The Los Angeles theatre ensemble Elephant Theatre Company aligned with New York's LAByrinth Theater Company to stage Little Flower, which began previews Nov. 6 and will run through Dec. 19. Elephant artistic director David Fofi directs.
Melanie Jones, who appears as family matriarch Therese Marie, replaced Tony and Emmy Award-nominated actress Katherine Helmond, who departed the production during previews due to an unexpected schedule shift related to prior contractual obligations.
The Elephant Theatre Company run marks the first production of Little Flower since its 2008 Off-Broadway premiere at the Public Theater.
The cast also features Michael Friedman, LeShay Tomlinson Boyce, Kim Estes, Alejandro Furth, Kate Huffman, Timothy McNeil, Marisa O’Brien, Mark Adair-Rios, Tom Stanczyk and Tim Starks.
Little Flower has production design by Joel Daavid, costume design by Louis Douglas Jacobs and sound design by Matt Richter. Lindsay Allbaugh and Tara Norris produce the play for Elephant Theatre Company. According to Elephant, Little Flower "begins as Therese Marie (Helmond) arrives in the emergency room of a small hospital in the Bronx. The nurses and doctors assume she is just another faceless charity case; abandoned, elderly and unable to even tell them her name. But Therese Marie’s dementia is not all that it seems and when her prodigal son Danny returns to New York, Therese Marie must fight to maintain her dignity as he imposes upon her the ugly secrets of their past. In this inter-generational ghost story, we observe a searing portrait of a mother and son who must face a long family legacy of abuse in order to find the true meaning of grace."
Guirgis' plays include Jesus Hopped the A Train, In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, Our Lady Of 121st Street, Den Of Thieves and Dominica The Fat Ugly Ho. His latest play, Motherf**ker with the Hat, will arrive on Broadway in spring 2011 starring Chris Rock, Bobby Cannavale and Annabella Sciorra.
The Lillian Theatre is located at 1076 N. Lillian Way, in Hollywood.