The Cradle Will Rock, With Rex Smith, Returns to LA's Blank Theatre Feb. 5

News   The Cradle Will Rock, With Rex Smith, Returns to LA's Blank Theatre Feb. 5 A revival of The Cradle Will Rock, Mark Blitzstein's Depression-era musical, begins performances Feb. 5 at the Blank Theatre Company in Los Angeles.

Rex Smith
Rex Smith

The Blank is celebrating its 20th anniversary year with a revival of its 1994 production of Cradle, which will run through March 20 at the Stella Adler Theatre.

Artistic director Daniel Henning, who staged the 1994 production, again directs the Blitzstein musical about greed, corruption and a group of workers attempting to unionize. The Blank is also set to re-release its 1995 complete cast album of The Cradle Will Rock.

The cast features Rex Smith (Sunset Boulevard, Pirates of Penzance) as well as Tiffany Adams, Will Barker, Gigi Bermingham, Christopher Carroll, Rob Roy Cesar, Matthew Patrick Davis, Mikey Hawley, Jim Holdridge, Jack Laufer, Roland Rusinek, Meagan Smith, Lowe Taylor, David Trice, Peter Van Norden, Matt Wolpe, Adam Wylie and Penelope Yates.

"In The Cradle Will Rock, corporations and churches use their influence to shape laws to their favor, unemployment hits new heights, and millions of Americans are losing their homes. Sound like the new millennium? In 1937, Mark Blitzstein's musical called these issues into question with his scathing satire of greed, corruption and politics in the U.S.A," according to the Blank.

The Cradle Will Rock was first directed by Orson Welles and produced by John Houseman as part of the Federal Theatre Project in 1937. The U.S. government, fearing The Cradle Will Rock was too anti-establishment, shut down the production on opening night, seizing possession of the orchestral charts, scripts, scenery and costumes. Spurred on by Welles and Houseman, the audience and cast traveled uptown to the Venice Theater where composer Marc Blitzstein, alone at an onstage piano, began to narrate and perform the musical for a packed house. The cast of Cradle, who were forbidden by Actors' Equity to perform on stage, began to perform the musical from various points throughout the audience.

Since then, productions of the musical take their cue from that infamous opening-night legend, staging The Cradle Will Rock as a minimal production with piano and narration.

For tickets, phone (323) 661-9827 or visit TheBlank.

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