Everyone was happy about the runaway, Broadway-bound success of the still-playing Flower Drum Song at the Mark Taper Forum, except for the season planners. They had already set the West Coast premiere of Israel Horovitz's My Old Lady to follow the classic Rogers-and Hammerstein tuner, Dec. 9.
But with only a small delay in performances, My Old Lady has risen again, this time for a Dec. 22-Feb. 10 run at the James A. Doolittle Theatre (soon to be renamed the Ricardo Montalban Theatre) in Hollywood. David Esbjornson (The Play About the Baby, The Goat) directs.
And the production has attracted a strong cast: Peter Friedman as the American Mathias, Sian Philips as the very French 84 year old Mathilde and Jan Maxwell as her daugther Chloe. The three characters are drawn together when Mathias seeks to sell the luxurious Paris apartment his father left him and finds it inhabited by Mathilde and Chloe.
A 1998 Tony Award nominee for Ragtime, in which he created the role of Tateh, Friedman also starred in the Broadway company (and subsequent film) of The Heidi Chronicles. Philips recently performed on Broadway in the one-woman show Marlene but may be best remembered for her star turn as Livia in the PBS series, "I, Claudius." A musical theatre and straight play performer, Maxwell has appeared in several Tony Award-winning productions, including 1998's The Sound of Music, A Doll's House, Dancing at Lughnasa and City of Angels.
Designing My Old Lady are John Lee Beatty (sets), Elizabeth Hope Clancy (costumes), Scott Zielinski (lighting) and Jon Gottlieb (sound). Peter Golub composed the original score. Tickets are available by calling (213) 628-2772. The James A. Doolittle Theatre is located at 1615 North Vine Street at Hollywood Boulevard. The Mark Taper Forum, who produces the play, is on the web at http://www.TaperAhmanson.com.
— By Christine Ehren