Following its premiere at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre in 2005, director-adaptor Galati (The Grapes of Wrath) will bring his take on the Haruki Murakami short stories to the California stage July 24-Aug. 26. The opening is scheduled for July 29.
Inspired by Murakami's return to his hometown of Kobe in 1995 following the disastrous earthquake that nearly destroyed the entire city, after the quake weaves two of the collection of short stories together and sets the tale to live cello and koto music.
"Murakami is one of the most dazzling and mysterious writers of fiction in our contemporary world. His vision is at once comic and disturbing. His sense of language is clean, precise and deeply poetic," said Galati in a release. "When Steppenwolf approached Murakami to adapt the novel, we couldn't have predicted that so many and such vast calamities would unfold before our eyes, here in the aftermath of 9/11, Katrina, Rita and the Tsunami. after the quake speaks to the loss of life, the shattering grief, the terrible fear of a world unstable politically, and a planet that seems to be shifting, boiling up underneath our feet."
Reprising their roles for the La Jolla run are original cast members Aiko Nakasone (Rent, The Rocky Horror Show), Andrew Pang (Thoroughly Modern Millie national tour), Keong Sim (Radiant Baby) and Hanson Tse (Romeo and Juliet). Two child actors, who will alternate in the role of Sala, are yet to be cast.
Also reteaming with the cast are the original musicians from Steppenwolf's world premiere — cellist Jason McDermott and Jeff Wichman (a veteran koto player for nearly 20 years). The design team for after the quake features James Schuette (set), James F. Ingalls (lighting), Mara Blumenfeld (costumes) with Andre Pluess and Ben Sussman (composition and sound). Malcolm Ewen serves as stage manager.
La Jolla currently presents Carmen (through July 22) and continues its season with The Deception (July 17-August 19), The Adding Machine (Sept. 11 Oct. 7), Most Wanted (Oct. 2-Oct. 14), Cry-Baby (Nov. 6-Dec. 16) and The Seven (Feb. 12-March 16, 2008).
Subscriptions for the 2007 season at La Jolla Playhouse, on the corner of La Jolla Village Drive and Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla, CA, are currently on sale by calling (858) 550-1010. For more information on the company visit www.lajollaplayhouse.com.