Theatrical grand dame Elaine Stritch ends her stint as American playwright Lillian Hellman in the L.A. Theatre Works' production of Peter Feibleman's Cakewalk, Feb. 6 at the Skirball Cultural Center. Performances began Feb. 2. Rosalind Ayres directs the readings, to be broadcast on KCRW radio at a later date.
Based on "Lilly: Reminiscences of Lillian Hellman," Feibleman's memoirs of his 25-year affair with Hellman, Cakewalk recounts the willful, strong woman he knew and loved. Hellman is the author of Little Foxes and The Children's Hour.
Stritch first came to Broadway as a standby to Ethel Merman in Call Me Madam, before winning a starring role in Goldilocks. Noel Coward was inspired by that performance to pen Mimi Paragon in Sail Away for Stritch, a role she reprised in fall 1999 at Carnegie Hall. She is perhaps best known, however, for her performance of "The Ladies Who Lunch" in the original company of Stephen Sondheim's Company.
Also in the cast is Bruce Davison, an Oscar nominee for Best Supporting Actor for "Longtime Companion." Theatre credits have including award winning performances in Streamers, The Normal Heart and The Elephant Man, alongside Broadway stints in The Glass Menagerie, Richard III and The Cocktail Hour. He also performed in How I Learned To Drive Off-Broadway, which he later recorded for L.A. Theatre Works.
Tickets are $35-$31 and available by calling the TheatreWorks box office at (310) 827-0889. Performances run at the Skirball Center at 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard. All "The Play's the Thing" theatre productions are recorded for future broadcast on Santa Monica College's KCRW 89.9 FM. Productions have won several awards including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Gold and Silver Awards, three Sony Awards, the Writer's Guild of America's Best Comedy Award and the 1999 Audie Award for Best Dramatic Production from the Audio Publishers Association.