1999 Tony nominee Valarie Pettiford plays the lascivious leading lady Leontine in He Hunts, the Geffen Playhouse's new adaptation of Georges Feydeau's farce, Monsieur Chasse!. Pettiford replaced "Will and Grace"'s Megan Mullally, who pulled out of the show, citing scheduling conflicts with her television appearances.
He Hunts plays Los Angeles' Geffen April 9-May 19. Opening night is April 17.
Pettiford was nominated for her featured role in Fosse, which included singing the 11 o'clock number, "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries." Other credits include Reprise's Gentleman Prefer Blondes with Alice Ripley, Velma in London's Chicago and three years on "One Life to Live."
Filmdom's Carol Kane is also featured in the cast, alongside popular soap opera star Stephen Nichols. Kane's film career includes an Oscar nomination (for 1975's "Hester Street") and a variety of movies from "Scrooged," "Addams Family Values" and "My Blue Heaven" to "Dog Day Afternoon" and "When a Stranger Calls." An alumnus of the Professional Children's School in Manhattan, Kane began her acting career in the theatre, playing in Shakespeare's Macbeth and The Tempest, as well as The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Arturo-Ui and Little Murders.
Nichols is best known for playing Stephen "Patch" Johnson on "Days of Our Lives" from 1985-1990 and his current starring role as Stefan Cassadine on "General Hospital." In He Hunts, Leontine Duchotel (Pettiford) becomes convinced her husband's hunting trips are really taken to meet up with his mistresses. So the next time he goes hunting, Leontine takes up with her lover in a secret location — the apartment right door to her husband's, where he has arranged a tryst with his latest ladyfriend. Feydeau is considered the master of French farce, the best known of which is A Flea in Her Ear.
Maxwell Caulfield (An Inspector Calls, My Night With Reg "Dr. Quinn") plays the hunting husband, Duchotel. Also in the cast are Paul Ellis (Cop), VJ Foster (Cassecul), Cathy Lind Hayes (Babet), Alan Mandell (Bridois) and Robert Porch (Cop).
David Schweizer directs. He won an Obie for Rinde Eckert's opera And God Created Whales. His credits include The Waiting Room and Demonology at the Mark Taper and the solo shows Rave Mom and Bad Sex With Bud Kemp.
The design team features Chris Barreca (sets), David Zinn (costumes), Anne Militello (lighting) and Peter Golub (original music).
Tickets are $28-$46. The Geffen Playhouse is at 10886 Le Conte Avenue in Westwood, CA. The Geffen Playhouse is on the web at http://www.geffenplayhouse.com.
— By Christine Ehren