Last Chance: Westport's Monsters, with Waite and Learned, Ends July 31

News   Last Chance: Westport's Monsters, with Waite and Learned, Ends July 31
 
Kevin Rehac's Chasing Monsters, which brought Ralph Waite and Michael Learned together for the first time since "The Waltons," will close at the Westport Playhouse July 31. The run began July 19. Sabin Epstein directs.

Kevin Rehac's Chasing Monsters, which brought Ralph Waite and Michael Learned together for the first time since "The Waltons," will close at the Westport Playhouse July 31. The run began July 19. Sabin Epstein directs.

Waite underwent surgery last spring, forcing him to drop out of the Signature Theater Company's premiere of John Guare's Lake Hollywood. The actor's other stage appearances include the original New York production of Horton Foote's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Young Man from Atlanta.

Learned's stage roles include The Ride Down Mt. Morgan at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, directed by Scott Elliot, and The Sisters Rosensweig on Broadway. Last summer, she was set to star in a Broadway production of David Shaber's The Second Coming, but that play was later postponed. Learned has been connected to the Rehac project since participating in a New York reading in October 1997.

Waite and Learned are still best known, however, from the popular '70s television show "The Waltons," on which they played Ma and Pa Walton, the parents of a Depression-era brood of country kids.

First-time playwright Rehac described his play thusly: "Two couples and a monster are intertwined, when a young woman appears at her mother's house with a stolen painting." The style of the work, he added, is "naturalistic, but with a monster." Epstein, who has worked extensively in Los Angeles and San Francisco, directed Learned in a production of What the Butler Saw at L.A.'s A Noise Within theatre.

Also in the cast is Victor Slezak (Suddenly Last Summer).

For information, call (203) 227-4177.

--By Robert Simonson

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