Anna Gunn Is Marie Curie in Alan Alda's Radiance, Getting First Glow Nov. 1 in L.A.

News   Anna Gunn Is Marie Curie in Alan Alda's Radiance, Getting First Glow Nov. 1 in L.A.
The world premiere of Alan Alda's Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie, shining a light on the conflicts in the life and work of the first woman to be awarded a Nobel Prize, begins Nov. 1 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Anna Gunn plays the title role of the Polish-born ground-breaker.

Anna Gunn
Anna Gunn

Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan (Proof, Rabbit Hole) directs the play, which runs to Dec. 10 at Geffen's Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater in Los Angeles. Opening night is Nov. 9.

Gunn previously appeared at the Geffen Playhouse in the world premiere of Donald Margulies' Time Stands Still and is a star of AMC's "Breaking Bad."  Her Radiance castmates include Natacha Roi (a veteran of Magic Theatre and South Coast Rep), John de Lancie ("Q" on "Star Trek" and a "Days of Our Lives" veteran), Ovation Award winner Hugo Armstrong, Don Donohue (an Oregon Shakespeare vet), Leonard Kelly-Young (a Santa Barbara Independent Theatre Award winner) and Sarah Zimmerman (Broadway's The Rivals and The Full Monty).

According to Geffen notes, "Timed perfectly with the 100th anniversary of Madame Curie's second Nobel Prize as well as the first International Year of Chemistry, Radiance: The Passion of Marie Curie delves into the life and romance of one of the most brilliant female scientists in history. Famous for her groundbreaking research in radioactivity, Curie was the only person ever to win two Nobel Prizes in multiple sciences, but not without a struggle. For all the answers that come to her in the lab, Curie's life is peppered with questions of how to realize the passion she has for both knowledge and love. Celebrated but then rejected by the popular press as both a woman and scientist, Curie is left to define her place in society — and history — on her own terms."

A Curie-inspired character is also part of the Off-Broadway musical The Blue Flower, now playing at Second Stage.

Playwright Alda, best known for playing Hawkeye on TV's "M*A*S*H," and for his screenplays and direction of feature films, said in a statement, "Marie Curie has been alive in my head for the last four years while I've been writing this play, and to see these brilliant actors make Marie and her world burst into life on the stage is staggering for me. It was a deeply emotional and very intelligent world they inhabited and this company, under Dan Sullivan's direction, brings a dream of mine into reality. I love it." The creative team includes set designer Tom Lynch, costume designer Rita Ryack, lighting designer Daniel Ionazzi, sound designer Jon Gottlieb and production stage manager Young Ji.

Alda, whose screenplays include "The Four Seasons" and "The Seduction of Joe Tynan," has a long-time interest in science. He is host and an interviewer of the award-winning PBS series "Scientific American Frontiers." In 2010, he hosted the science series "The Human Spark" on PBS. On Broadway, he appeared as the physicist Richard Feynman in the play QED.

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