Edward Asner, Kate Asner, Raye Birk, Sharon Gless, Colette Kilroy, Rod McLachlan, Fred Savage and Jamey Sheridan are lending their voices to a radio theatre production of the 1927 melodrama, Spread Eagle, closing July 25 at Santa Monica's Skirball Center. Performances began July 21. James Glossman (The Lion in Winter with Ed Asner) directs.
Spread Eagle, a "potboiler" set as a major American business attempts to force a US invasion of Mexico, was a hit on Broadway in 1927 but disappeared. Glossman first found a mention of the show in an out-of print autobiography of Raymond Massey, who directed and starred in a production of the play in London. Glossman began to search for mention of the melodrama and its journalist-playwrights George S. Brooks and Walter Lister, finally discovering what is one of possibly only two existing published copies of Eagle in the basement of the New York Public Library's 5th Avenue facility.
Asner, best known as Lou Grant on the Mary Tyler Moore Show, has won seven Emmy awards and five Golden Globes. He recently completed filming on "The Bachelor" with Hal Holbrook and Chris O'Donnell.
Joing Asner are daughter Kate (Melrose Theatre's Life in the Trees), Birk (South Coast Repertory's Ah, Wilderness), Gless (Christine Cagney on TV's "Cagney & Lacey"), Kilroy (South Coast Rep's Triumph of Love), McLachlan (Broadway's The Real Inspector Hound, Our Town) and Savage (Kevin Arnold on "The Wonder Years," "Working").
Tickets are $32-$28 and available by calling the TheatreWorks box office at (310) 827-0889. *
L.A. Theatre Works was recently honored with a 1999 Audio Award for "Best Dramatic Production" by the Audio Publishers Association. The winning play, Althol Fugard's The Road to Mecca, starred Julie Harris, Amy Irving and Harris Yulin.
-- By Christine Ehren