Good Evening: Terry Johnson's Hitchcock Blonde Makes American Debut Feb. 3

News   Good Evening: Terry Johnson's Hitchcock Blonde Makes American Debut Feb. 3 Stage and screen star Dakin Matthews fills the portly profile of the titular film director in the American premiere of Terry Johnson's Hitchcock Blonde at South Coast Repertory, starting previews Feb. 3.

Johnson (The Graduate) directs his work for the Costa Mesa, California company's 42nd season. The play opens Feb. 10 and runs through March 12 at the Segerstrom Stage.

Hitchcock Blonde interweaves three stories (set in 1919, 1959 and 1999) that all involve the legendary filmmaker with an affinity for blondes. The 1999 plotline follows a lecturer and his student uncovering lost Hitchcock footage from an unknown 1919 film in a Greek villa, while the 1959 story finds Hitchcock himself as a character, working with Janet Leigh's body double on the movie "Psycho."

An actor, playwright and dramaturg, Matthews recently appeared as Vice President Dick Cheney in the American premiere of Stuff Happens (Mark Taper Forum) and his own The Prince of L.A. (Old Globe Theatre). He has appeared on Broadway in the 2003 revival of Henry IV (his own adaptation) and served as dramaturg to that and the recent Julius Caesar Broadway revival. Matthews is also known for film turns in "The Fabulous Baker Boys," "Funny Farm," "The Fighting Temptations," "Thirteen Days" and "Bean" as well as television roles on "The West Wing," "L.A. Law," "Gilmore Girls," "Jack & Bobby," "Desperate Housewives" and "From the Earth to the Moon".

Matthews stars in Hitchcock Blonde in a cast that also features Sarah Aldrich (Ascension, "Port Charles") as the Blonde, Adriana DeMeo (The Merchant of Venice, "The Practice"), Martin Noyes (All the Way Home, Galileo) and Robin Sachs (The Astronomer’s Garden, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Babylon 5").

Original London designer William Dudley (Broadway's The Woman in White) rejoins Johnson as set, costume and video designer. The Hitchcock Blonde creative team also includes Chris Parry (lighting), Ian Dickinson (sound/composer) and Ian Galloway for Mesmer (video realization). John Glore handles dramaturgy, Magdalena Zira is assistant director and Jamie Tucker serves as stage manager. The play enjoyed a run at London's Royal Court Theatre in April 2003 before transferring to the West End's Lyric Theatre. It was expected to reach Broadway, but plans for a production never came to fruition. Jane Krakowski and Christina Ricci were mentioned as possible stars opposite original London star William Hootkins. (The American actor, who earned raves for his turn as Hitchcock, died in October 2005.)

Hootkins starred opposite Bond girl Rosamund Pike ("Die Another Day") in the role of The Blonde. David Haig, Fiona Glascott and Owen McDonnell also starred. Johnson directed his own work with designs by Dudley (also video projections), lighting by Simon Corder and sound by Ian Dickinson.

Johnson was the stage adapter/director of The Graduate. He has written and directed the plays Dead Funny and Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick. Other plays include Hysteria, Imagine Drowning, Cries from the Mammal House, Unsuitable for Adults and Insignificance. His West End directing credits include The Memory of Water, Elton John's Glasses, Entertaining Mr. Sloane and the world premiere of Philip Ridley's Sparkleshark.

The season at SCR will continue with Tracy Letts' Man from Nebraska (March 12-April 2), two world premieres — Christopher d'Amboise's The Studio (March 31-May 7) and Tanya Barfield's Blue Door (April 23-May 14) — and Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing (May 19-June 25).

Tickets to the Hitchcock Blonde at South Coast Rep, at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, CA are available by calling (714) 708-5555. For more information, visit www.scr.org.