L.A. Theatre Works continues their tradition of recording and broadcasting on radio readings of popular and classic plays with Frank Galati's stage adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath, David Auburn's Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof, Larry Shue's The Foreigner and George Bernard Shaw's Misalliance. The star-studded performances in the 2002-2003 fall-winter season will include known Hollywood and stage stars including James Cromwell, Charlotte Rae, Martha Plimpton, Roger Rees and Eric Stolz.
Grapes of Wrath kicks off the season Oct. 16-20 as a part of the California Council for the Humanties' effort to encourage the entire state to read the classic John Steinbeck novel for a plethora of events to be held in October. Cromwell will be joined by Shirley Knight, Gloria Dorson, Francis Guinan and Jerry Hardin for the large cast reading, which will feature live fiddle and guitar music by Joel Rafael and his band. The California Council for the Humanities will hold a gala benefit reception on Oct. 18.
JoBeth Williams will direct the award-winning Proof, Oct. 30-Nov. 3. Robert Foxworth reprises his role as the brillant father of a strange young woman who may or not be mathmatical genius herself.
Shue's classic farce, The Foreigner, pits two Englishmen against a group of rural Georgians, who think one of them, who is painfully shy, can't actually speak any English. Eric Simonson directs a cast including Rae, Joey Slotnick, Josh Stamberg and Paxton Whitehead. The Foreigner plays Nov. 20-24.
In a collaboration with BBC Radio, Theatre Works will read Budd Schulberg's On the Waterfront, Dec. 11-15. A question and answer period with Schulberg will follow the Dec. 13 performance. No casting has yet been announced. Donald Margulies' Sight Unseen opens the new year Jan. 8-12, 2003. In the Obie-winning play, successful New York painter Jonathan Waxman searches for the passion for art he once had when he visits his old college lover Patricia and her husband Nick during the first major retrospective of his work in England. Issues of self-worth, stardom, jealousy and lost love crop up, as the comedy asks, "If I don't get art, is it my fault or yours?"
Plimpton, Rees and Stoltz lead the company of Shaw's Misalliance, playing Jan. 29-Feb. 2, 2003. In this classic satire, a wealthy, self-made family settles down to welcome a future in-law into their midst when a Polish aviatrix, who literally falls from the sky, starts to change everything. Morgan Sheppard is also in the cast.
The final production will be a Black History Month reading of Charlayne Woodward's latest solso piece, In Real Life. Woodward will perform Feb. 19-23, 2003, after completing her New York engagement at Manhattan Theatre Club.
Tickets range from $10-$42. All performances are at the Skirball Cultural Center at 2701 North Sepulveda Boulevard. For reservations and information, call (310) 827-0889.
All TheatreWorks theatre productions are recorded for future broadcast on public radio KPCC (Saturday nights on 89.3 FM), on XM Satellite Radio and are sold on the L.A. Theatre Works homepage at http://www.latw.org. In the past 14 years, productions have won several awards including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Gold and Silver Awards, three Sony Awards, the Writer's Guild of America's Best Comedy Award and the 1999 Audie Award for Best Dramatic Production from the Audio Publishers Association. Their recording of The Prisoner of Second Avenue, featuring Richard Dreyfuss and Marsha Mason, was recently nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album.