SEATTLE -- Burke M. Walker, co-founder of The Empty Space in 1970, and its artistic director until 1990, returns to the company to direct John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, opening Apr. 8. Walker, whose Empty Space directorial triumphs included such varied fare as The Tempest, The Misanthrope, American Buffalo, and The Rocky Horror Show, and whose final production as artistic director was the original revue Smokey Joe's Cafe which served as the springboard for developing the Broadway version, is taking a fresh look at the original novel and the script for Of Mice and Men in this production.
Set in the Salinas Valley of Northern California in the 1930's, Steinbeck's tale of a pair of migrant farmhands, the clever George, and huge, simple-minded Lennie, has attracted great actors to it for years, from Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney, Jr. to Gary Sinise and John Malkovich.
Featured in the Empty Space Cast are David Pichette as George, David Drummond as Lennie, Sean Griffin as Candy, Charles Canada as Crooks, Jack Frazier as the Boss, Daniel Chercover as Curley and Tina LaPadula as Curley's Wife.
Apr. 3, 4, 6, and 7, opening on Apr. 8. Showtimes are 7:30 PM Tues-Thurs, 8 PM Fri.-Sat., 7 PM Sun, with selected Sat. and Sun. matinees at 2 PM, and special Wednesday student matinees at 11 AM Apr. 29, and 11;30 AM May 6.
The Empty Space is located at 3509 Fremont Ave N., Seattle. For tickets ($12-$24, and $7.50 at student matinees) call (206) 547-7500.
-- By David-Edward Hughes