Daniel Stern, Rita Wilson, Kevin Kilner and Dana Delany are expected to be the four married "friends" in the Los Angeles premiere of Dinner With Friends, at the Geffen Playhouse Sept. 26-Oct. 29.
The Geffen production, with Daniel Sullivan recreating his Off-Broadway staging of Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, is produced in association with the New York producers, who plan to take the production to the Wilbur Theatre in Boston Nov. 4-19.
Delany will play unsure Beth in L.A., a switch from her current role of stolid Karen in Manhattan. Wilson will play Karen. Kilner will recreate his Off-Broadway role of wandering Tom. Stern, of "City Slickers," will play Karen's husband, Gabe. The rueful comedy shows the shifting loyalties and values of two couples as one couple goes through a divorce, and all face middle-age malaise.
New York producer Mark Balsam told Playbill On-Line that other options are being mulled for Dinner to appear on other regional plates (such as Chicago), in the form of either a tour or in sitdown commercial productions within the next year.
An HBO TV film version is being developed. At least one not-for-profit company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, in California, got the go-ahead to stage a resident version of the play in the 2000-2001 season. A previously announced resident nonprofit staging at Northlight Theatre in Skokie, IL, was scotched because of a probable commercial run in Chicagoland.
Geffen previews begin Sept. 26, with an official opening planned for Oct. 4. The Off-Broadway design team of Neil Patel (set), Jess Goldstein (costumes) and Rui Rita (lighting) will create the play's upper-middle-class world for the L.A. run.
The New York producers of Dinner With Friends are Mitchell Maxwell, Mark Balsam, Ted Tulchin, Victoria Maxwell, Mari Nakachi and Steven Tulchin. Producing director of the Geffen is Gilbert Cates.
For ticket information, call the Geffen Playhouse at (310) 208- 5454.
-- By Kenneth Jones