Annette Bening and Alfred Molina Roam into The Cherry Orchard in L.A.

By Ernio Hernandez
02 Feb 2006

Annette Bening
Annette Bening
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Annette Bening, Alfred Molina, Sarah Paulson, Frances Fisher and Jason Butler Harner begin performances of The Cherry Orchard at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum Feb. 2.

Sean Mathias (Indiscretions, The Elephant Man) stages the Martin Sherman adaptation of Anton Chekhov's classic drama which opens Feb. 12 at the Center Theatre Group's California venue for a run through March 19.

Bening takes on the role of Madame Ranyevskaya, a woman attempting to escape her woes in Paris at her Russian country estate only to discover trouble awaits her there. Molina (as Lopakhin), Paulson (Varya) and Harner (Trofimov) fill the Los Angeles revival ensemble.

Fisher ("Titanic," Finishing the Picture) is also featured as Carlotta opposite Lothaire Bluteau (Stuff Happens) as Gaev, Peter Cambor (Desire Under the Elms at American Repertory Theatre) as Yasha, Jennifer Dundas (Public Theater's As You Like It) as Dunyasha, Lyle Kanouse (Big River) as Simeonov-Pishchik, Alan Mandell (The Royal Family) as Firs, Rebecca Mozo (Pera Palas at Boston Court Theatre) as Anya and Raphael Sbarge (Voices in the Dark) as Yepikhodov. Tom Costello, Jeanie Hackett, Heidi Johanningmeier, Tim Monsion, Reed Rudy, Don Oscar Smith, Alison Weller and Alexander Zale complete the cast.

The design team includes Alexander Dodge (scenic), Catherine Zuber (costume), James F. Ingalls (lighting), Jon Gottlieb (sound) and Gerald Altenburg (hair and wig). The production stage manager is David S. Franklin.



Bening has graced the Los Angeles boards in runs of Hedda Gabler and Alan Bennett's Talking Heads. She is perhaps best known for her film work which includes "American Beauty," "The American President," "Regarding Henry," "What Planet Are You From?" and the recent "Being Julia."

Molina appeared as the villain Dr. Ock in the film "Spider-Man 2" and in Ron Howard's upcoming film "The Da Vinci Code." The London-born actor made his Broadway debut in the 1998 Tony Award-winning play Art opposite Alan Alda and Victor Garber. He returned to Broadway in 2004 to tackle the role of Tevye in the new David Leveaux staging of Fiddler on the Roof.

Paulson recently played Off-Broadway in Colder Than Here and opposite Jessica Lange in the Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie. The actress seen on HBO's "Deadwood" has also played Off-Broadway in Killer Joe and Horton Foote's Talking Pictures.

Harner was recently seen Off-Broadway in The Ruby Sunrise, The Paris Letter and the Ivo van Hove-directed New York Theatre Workshop revival of Hedda Gabler. Other New York credits include Observe the Sons of Ulster..., Mr. Fox: A Rumination, Crimes of the Heart and Juno and the Paycock.

The Taper will next house Joshua Sobol's iWitness (March 30-May 21), Alfred Uhry's Without Walls (June 1-July 16) and Culture Clash's Water & Power (July 27-Sept. 17).

Tickets to The Cherry Orchard at the Taper, 135 North Grand Ave. in Los Angeles, CA can be purchased by calling (213) 628-2772 or on-line at www.TaperAhmanson.com.