Tony winner Bebe Neuwirth was Williamstown Theatre Festival's Diva in a workshop production, but Golden Globe winner Susan Blakely ("Rich Man, Poor Man") will star as the title character in the Howard M. Gould world premiere, playing Sept. 11-Oct. 14 at La Jolla Playhouse. Neel Keller directs. Deanna (Blakely) is a spoiled but lovable film star fighting to break into television. She'll stop at nothing to obtain her goal, much to the chagrin of her writer and producer Isaac Brooks. The other men in her life include her comic sidekick on her new television show, Ezra Twain, Hollywood agent Barry Joshua, studio head Kurt Fast and a diva's most important asset, her trophy boyfriend Petey Ryan.
Gould wrote the plays Trumps, Hold On and Santa Claus Is Going Downtown. A Golden Globe winner, he has written for "Home Improvement" and was executive producer on "The Jeff Foxworthy Show."
Blakely's TV credits include playing Eva Braun in "The Bunker" and attorney Leslie Abramson in "Honor Thy Father and Mother: The True Story of the Menendez Brothers." As the men in her Diva life are Jere Burns ("Dear John") as Brooks, Tony Award-nominee Jonathan Hogan (As Is) as Fast, Tim Maculan ("Six Feet Under") as Twain, Paul Provenza (original Picasso in Picasso at the Lapin Agile) as Joshua and Timothy Warman (Side Show, Jekyll & Hyde) as Ryan.
Desiging Diva are Andrew Jackness (sets), Candice Donnelly (costumes), David Lee Cuthbert (lighting) and Robbin E. Broad (sound).
Tickets are $19-$42. For reservations, call (858) 550-1010. La Jolla Playhouse is on the web at http://www.lajollaplayhouse.com.
— By Christine Ehren