Orson's Shadow by actor Austin Pendleton will be recorded for radio and satellite broadcast June 12-16 at Los Angeles' Skirball Cultural Center. Film and theatre's Glenne Headly ("Mr. Holland's Opus," "And the Band Played On") stars as actress Vivien Leigh with Robert Machray reprising his L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award-winning turn as film maker and director Orson Welles. Rosalind Ayres directs.
Orson's Shadow concerns the 1960 London premiere of Ionesco's Rhinoceros, which starred Olivier and was directed by Welles. At the time, Olivier was going through a nasty divorce from his second wife, actress Leigh, who named actress (and, from 1961, Olivier's third wife) Plowright as co-respondent in her divorce filing. Tynan was London's leading dramatic critic and all-around enfant terrible, a friend of both Welles and Olivier (he would co-found the Royal National Theatre with Oliver in 1963), and a frequent sparring partner of Ionesco's.
Pendleton, best known as a performer (The Diary of Anne Frank, Finian's Rainbow) and director (The Runner Stumbles, The Little Foxes), is the author of two other plays, Booth, a bio-drama which starred Frank Langella as legendary actor Junius Booth, and Uncle Bob.
Also in the cast are Caroline Goodall as Joan Plowright and Simon Templeman as Kenneth Tynan.
Tickets are $36-$40. Skirball Cultural Center is located at 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. For reservations, call (310) 827-0889. All TheatreWorks theatre productions are recorded for future broadcast on public radio KPCC, 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 Mason, was recently nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album.
— By Christine Ehren