Anthony LaPaglia and Mercedes Ruehl will recreate their roles as Serafina dell Rose and Alvarro Mangiacavallo in Tennessee Williams' The Rose Tattoo Dec. 8-12 for Los Angeles' Theatre Works. LaPaglia received a Tony nomination for his work in the 1995 Broadway revival of the comedy at Circle in the Square.
After his darker plays, The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire and Summer and Smoke, Williams wanted to write a comedy to capture the joy and warmth of the Italian people that he felt while staying with his lover Frank Merlo's family in Sicily. Rose Tattoo tells the story of widow Serafina who finds love with Alvarro, a truck driver, who is both sexy and comical.
LaPaglia won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actor as Eddie in the recent revival of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge. Recent film credits include "The House of Mirth," "Company Man" and the upcoming "Autumn in New York." Ruehl won a Tony Award for Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers and a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "The Fisher King." Other film credits are "Lost in Yonkers," "Last Action Hero," "Married to the Mob" and "Big."
JoBeth Williams directs. Williams directed the film "On Hope" with Ruehl and received an Academy Award nomination. Also an actress, Williams appeared in "Kramer Vs. Kramer," "The Big Chill," "Stir Crazy" and "Poltergeist" with Emmy nominations for "Frasier," "Baby M" and "Adam."
Tickets are $35-$31 and available by calling the TheatreWorks box office at (310) 827-0889. A special Saturday matinee has been added Dec. 11. Performances run at the Skirball Center at 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard. All "The Play's the Thing" theatre productions are recorded for future broadcast on Santa Monica College's KCRW 89.9 FM. 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.
-- By Christine Ehren