The dark comedy began previews at the California company's Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre space Sept. 11. The limited engagement will end Oct. 7.
"Ever been over-looked for a promotion? Gone years without a raise? Maybe even felt like murdering the boss?" poses show materials. "Meet Mr. Zero – the neurotic, number-crunching antihero of [the] 1923 expressionist classic. When the company he has faithfully worked for for the past 25 years informs him that instead of giving him a promotion they'll be giving him the boot in favor of an adding machine, Mr. Zero's detachment from reality becomes a full-blown break, allowing him the moral flexibility necessary to murder his boss – neatly and sans remorse. Mr. Zero's story will give you a new perspective on your job, your life and what it means to be human."
The cast includes Crawford ([sic], Slava's Snowshow) as Mr. Zero, Diane Ruppe (The Scottish Play) as Zero's assistant Daisy, Jan Leslie Harding (The Green Bird) as Mrs. Zero, Joshua Everett Johnson (The Farnsworth Invention) as Shrdlu and Paul Morgan Stetler ("Life or Something Like It") as Boss/Lt. Charles/Mr. Three.
Rounding out the ensemble are University of California, San Diego M.F.A. acting candidates Walter Belenky (as Joe/Mr. Two), Molly Fite (Judy/Mrs. One), Liz Jenkins (Mrs. Three), Rufio Lerma (Young Man/Mr. One) and Peter Wylie (Policeman).
At La Jolla, Aukin previously staged Suitcase (in 2004) and the Page to Stage workshop production of Current Nobody (in 2005) — both works by Melissa James Gibson. "The Adding Machine was Elmer Rice's experiment in expressionism which came out of Germany in the 1920s, yet the play is so relevant today," said Aukin in a released statement. "It examines advancing technology and its impact on the meaning of life — something that we still wrestle with today."
The design team for The Adding Machine features Andrew Lieberman (set), Maiko Matsushima (costumes), Japhy Weideman (lighting) and Colbert S. Davis IV (sound). Original music is by Cassia Streb.
La Jolla's season continues with Most Wanted (Oct. 2-Oct. 14), Cry-Baby (Nov. 6-Dec. 16) and The Seven (Feb. 12-March 16, 2008).
Tickets for The Adding Machine at La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive (on the corner Torrey Pines Road) in La Jolla, CA, are on sale by calling (858) 550-1010. For more information on the company visit lajollaplayhouse.com.