Coney Island Christmas and Neil LaBute's Miss Julie Will Bow at L.A.'s Geffen; Season Revealed

News   Coney Island Christmas and Neil LaBute's Miss Julie Will Bow at L.A.'s Geffen; Season Revealed
Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles will produce three world premieres, including a new commission by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies and an adaptation by Neil LaBute in the 2012-13 season. The American premiere of a stage version of the British TV show "Yes, Prime Minister" is also planned.

Donald Margulies
Donald Margulies Photo by Krissie Fullerton

Eight titles will be staged in the coming season, five in the Gil Cates Theater and three in the intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater, the company announced on April 13.

Playwrights represented in the coming year are Margulies, LaBute, Lynn Nottage, Joanna Murray-Smith, Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, David Mamet, Michael Golamco, Judy Gold and Moira Ryan.


By the Way, Meet Vera Stark West Coast Premiere
By Lynn Nottage
Directed by Jo Bonney
Sept. 18-Oct. 28

"It's Hollywood's heyday and the streets of Los Angeles are filled with glitz, glamour and the chance at stardom — that is as long as you have the 'right' look. But when former maid Vera Stark lands a groundbreaking role in a new Southern epic, she turns Hollywood on its head and paves the way for future generations of black actresses. More than five decades later, Vera's influence on race, film and feminism has seeped its way into pop-culture. But who is the real Vera Stark? Part comedy and part commentary, Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage's West Coast premiere uses today's fascination with celebrity and controversy to get to the truth behind the legend."

Coney Island Christmas
World Premiere Commission
By Donald Margulies
Directed by Bart DeLorenzo
Based on the short story "The Loudest Voice" by Grace Paley
Nov. 20-Dec. 30

"Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies weaves together nostalgia, music and merriment in the world premiere of this new seasonal classic. A holiday show for people of all ages and all faiths, Coney Island Christmas introduces us to Shirley Abramowitz, a young Jewish girl who (much to her immigrant parents' exasperation) is cast as Jesus in the School's Christmas pageant. As Shirley, now much older, recounts the memorable story to her great-granddaughter, the play captures a timeless and universal tale of what it means to be an American during the holidays." The Gift
American Premiere
By Joanna Murray-Smith
Directed by Maria Aitken
Jan. 29-March 10, 2013

"Acclaimed Australian playwright Joanna Murray-Smith brings this comedic American premiere to the Geffen Playhouse. When two couples meet while vacationing at a ritzy resort, they instantly transition from strangers to the best of friends. Despite their almost comical differences — Ed and Sadie are middle-aged, rich and traditional, while Martin and Chloe are young artists glowing with their potential to change the world — they find themselves spending the rest of their week together. When one seemingly inconsequential event throws both their lives into a tailspin, the couples find themselves wrestling with a moral dilemma: while it's human nature to want what you don’t have, is it unnatural to abandon something that you do? This provocative new work draws audiences in with a beguiling hilarity that gives way to an unsettling twist, posing searing questions rather than providing comfortable answers."

American Buffalo
By David Mamet
Directed by Randall Arney
April 2-May 12, 2013

"One of Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet's defining works, American Buffalo was instantly hailed as a new American classic when it opened on Broadway in 1975. Now, Geffen Playhouse artistic director Randall Arney takes a fresh look at these misguided misfits who are a little out of luck and way out of their league as they plot the theft of a rare coin collection. As the time of the heist approaches, tension and anticipation build revealing loyalties and testing friendships. Negotiating explosive humor, frenetic energy and surprising tenderness, this play, which has not had a major Los Angeles production in more than a decade, promises a mesmerizing night whether seeing it for the first time or rediscovering this groundbreaking work."

Yes, Prime Minister
American Premiere
By Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn
Directed by Jonathan Lynn June 4-July 14, 2013

"This quirky comedy based on the acclaimed BBC television series draws liberally — and conservatively — from current events as well as age-old political gaffes. Join the mostly clueless Prime Minister and an always hilarious cast of characters, ranging from the morally questionable Kumranistan ambassador to the scheming cabinet secretary, as they sort out the world's problems despite their best intentions. Will this coalition of comedy manage to unite Europe under one currency, resolve the energy crisis, solve the debt crisis, and avoid a crisis in the press? Maybe not, but Brits and Yanks alike can bank on the laughs in this uproarious political satire."


World Premiere
By Michael Golamco
Directed by Will Frears
Oct. 9-Nov. 18

"Kip and Will became Silicon Valley legends after the viral success of their blockbuster video game. But success has driven them apart: Will has become a suit obsessed with the bottom line, and the death of his wife has turned Kip into a total recluse. Now they've been thrown back together in a high-stakes gamble to complete and ship a new multibillion dollar game; but as Will re-enters Kip's life, he realizes that his old friend has built a whole other world — complete with an artificial intelligence to whom Kip escapes to ease his loss. Now Will and Kip must work to resolve their differences, confront the past and face the fact that technology's brave new world often leaves us with little else but a yearning for the old one."

Miss Julie
World Premiere Adaptation
By August Strindberg
Adapted and Directed by Neil LaBute
Feb. 26-April 7, 2013

"August Strindberg's classic play about sex, greed and manipulation is adapted by the modern master of such tantalizing topics: Neil LaBute. This scandalous turn of the century play that chronicles the night-long flirtation and seduction between the wealthy lady of the house and one of her father's footmen was banned in Britain until 1936. Set in its original time and place and featuring one of theatre's most commanding female characters, this world premiere adaptation couples provocateurs Strindberg and LaBute to capture the timeless consequences of passion and power."

The Judy Show – My Life as a Sitcom
West Coast Premiere
Starring Judy Gold
Written by Judy Gold & Kate Moira Ryan
Directed by Amanda Charlton
In Association with Daryl Roth and Eva Saks May 7-June 16, 2013

"Judy Gold has always dreamt big. Maybe because she is BIG (and by that, we mean tall). This 6-foot-3-inch Jewish mother of two is bringing her big, critically acclaimed off-Broadway hit to LA. A nonstop 90-minute ride, The Judy Show is Gold's chance to broadcast her hilarious life story through the sitcoms we all knew and loved. As an awkward kid growing up in New Jersey, Gold has fantasies of running away to 'The Brady Bunch' house or climbing aboard the 'The Partridge Family' bus, all while unabashedly recounting the mix of riotous, touching and otherwise embarrassing moments that taught her 'The Facts of Life.' Infused with pop-culture references as well as her signature irreverent humor, The Judy Show covers life, love, showbiz and ultimately her quest for her very own show — all in a way that might make 'Rhoda' proud."

Geffen Playhouse is at 10886 Le Conte Avenue in Los Angeles. For more information, visit

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