Red, With Alfred Molina and Jonathan Groff, Opens in L.A.

By Kenneth Jones
August 12, 2012

Jonathan Groff and Alfred Molina create the canvas that is John Logan's Red, a play about art and artists, fathers and sons, teachers and pupils — and the march of time — opening Aug. 12 following previews from Aug. 1. This is the Tony Award-winning play's Los Angeles premiere as part of Center Theatre Group's season at the Mark Taper Forum.



This is the London Donmar Warehouse production of the work, directed by Michael Grandage (Evita), who won a Tony for his direction when the staging (featuring Molina as Mark Rothko) moved to Broadway. Performances continue through Sept. 9.

The dark, humor-flecked biographical drama won the 2010 Tony as Best Play.

Tony nominee Groff (Broadway's Spring Awakening, London's Deathtrap, Off-Broadway's The Submission, TV's "Glee" and "Boss") takes the fictional role of painter's assistant Ken opposite Molina's real-life Mark Rothko, the abstract expressionist painter wrestling with his artistic and business choices. Red is set in the New York studio of artist Rothko. (Eddie Redmayne originated the part of Ken and won a Tony for it.)

According to CTG, "It's the 1950s and Rothko is working on a commissioned series of paintings for the new Four Seasons restaurant and his recently hired assistant is rapidly learning about the uncompromising aesthetic of his new boss. Though Rothko feels the threatening presence of a new generation of artists, he tells his assistant, 'There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend . . . One day the black will swallow the red.'"

Red features set and costume design by Christopher Oram, lighting design by Neil Austin and music composition and sound design by Adam Cork. Casting is by Anne McNulty and Erika Sellin and the production stage manager is David S. Franklin.

Molina is a Tony nominee for Red, Art and Fiddler on the Roof.

In addition to the Tony Award for Red, Logan was awarded the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards for the play, which premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in London in 2009 and was presented on Broadway in 2010. Logan is the author of more than a dozen other plays, including Never the Sinner and Hauptmann. His work as a screenwriter includes "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" (Golden Globe Award), "The Aviator" (Academy, Golden Globe and Writers Guild of America Award nominations), "Gladiator" (Academy, Golden lobe and Writers Guild of America Award nominations), "The Last Samurai," "Any Given Sunday" and "RKO 281" (Writers Guild of America Award, Emmy Award nomination).

Tickets and information are available at CenterTheatreGroup.org, the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre, or by calling (213) 628-2772.