The Grove Theater Center in Orange County, CA, has two world premieres about to ripen: Swifty, Christopher Hart’s bio-play about Hollywood super agent Irving “Swifty” Lazar (Mar. 10-28), and Thicker Than Water, Cecilia Fannon’s new plat (May 5-23).
Stage and film producer David Brown (the film, “Driving Miss Daisy,” among other projects) co-produces Swifty, whose author is the son of Kitty Carlisle Hart and the late playwright-director Moss Hart.
Lazar was the diminutive but bigger-than-life, high-powered agent who reigned in Hollywood from the studio era into the 1990s. He was known for his annual Oscar night party, attended by the Tinseltown elite.
Fannon is a southern California playwright whose Red Corners, part of trio of related plays, was staged Jan. 5-31 in a world premiere production at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
The fortysomething Fannon, of Newport Beach, CA, told Playbill On-Line Feb. 3 her new three-character play is about two women cousins who fall in love with the same man, and spans 12 years. “I think my plays are always these hybrids,” she said. “It has moments of great levity, but the underpinnings are about making family -- if you don’t have it, you make it -- and about family loyalties, and loyalty general, and he price of love.”
Fannon’s “triptych” of related plays are Green Icebergs, Red Corners and the still-in-progress Holding the Pink.
This is the fourth year for the nonprofit Grove Theater Center in Garden Grove, CA, one hour south of Los Angeles. The company operates in two spaces: The 178-seat Gem Theater and the 550-seat Festival Amphitheater. The organization presents its own subscription of plays (world premieres, Shakespeare and revivals) plus children’s shows, special events and bookings of visiting shows and artists.
Playwright Fannon, a Queens, NY, native who lives on the west coast, became acquainted with the young Garden Grove company when she was writing a free-lance article about them. She later submitted Thicker Than Water to artistic director Kevin Cochran, who runs Garden Grove with executive director Charles Johanson.
For information about Grove Theater Center, call (714) 741-9555.
-- By Kenneth Jones