Fall is the time for hay fever, so it follows that Los Angeles Theatre Works has chosen to honor the 100th anniversary of Noel Coward's birth with a radio reading of his Hay Fever, running Oct. 6-10 at the Skirball Center. Filmdom's Eric Stoltz ("Pulp Fiction," "Mask," "Chicago Hope") stars. Coward wrote Hay Fever based on the real life parties he attended at the home of actress Laurette Taylor (later famous for creating Amanda in The Glass Menagerie) and her husband Hartley Manners on the Upper West Side. He moves to the action from the city to the country as the ironically-named Bliss family gathers four guests together for drafting into the family's war-like gaming atmosphere where the challenges of charades are turned into the ultimate opportunity for one upmanship.
Filling out the cast are Tate Donovan (Amy's View, "Hercules"), Joy Gregory, Jeffrey Jones ("Sleepy Hollow," "The Crucible"), Lynne Marts, Carolyn Seymour (Goosepimples, Present Laughter) and Simon Templeman.
Tickets are $35-$31 and available by calling the TheatreWorks box office at (310) 827-0889. Performances run at the Skirball Center at 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard.
All "The Play's the Thing" theatre productions are recorded for future broadcast on Santa Monica College's KCRW 89.9 FM. Productions have won several awards including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Gold and Silver Awards, three Sony Awards, the Writer's Guild of America's Best Comedy Award and the 1999 Audie Award for Best Dramatic Production from the Audio Publishers Association.
-- By Christine Ehren