Sean Mathias (Indiscretions, The Elephant Man) stages the Martin Sherman adaptation of Anton Chekhov's classic drama which began Feb. 2 at the California venue for a run through March 19. Among those in attendance at the opening were Academy Award winners Marisa Tomei and Helen Hunt, significant others Warren Beatty and Cherry Jones as well as fellow actors Alessandro Nivola, Tate Donovan, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ricky Jay, Victor Garber, Eric McCormack, John Glover, Ed Begley, Jr. and singer-actress Courtney Love.
Bening takes on the role of Madame Ranyevskaya, a woman attempting to escape her woes in Paris at her Russian country estate only to discover trouble awaits her there. Molina (as Lopakhin), Paulson (Varya), Fisher (Carlotta) and Harner (Trofimov) fill the Los Angeles revival ensemble.
Previously seen on the Los Angeles boards in Hedda Gabler and Talking Heads, Bening ("Being Julia") shares the spotlight with fellow stage veterans Molina (Art, Fiddler on the Roof), Paulson (Colder Than Here, The Glass Menagerie), Fisher (Finishing the Picture) and Harner (The Ruby Sunrise, The Paris Letter).
The design team of The Cherry Orchard includes Alexander Dodge (scenic), Catherine Zuber (costume), James F. Ingalls (lighting), Jon Gottlieb (sound) and Gerald Altenburg (hair and wig). The production stage manager is David S. Franklin.
Tickets to The Cherry Orchard at the Taper, 135 North Grand Ave. in Los Angeles, CA can be purchased by calling (213) 628-2772 or on-line at www.TaperAhmanson.com.
Photos by Ryan Miller