Peter Gallagher, Mia Farrow, Uta Hagen and Jonathan Pryce will star in a benefit reading of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf on Sunday, April 16 at Los Angeles' Ahmanson Theatre. The reading echoes a similar event held Nov. 14, 1999, at Broadway's Majestic Theatre, which featured Farrow, Hagen, Pryce and Matthew Broderick (the latter assumedly unable to do the California gig because of his current Broadway role in Taller Than a Dwarf).
As with the NYC reading, proceeds from the Ahmanson event will go to the HB Playwrights Foundation and Theatre, which is named for Herbert Berghof, who was married to Uta Hagen. The 28-year-old Center Theatre Group, which creates multi-ethnic theatre for young audiences, will also benefit from the evening.
Tickets to the reading and a post-performance reception are $250; tickets to the reading only range from $50-$125. For information call (213) 628 2772.
Event organizers for the benefit include gala chairs Jack Lemmon, Dina Merrill, Harold Prince and Isaac Stern.
In the premiere 1962 staging of Edward Albee's award-wining play, Hagen created the role of Martha, taking home that season's Tony Award for Best Actress. The critically-acclaimed play involves a middle-aged couple, George and Martha, who invite a younger professor, Nick, and his wife, Honey, over for an evening that turns into a night of drunken game games playing. The November 1999 reading in New York City received rave reviews for both the play's unabated power and for the performers. In 1965, the HB Studio was already a NYC institution when Herbert Berghof and Uta Hagen realized their dream of establishing a theatre that would serve as a creative home for theatre artists. The HB Playwrights Foundation & Theatre is dedicated to preserving and extending the development process: the studio offers high level training for actors, and the theatre gives playwrights a forum to develop their work.
-- By David Lefkowitz