Geffen Season Will Include Choir Boy, Hershey Felder As Irving Berlin, Bad Jews

By Andrew Gans
24 Mar 2014

The Geffen Playhouse has announced three plays of its forthcoming eight-play 2014-15 season.



The three plays include the West Coast premiere of Choir Boy, written by 2013 MacArthur Fellow Tarell Alvin McCraney and directed by Trip Cullman, with its Off-Broadway star Jeremy Pope; Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, directed by Trevor Hay; and the West Coast premiere of Bad Jews, written by Joshua Harmon and directed by Matt Shakman.

Two additional plays for the Gil Cates Theater and three for the Audry Skirball Kenis Theater will be announced at a later date.

“Each play that we’ve put into this season has something specific and singular about it,” said Randall Arney, Geffen artistic director, in a statement. “Taken together, an undeniable theme emerges. These writers, and the characters they’ve created, have distinct voices and the stories they tell explore how one voice can change the world. Through singing a song, writing a song, righting a wrong — each of these plays is a battle cry to raise one’s voice.”

Details about the three announced productions follow:

CHOIR BOY (West Coast Premiere)
Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney
Directed by Trip Cullman
Featuring Jeremy Pope
Run: Sept. 16 – Oct. 26
Opening Night: Sept. 26

"At the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, a young black man knows what is expected of him. Work hard, fall in line and if you’ve got the voice for it, use it to praise God in the school choir. Within these walls, Pharus Young, with the voice of an angel and a keen mind, should be a star. But in the face of Drew’s time-honored traditions, can music overcome silence? Playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney navigates expectation, alienation and the overwhelming desire to be heard."

HERSHEY FELDER AS IRVING BERLIN (World Premiere)
Written by Hershey Felder
Directed by Trevor Hay
Featuring Hershey Felder
Run: Nov. 11 – Dec. 21
Opening Night: Nov. 19

"Hershey Felder brings to life the remarkable story of Irving Berlin, 'America’s Composer.' From the depths of anti-Semitism in Czarist Russia, to New York’s Lower East Side, and ultimately all of America and the world, Berlin’s story epitomizes capturing the American dream. Featuring the composer’s most popular and enduring songs from 'God Bless America' to 'White Christmas' and beyond, Hershey Felder’s masterful creation of character and musical performance makes this evening with Irving Berlin an unforgettable journey."

BAD JEWS (West Coast Premiere)
Written by Joshua Harmon
Directed by Matt Shakman
Run: June 9 – July 19, 2015
Opening Night: June 17, 2015

"In the Feygenbaum family, Daphna is the most devout. Just ask her. But her cousin Liam has the rights of the first-born grandchild. Just ask him. When their grandfather dies leaving a treasured family heirloom, a battle ignites escalating to Old Testament proportions. Hailed as one of the funniest plays of the year, Bad Jews can’t resist pointing out the worst in all of us."

The Geffen Playhouse is located at 10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles. For more information visit www.geffenplayhouse.com.