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Geffen adds 5th play

Bening to join 'Gabler' as play joins Playhouse season

Annette Bening’s decision to star in Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler” at the Geffen Playhouse adds a fifth play to the 1998-99 season and changes the opening dates of several of the other shows.

It will be Bening’s first stage appearance in almost 10 years. “Gabler” opens on March 24 and wraps on April 18. A director has yet to be appointed.

“We’ve been talking to the wonderfully talented Annette Bening about ‘Hedda Gabler’ since the Geffen Playhouse began operations three years ago,” said producing director Gilbert Cates. “When Annette told us she could do it this spring we were overjoyed and simply rearranged the schedule to accommodate this additional play for our audience.”

“Gabler” becomes the third show of the season, which opens on Oct. 28 with Martin McDonagh’s “The Cripple of Inishmaan,” an Irish drama that closes on Nov. 22.

Two works by David Mamet — “The Cryptogram” and “The Old Neighborhood” — follow, although a date for the opening has not been set. Previews begin on Jan. 12.

Donald Margulies’ “Collected Stories” follows the Bening starrer on May 19, with closing night set for June 13.

“Merton of the Movies,” by George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly, is the final play of the season. It opens July 7 and closes Aug. 1.

For Geffen Playhouse ticket information call (310) 208-5454.

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