PHOTO CALL: Twentieth Century at California's TheatreWorks
By Matthew Blank
TheatreWorks, the celebrated regional theatre based in Mountain View, CA, continues its 40th season Jan. 14, 2009, with the regional premiere of the classic screwball comedy Twentieth Century.
Directed by founding artistic director Robert Kelley, the play, according to press notes, "tells the tale of Oscar Jaffe, a Broadway impresario whose star once shown brightly, but has endured several flops in a row. Desperate to reclaim his throne as the king of the stage, Jaffe cooks up a scheme to get his former lover and current film starlet, Lily Garland, to agree to star in his next production. Aboard the famous Twentieth Century locomotive, Jaffe tries to use his charm, wits, glib tongue, and ingenuity to cajole Garland into agreeing to return to him. Caught up in the chaos are Jaffe's assistants, droll Ida Webb and brutish Owen O'Malley, as well as several train employees and passengers, as the story builds to a crescendo with a very satisfying climax."
Originally penned by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, Twentieth Century premiered on Broadway in 1932 and was revived 20 years later. A fresh adaptation by Ken Ludwig - which was presented on Broadway in 2004, starring Alec Baldwin and Anne Heche - is the version that will be performed by TheatreWorks.
The production stars Bay Area veteran actor Dan Hiatt as Oscar Jaffe and two-time Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award winner Rebecca Dines as Lily Garland. Also featured in the ensemble cast are Gerald Hiken (Tony-nominated for Strider) as Matthew Clark, Suzanne Grodner as Ida Webb, Bob Greene as Owen O'Malley, Geno Carvalho as George Smith, Edward Sarafian as Conductor, Jackson Davis as Dr. Grover Lockwood, Ayla Yarkut as Anita Highland and Michael Gene Sullivan in a variety of roles.
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts is located at 500 Castro Street (at Mercy) in Mountain View, CA. For tickets, priced $23-$61, call (650) 903-6000 or visit theatreworks.org.
Here is a sneak peek at the production, which opens officially Jan. 17 and runs through Feb. 8:
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