John Mahoney, the Chicago and Broadway actor best known for TV's "Frasier," will play Irish storyteller Jack in the January 2001 Geffen Playhouse staging of The Weir, Conor McPherson's award-winning Irish play.
The drama that had healthy stays in London (where it won the Best New Play Olivier Award) and on Broadway concerns four men and a haunted woman who swap ghost stories in a pub on a dark and stormy Gaelic night. Randall Arney, new artistic director of the Geffen, will helm the Los Angeles premiere. Additional casting has not been announced.
Mahoney appeared in Broadway's House of Blue Leaves and was seen in 1998 in Steppenwolf Theater's The Man Who Came to Dinner. On NBC's "Frasier" he plays grumpy, blue-collar ex-cop Martin Crane, father to prissy psychiatrists Niles and Frasier.
The Weir begins previews Jan. 30, 2001, opening is Feb 7 and performances continue to March 11.
Director Arney has been an ensemble member of the Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago since 1984 and served as its artistic director 1987-1995. He directed Steppenwolf productions including The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Death and the Maiden, Curse of the Starving Class, Bang, A Walk in the Woods, Killers and The Geography of Luck. In 1993, Arney directed the world premiere of Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile for Steppenwolf and subsequently directed the Los Angeles production at the Westwood Playhouse as it underwent its transformation into the Geffen Playhouse.
The Geffen Playhouse is at 10886 Le Conte Avenue in Westwood. For ticket or subscription information, please call the Geffen Playhouse at (310) 208-5454.
-- By Kenneth Jones