La Jolla Playhouse ends its revival of Our Town, Thornton Wilder's examination of quiet lives in a small town, June 17. The new production, directed by Rent's Michael Greif, began performances on the San Diego company's main stage May 15 with an opening May 20.
Our Town, unconventional in its use of a Stage Manager who narrates this story of lives loved and lost in Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, won the Pulitzer Prize when it opened on Broadway in 1938. It traces the relationship between Emily Webb and George Gibbs, who grow up together, fall in love, marry and then lose one another in the sad and joyous life cycles of turn-of-the-century America. Wilder is also the author of The Skin of Our Teeth.
La Jolla Playhouse founder Mel Ferrer first staged Our Town in San Diego in 1950. Greif wanted to stage the play himself after participating as a student in a University of California, San Diego production in the early eighties. Legendary helmer Alan Schneider directed that production.
The Lion in Winter's Emily Bergl and Comic Potential's Carson Elrod star as Emily and George. Also featured are Lizan Mitchell (Having Our Say at the Playhouse) as the Stage Manager, Tony Award nominee Tom McGowan as Mr. Webb, Jonthan Fried (Orson Welles in the Globe's Orson's Shadow) as Dr. Gibbs, Peter Bartlett (Jeffrey) as Simon Stimson, Tony Award nominee Jeanne Paulsen (The Kentucky Cycle) as Mrs. Gibbs and Kate Fuglei as Mrs. Webb.
Completing the company are Alexandra Aufderheide, Guillermo Aviles Rodgriuez, Ian Bedford, Ashley Bischoff, Danielle Blum, Hugh Bogan, Brian Bryson, Jose Chavarry, Jim Chovick, Susan Denaker, Sidney Franklin, Pat Hansen, Fred Harlow, Erik Johnson, David Johann Kim, Myra McWethy, Karen Schooley and Christopher Wynkoop. Designing Our Town are Mark Wendland (sets), Brandin Baron (costumes) and James F. Ingalls (lighting). G. Scott Lacy is the musical director. Shirley Fishman is the dramaturg.
Tickets are $19-$42. For reservations, call (858) 550-1010. La Jolla Playhouse is on the web at http://www.lajollaplayhouse.com.
The last Broadway staging of Our Town featured Spalding Grey, Eric Stoltz and Penelope Ann Miller. The website for the Roundabout Theatre Company promises a new production, staged by Mark Brokaw, in 2002.