Winkler, Harris, Rifkin and Chamberlin Slated for L.A. Theatre Works' New Season

News   Winkler, Harris, Rifkin and Chamberlin Slated for L.A. Theatre Works' New Season Henry Winkler, Harriet Harris, Gregory Itzin, Ron Rifkin, Patricia Wettig, John Michael Higgins and John Glover will be part of Los Angeles Theatre Works' new season. Kevin Chamberlin is among the directors.

Part of the company's "The Play's The Thing" radio theatre series, performances will perform, as usual, live at the Skirball Cultural Center and be recorded for future broadcast.

Featuring "a mix of ten exciting new plays and enduring classics," as an announcement reveals, the new lineup is titled "High Rollers: Upping the Ante."

The season (subject to change) follows:

  • The Life of Galileo, new translation by David Hare of the Bertolt Brecht work (Oct. 17-27)
    Starring Simon Templeman, Douglas Weston and Jill Gascoine
    Directed by Martin Jarvis
    The American premiere "straight from London's National Theatre" centers on Galileo, who "shatters beliefs held sacred for two thousand years. But, under threat of torture by the Holy Inquisition, his scientific and personal integrity are put to the test, as he argues for his very life in a passionate debate over science, politics, religion and ethics that resonates to this day."

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  • Stick Fly by Lydia Diamond (Nov. 14-18)
    Directed by Shirley Jo Finney
    The West Coast premiere of the work that follows "Sensitive Kent LeVay and his slick brother 'Spoon' [who] see their weekend at the family home on Martha’s Vineyard as the perfect opportunity to introduce their girlfriends to their upper class African American parents. Instead they stumble into a domestic powder keg that exposes secrets of prejudice, hypocrisy, and adultery."
  • Major Barbara by George Bernard Shaw (Dec. 12-16)
    "Barbara is a major in the Salvation Army - but she's also the daughter of Andrew Undershaft, a man who's made millions from the sale of weapons of war. The real battle, however, rages between between the devilish father and his idealistic daughter as they answer the question: does salvation come through faith or finance?"
  • Secret Order by Bob Clyman (Jan. 16-20, 2008)
    The Los Angeles premiere of this "part medical drama, part suspense-filled thriller," according to show notes. "In the high-stakes world of cancer research, Dr. William Shumway has just made a stunning breakthrough. But is it really the long-sought cure for cancer? Despite the young scientist's reservations, a senior mentor pressures him to trumpet his findings to the world."
  • The Paris Letter by Jon Robin Baitz (Feb. 20-24, 2008)
    Starring Ron Rifkin, Patricia Wettig and John Glover
    Baitz, the creator of the television series "Brothers and Sisters" penned this drama, which centers on "financial powerhouse Sandy Sonnenberg [who] finds his personal and professional life threatened by unraveling secrets from his past. A tragic game of financial and moral betrayal plays out over four decades, with an exacting price - family, friends, love and marriage."
  • Top Secret: The Battle for the Pentagon Papers by Geoffrey Cowan & Leroy Aarons (March 12-16, 2008)
    Directed by John Rubinstein
    Billed as a docudrama in the tradition of The Great Tennessee Monkey Trial, the work questions the balance between free speech and national security. "When the Washington Post decides to publish the infamous Pentagon Papers detailing U.S. involvement in Vietnam, the Nixon Administration will stop at nothing to suppress it." The work will end its national tour at L.A.T.W.
  • Boats on a River by Julie Marie Myatt (April 9-13, 2008)
    Starring Gregory Itzin
    Directed by Michael Bigelow Dixon
    "American expatriate Sidney Webb and Sister Margaret, his British colleague, work tirelessly to rehabilitate Cambodian children from the nightmare of prostitution. After a surprise raid on a brothel, an eager young U.S. lawyer places three liberated orphans under Sidney and the Sister's care. The girls (played by young women in performance) begin the inspirational process of recovery under the loving watch of their new protectors."
  • Tonight at 8:30 by Noël Coward (May 12-18, 2008)
    Starring Harriet Sansom Harris, John Michael Higgins and Maggie Welsh
    Directed by Kevin Chamberlin
    A "memorable series of musical one-acts that made Noël Coward and co-star Gertrude Lawrence the toast of Broadway!"
  • Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams (June 18-22, 2008)
    The legendary playwright's "sensuous portrait of sexual repression" set in Mississippi follows "the sheltered daughter of a minister, [who] secretly harbors a lifelong love for the boy next door, Dr. John Buchanan."
  • Broadway Bound by Neil Simon (July 9-13, 2008)
    Starring Henry Winkler
    Directed by Brendon Fox
    The 1987 Tony Award winner for Best Play is the final installment of the playwright's biographical trilogy (with Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues). "Having returned from World War II, Eugene Jerome and his brother Stanley pair up to break into the world of professional comedy writing. Inspiration strikes when they aim their sights on their dysfunctional family – and the network broadcasts it nationwide!" LATW's nationally syndicated radio show "The Play's The Thing" series can be heard in cities across the country, including Boston, Seattle, Albuquerque as well as on XM Satellite radio. The two-hour radio broadcasts include special backstage features and interviews with actors, playwrights and directors. The L.A. Theatre Works Audio Theatre Collection is available in book stores, libraries, through their catalog or digitally on audible.com, the L.A. Theatre Works website and iTunes.

    For tickets to any of "The Play's The Thing" productions at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, call the L.A. Theatre Works box office at (310) 827-0889. For more information visit latw.org.