In 1995-96, the Geffen Playhouse proved its dedication to infusing Los Angeles with cutting-edge contemporary theatre, by opening its doors with John Patrick Shanley's Four Dogs and a Bone, and hosting the American premiere of Jack: A Night on the Town with John Barrymore, with Nicol Williamson. This year, the Playhouse inaugurates its initial subscription season by announcing three of the four plays to be offered. The season commences with Quills, a Grand Guignol comedy that deals with the issues of the artist and creativity in the face of repression. Doug Wright's 1995 Joseph Kesselring Prize-winning play outrageously portrays the Marquis de Sade in his final days at a mental asylum outside Paris. Quills begins previews Oct. 1, opens with a gala Oct. 9, and runs through Nov. 3.
Next comes the West Coast premiere of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning Love! Valour! Compassion!, by Terrence McNally, with director Joe Mantello recreating his original Broadway staging. The drama follows eight gay men throughout three summer weekends at a country house, examining the pitfalls, promise and potential of human love. Previews begin Dec. 3, the play opens Dec. 11 and runs through Jan. 5, 1997.
Harvard's American Repertory Theatre Artistic Director Robert Brustein brings Schlemiel the First, his recent adaptation of an Isaac Bashevis Singer play, to Los Angeles. With music by Hankus Netsky, arrangements and additional music by Zalmen Mlotek, and lyrics by Arnold Weinstein, the musical follows a young fool among a village of wise old fools, who is tricked into finding true wisdom. Schlemiel previews May 6, and opens May 14, runs through June 8. With one more play yet to be announced, subscriptions and more information on the Geffen Playhouse inaugural season are available by calling (310) 208-5454.