. 20, 1999.
Also in the cast for The Cryptogram are Christine Dunford and Will Rothhaar. Begley will additionally take a role in The Old Neighborhood, joining Dennis Boutsikaris (Sight Unseen ), Robin Bartlett (Reckless ) and stand-up comedian Larry Miller. Michael Bloom will direct both works.
Taken together, the two plays represent a semi-autobiographical journey into Mamet's life. The aptly titled Cryptogram concerns the odd relationship between a exasperated mother, her vaguely disturbed child and their neighbor and friend, Del. The episode is widely presumed to be taken from Mamet's childhood. Neighborhood, meanwhile, is made of three loosely connected one-acts, in which the protagonist, Bobby Gould, revisits an old friend, his sister and an old flame. Again, the storylines are somewhat reminiscent of the dramatist's own personal history.
"Mamet's film work is well known in Los Angeles, but many of his most extraordinary plays do not get produced here on a regular basis," said Geffen Playhouse producing director Gilbert Cates. "Each one of these plays stands on its own, but I think every theatregoer in Los Angeles will not want to miss this exceptional opportunity to see these two amazing plays back to back."
The Geffen Playhouse is located at 10886 Le Conte Avenue in Westwood. Ticket prices are $25.00 for previews, and range from $30 to $40 for regular performances. For ticket information please call the Geffen Playhouse Box Office at (310) 208-5454 or TicketMaster (213) 365 3500. -- By Robert Simonson and Willard Manus