La Jolla Playhouse Stages Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir in Lounge Sept. 24-Oct. 10; Luke Macfarlane Stars | Playbill

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News La Jolla Playhouse Stages Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir in Lounge Sept. 24-Oct. 10; Luke Macfarlane Stars Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir, Keith Bunin's nightclub-set play with music about a gay singer in the decade before gay rights and identity began to blossom, get its West Coast premiere starting Sept. 24 in La Jolla Playhouse's Without Walls series in California.

Luke Macfarlane
Luke Macfarlane Photo by Suellen Fitzsimmons, courtesy of City Theatre Company

Luke Macfarlane, of TV's "Brothers and Sisters," who played the title role regionally, at City Theatre in Pittsburgh, again stars. Performances run through Oct. 10 at the local restaurant-lounge Martinis Above Fourth at 3940 Fourth Avenue, Suite 200, in Hillcrest, CA. The Without Walls series offers theatre in unique spaces beyond La Jolla Playhouse itself.

Mark Rucker directs Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir, which is billed this way: "In a 1958 Greenwich Village nightclub — a decade before the Stonewall riots — the drinks and music flow as a young singer and his band take the stage for his last performance before leaving New York City for good. Featuring the songs of Cole Porter, Kurt Weill and George Gershwin, Sam Bendrix at the Bon Soir showcases acclaimed actor Luke Macfarlane as he tells the poignant tale of a gay man looking for love in the wrong decade."

A graduate of Juilliard, Macfarlane has appeared in The Normal Heart on Broadway, The Busy World Is Hushed and Juvenilia at Playwrights Horizons, and Where Do We Live at The Vineyard Theatre.

Bunin's plays include The Busy World Is Hushed, The World Over, The Credeaux Canvas, The Principality of Sorrows, The King of Clocks and A Joke. He has also written for film and television. He is a graduate of Goddard College and Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn.

Rucker is associate artistic director at American Conservatory Theatre, where he directed Once in a Lifetime, The Rainmaker and The Beard of Avon, among others. Performances play Monday to Wednesday at 7:30 PM; Saturday at 2 PM; Sunday at 2 PM and 7:30 PM.

Tickets are $35 and are available by calling (858) 550-1010 or at


Funded by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation, Without Walls is a La Jolla Playhouse initiative designed to break the barriers of traditional theatre. Over the course of four years, the Playhouse has been commissioning and presenting a series of site-based productions at locations throughout the San Diego community. Underscoring the theatre's mission of providing "unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow," coupled with the idea that the Playhouse is defined by the work it creates — not the space in which it is performed — WoW is designed to offer theatrical experiences that venture beyond the physical confines of the Playhouse's facilities.

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