Peter Askin directs the work which begins Oct. 19 and opens Oct. 28 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank for a run through Nov. 13. Jeffrey Donovan also appears in the show.
Christopher Trumbo, son of the work's focal character, culled the play from the letters of the legendary blacklisted screenwriter. Trumbo tells the story of one of the "Hollywood Ten" who went before the House Un-American Activities Committee. After refusing to answer questions about his political affiliations, Trumbo was fired from MGM and imprisoned for a year.
Stage and screen star Mantegna earned his Tony Award for his turn as Richard Roma in the original cast of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross. Other stage credits include Speed-the-Plow, Working, A Life in the Theatre, and The Disappearance of the and he wrote Off-Broadway's Bleacher Bums. He is known for his film and television work on "The Godfather: Part III," "Bugsy," "Searching for Bobby Fischer," "The Last Don," "The Rat Pack" and "Joan of Arcadia."
Donovan starred last year in USA's "Touching Evil." The actor has been seen on Broadway in A View From The Bridge, An Inspector Calls and Off-Broadway in Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight, The Glory of Living, Troilus and Cressida, Skyscraper, Oedipus and Freedomland. Films credits include "Hitch," "Bait, and "Sleepers" and his television roles have also include "Spin City," "The Pretender," and guest appearances on "CSI: Miami" and "Homicide."
Director Askin (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Sexaholix... a love story) — who directed the Off-Broadway staging — returns to stage the work which has its lead actor reading from a script mostly seated at a desk. The words of Trumbo echo upon subjects as serious as injustice tempered with a lighthearted letter to his son doling advice on masturbation. The Narrator fills out the storyline with biographical details between scenes — as do film projections including actual footage from the HUAC hearings. Trumbo played Off-Broadway with Nathan Lane in the title role with successive stints featuring F. Murray Abraham, Brian Dennehy, Gore Vidal, Richard Dreyfuss, Roger Rees, Robert Loggia, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Richards and Chris Cooper. Gordon McDonald played in the show's other role of Narrator/Christopher.
Dalton Trumbo wrote such screenplays as "Exodus," "Spartacus," "Roman Holiday" and "Papillon" as well as the novel "Johnny Got His Gun." The homage addresses the Oscar he never won for "The Brave One" — penned under the pseudonym Robert Rich.
California's Falcon Theatre, founded by director-writer-producer Garry Marshall and run by his daughter Kathleen Marshall, recently presented Barbra's Wedding by Daniel Stern featuring the scribe opposite Crystal Bernard. Later this season (Feb. 15-March 12, 2006), the company will present Happy Days, a musical version of the popular television show featuring a score by Paul Williams with a book by Garry Marshall — who will also stage the work.
For tickets to Trumbo at the Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive in Burbank, CA, by calling (818) 955-8101. For more information, visit www.falcontheatre.com.