Neil Patrick Harris, Ron Rifkin and Co. Open The Paris Letter in Los Angeles, Dec. 12

News   Neil Patrick Harris, Ron Rifkin and Co. Open The Paris Letter in Los Angeles, Dec. 12 Jon Robin Baitz's The Paris Letter makes its world premiere as the drama opens Dec. 12 with Neil Patrick Harris, Lawrence Pressman, Josh Radnor, Ron Rifkin and Patricia Wettig starring.
Ron Rifkin and Neil Patrick Harris in The Paris Letter.
Ron Rifkin and Neil Patrick Harris in The Paris Letter. Photo by Craig Schwartz

Michael Morris directs the work which began performances Dec. 9 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City for a run through Jan. 2, 2005.

Paris Letter centers on a Wall Street hotshot whose past catches up with him and threatens both his personal and professional lives.

The design team includes Michael Brown (set), Alex Jaeger (costumes) and Christopher Akerlind (lighting). The work features original music composed by Nathan Wang. Lisa J. Snodgrass serves as the production stage manager.

Harris was last seen in the Tony Award-winning revival of Assassins as The Balladeer and Lee Harvey Oswald. The actor, remembered by television audiences as "Doogie Howser, M.D.," has amassed a formidable theatre resume, having appeared in Broadway's Cabaret, Proof, Lincoln Center's Sweeney Todd and the Los Angeles staging of Rent.

Rifkin currently stars on the ABC drama "Alias" but is also known for his Tony Award winning turn as Herr Schultz in the recent revival of Cabaret. Other credits for the actor include Wrong Mountain and Baitz's The Substance of Fire and Three Hotels. He has appeared on film in "L.A. Confidential," "Husbands and Wives," "Manhattan Murder Mystery," "Keeping the Faith," "JFK" and the film version of "The Substance of Fire." Pressman appeared on Broadway in Never Live Over a Pretzel Factory, The Man in the Glass Booth and Play It Again, Sam as well as TV shows ("Doogie Howser, M.D.," "Mulligan's Stew") and films ("Shaft," "American Pie"). Radnor took over the lead role in Broadway's The Graduate and appeared Off-Broadway in Eight Days (Backwards). Wettig — who enjoys a recurring role on "Alias" — is known for her work on the TV shows "thirtysomething" and "St. Elsewhere." A former Circle Repertory Company member, she appeared in stagings of The Woolgatherer, Threads and The Diviners.

Boston's Huntington Theatre Company commissioned the new work, which was seen in a New York City reading in December 2003. The drama was developed at California's Ojai Playwrights Conference. The play — in a staging by Doug Hughes (Frozen, Doubt) — is also set to appear Off-Broadway at Roundabout Theatre Company's Laura Pels Theatre in 2005.

Baitz's one-act Show People was performed as part of a Mike Nichols produced benefit called Short Talks on the Universe in November 2002. He also penned the adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler seen on Broadway in 2001. His Ten Unknowns was produced by Lincoln Center Theater, which also presented the scribe's A Fair Country and The Substance of Fire. Other works include Mizlansky/Zilinsky or 'Schmucks,' Three Hotels and The Film Society.

Tickets to The Paris Letter at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd. in downtown Culver City, CA, are available by calling (213) 628-2772. For more information, visit the website at http://www.KirkDouglasTheatre.org.