La Jolla Playhouse in California has announced that Tony winner Harriet Harris will star as Charlotte Shelby in the new noir thriller Hollywood, by fellow Tony winner Joe DiPietro (Memphis.) Shelby was a popular Broadway actress in the 1920’s and a suspect in the murder of Hollywood director William Desmond Taylor.
Set in the Golden Age of Hollywood and inspired by true crime events, Hollywood explores Taylor’s unsolved murder. The world premiere is directed by La Jolla’s artistic director Christopher Ashley with performances scheduled to run May 10–June 12. Press opening is set for May 18.
“Audiences are in for a fantastic night at the Playhouse with Joe’s smart and sexy new play. Though set in the Golden Age of movies, Hollywood depicts a time and territory that is uncannily like our own, both politically and culturally,” said Ashley in a press statement.
The complete cast also includes Matthew Amendt, Carolyn Braver, Jacob Bruce, Scott Drummond, Shaun T. Evans, Patrick Kerr, Katherine Ko, Martin Meccouri, Kate Rockwell, Lee Sellars, Caroline Siewert and Terrance White.
Here is how press notes describe the new work: “In 1922, famed director William Desmond Taylor is found murdered in his home. The celebrity suspects mount as the headlines explode with lurid reports of love triangles, hush money and deception. Enter Will Hays, Hollywood's newly-appointed moral watchdog, determined to silence the scandal and purify this increasingly corrupt city. Based on the true story of Taylor’s unsolved murder, Hollywood is a noir thriller set in the Golden Age of movies.“
The production will feature scenic design by Wilson Chin, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Howell Binkley, sound design by Jill BC DuBoff and projection design by Tara Knight. Wayne Barker is composer; Shirley Fishman is dramaturg and Arturo Porazzi is stage manager.
To purchase tickets phone (858) 550-1010 or visit LaJollaPlayhouse.org.