Twenty years ago, Theatre 40 staged an award-winning production of Paul Osborn's Morning's at Seven. On July 10, the 20th anniversary of that production, Theatre 40 will again present Osborn's loving, quietly humorous look at small town America as the last main stage play in its 1998-99 season.
In 1980, Osborn's play won a Tony Award for Best Revival for Morning's at Seven. The play deals with a middleaged man's decision to introduce his girlfriend to his family -- after 12 years of courtship.
Osborn's best known other plays are On Borrowed Time and The Vinegar Tree. He also co-scripted South Pacific.
Morning's At Seven will play on the stage of the large auditorium in Beverly Hills high school, staged in the round with 82 seats placed on stage around the playing area. To accommodate a major renovation to the building housing Theatre 40, the theatre is utilizing the temporary space for this production only. Steven Toblowsky directs the anniversary production.
Also coming to Theatre 40 this summer is August Wilson's Fences, winner of many major drama awards in 1987. The play centers on an ex-star of the Negro National league who still resents the color bar that kept him from playing in the major league. Because he is black, he can also never drive a garbage truck for the city of Pittsburgh, but must always "walk behind." He feels the same "fences" in his relationship with his son and wife.Veronica Di Pippo directs for Theatre 40.
Fences opens July 19 for a five-week run; call (323) 936-5842.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent