Filmdom's Shawn Hatosy ends his stint as William H. Bonney, aka "Billy the Kid," in Michael Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid July 15 at La Jolla Playhouse. La Jolla artistic director Des McAnuff (The Who's Tommy, Big River) and the company's associate director Kate Whoriskey co-direct the production, which opened June 17.
The Collected Works of Billy the Kid finds the infamous Wild West outlaw on the last night of his life. As he prepares to face off against Pat Garrett, who has come to kill him, Billy recalls the men he's killed and the women he's loved during his brief and violent life. Ondaatje is known mostly as a novelist whose works include "The English Patient," "Anil's Ghost" and "The Collected Works of Billy the Kid," on which the play is based.
Hatosy took his first starring film role in "Outside Providence" with Alec Baldwin and has developed a strong career in the movies ("The Faculty," "Simpatico," the upcoming "John Q"), but the young actor had never strutted and fretted his hour upon the stage professionally until La Jolla Playhouse offered him the lead in The Collected Works of Billy the Kid.
Joining Hatosy are Gary Cole ("A Simple Plan," "Office Space," "American Gothic") as Garrett, Playhouse vet Susan Berman (The Swan, Big River) as Sallie Chisum, Mike Genovese as John Chisum, Sean Bridgers ("Paradise Falls") as Tom O'Folliard, Nicole DeHuff ("Meet the Parents") as Angela Dickinson, Brian Vander Ark (of the rock band Verve) as Charlie Bowdre and Presciliana Esparolini as Celsa Guitterez. Actor musicians Brett Beardslee, William Mesnik and Steve Gouveia both play minor roles and the production's original score.
Designing The Collected Works of Billy the Kid are Mark Wendland (sets), Catherine Zuber (costumes), Robert Perry (lighting) and Michael Roth (sound). Director McAnuff composed and arranged the score with Roth, Beardslee, Mesnik and Gouveia. Tickets are $19-$42. For reservations, call (858) 550-1010. La Jolla Playhouse is on the web at http://www.lajollaplayhouse.com.