Peter Askin directs the work which begins Oct. 19 at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank for a run through Nov. 13. The opening night is slated for Oct. 28.
Stage and screen star Mantegna earned his Tony Award for his turn as Richard Roma in the original cast of David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross. Other stage credits include Speed-the-Plow, Working, A Life in the Theatre, and The Disappearance of the and he wrote Off-Broadway's Bleacher Bums. He is known for his film and television work on "The Godfather: Part III," "Bugsy," "Searching for Bobby Fischer," "The Last Don," "The Rat Pack" and "Joan of Arcadia."
Christopher Trumbo, son of the work's focal character, culled the play from the letters of the legendary blacklisted screenwriter. Trumbo tells the story of one of the "Hollywood Ten" who went before the House Un-American Activities Committee. After refusing to answer questions about his political affiliations, Trumbo was fired from MGM and imprisoned for a year.
Director Askin (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Sexaholix... a love story) — who directed the Off-Broadway staging — returns to stage the work which has its lead actor reading from a script mostly seated at a desk. The words of Trumbo echo upon subjects as serious as injustice tempered with a lighthearted letter to his son doling advice on masturbation. The Narrator fills out the storyline with biographical details between scenes — as do film projections including actual footage from the HUAC hearings.
Trumbo played Off-Broadway with Nathan Lane in the title role with successive stints featuring F. Murray Abraham, Brian Dennehy, Gore Vidal, Richard Dreyfuss, Roger Rees, Robert Loggia, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Richards and Chris Cooper. Gordon McDonald played in the show's other role of Narrator/Christopher. Dalton Trumbo wrote such screenplays as "Exodus," "Spartacus," "Roman Holiday" and "Papillon" as well as the novel "Johnny Got His Gun." The homage addresses the Oscar he never won for "The Brave One" — penned under the pseudonym Robert Rich.
California's Falcon Theatre, founded by director-writer-producer Garry Marshall and run by his daughter Kathleen Marshall, currently presents Barbra's Wedding by Daniel Stern featuring the scribe opposite Crystal Bernard through Oct. 10.
For tickets to Trumbo at the Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive in Burbank, CA, by calling (818) 955-8101. For more information, visit www.falcontheatre.com.