×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Notable World Premieres Set for Taper Forum’s 2014 Season

New plays by Jordan Harrison and Daniel Beaty, plus 'Vanya and Sonia,' 'Buyer and Cellar' added to L.A. legit slate

The Mark Taper Forum at L.A.’s Center Theater Group has lined up its 2014 season with a couple of world preems that legiters in Gotham and beyond will likely keep an eye on.

Among the titles on the list is “Marjorie Prime” (Sept. 10-Oct. 19, 2014), the new play by Jordan Harrison, helmed by Pam MacKinnon and starring Lois Smith. MacKinnon scored a 2013 Tony for her revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and the prior season directed Tony winner “Clybourne Park.” That show originated in 2010 at Off Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons, where scribe Harrison has seen his plays “Maple and Vine” (2011) and “Doris to Darlene” (2007) produced. Smith, meanwhile, is a New York legit-world fave, often starring in Signature Theater productions including, most recently, Sam Shepard’s “Heartless” (2012) and the current production of Horton Foote’s “The Old Friends.”

Another bow from Gotham legit vets, “The Tallest Tree in the Forest” (April 15-May 25), could also attract attention. The biographical play-with-music, centering on Paul Robeson’s life as an athlete, actor and activist, is the latest by Daniel Beaty, whose solo outings “Emergency,” “Through the Night” and “Mr. Joy” have all played Off Broadway. Moises Kaufman (“The Laramie Project,” “33 Variations”), helmer of last season’s Broadway revival of “The Heiress” starring Jessica Chastain, directs.

In addition to the U.S. bow of Roger Crane’s “The Last Confession,” which stars David Suchet and Brian Bedford in a look at the election and mysterious death of Pope Jean Paul I, the Taper will also bring in west coast stagings of “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” the Tony winner that just finished up its Broadway run, and Michael Urie starrer “Buyer and Cellar,” now in the midst of a well-received Off Broadway engagement. A new production of Joe Orton’s “What the Butler Saw,” starring Paxton Whitehead and directed by John Tillinger, rounds out the org’s season.

The Taper slate is part of an overall lineup for the three-theater Center Theater Group that already includes Barry Manilow tuner “Harmony” and Queen musical “We Will Rock You” at the Ahmanson and a Kirk Douglas Theater season that includes Joe Iconis musical “The Black Suits” plus new plays by Kimber Lee, Luis Alfaro, Trieu Tran and Roger Guenveur Smith.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • Tina Turner The Musical

    How 'Tina: The Tina Turner Musical' Tells the Icon's Traumatic Story

    It wasn’t the response Tali Pelman had hoped to receive. The group creative managing director of Stage Entertainment had traveled to Küsnacht, Switzerland, with one goal in mind: Convince Tina Turner that her life could be the stuff of a successful stage musical. “We walked in the door,” Pelman remembers. “Tina was already there, and she greeted [...]

  • Ben McKenzie

    'Gotham' Star Ben McKenzie to Make Broadway Debut in 'Grand Horizons'

    “Gotham” star Ben McKenzie will make his Broadway debut in Bess Wohl’s “Grand Horizons.” He joins a cast that includes Oscar nominees Jane Alexander (“Kramer vs. Kramer,” “The Great White Hope”) and James Cromwell (“Babe,” “L.A. Confidential”). The show has a strictly limited 10-week run and begins previews on Dec. 23, 2019, before officially opening [...]

  • The Great Society review

    Listen: Brian Cox on 'Succession,' Shakespeare, and the Crisis We're In

    Brian Cox is having a pop-culture moment with “Succession,” the buzzy HBO series in which he stars. But he’s also an accomplished theater actor with plenty of experience doing Shakespeare — and it serves him well in both “Succession” and in his current Broadway show, “The Great Society.” Listen to this week’s podcast below: Cox [...]

  • Scooby Doo Ella Louise Allaire Martin

    Scooby-Doo Live Theater Tour Is Goofy Dane's Latest Adventure

    From its 1969 start as a Saturday morning kids mystery cartoon series “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” starring its titular, talking Great Dane and his four teenaged friends, has made adventure its staple. Once Hanna-Barbera’s successor, Warner Bros. Animation, took the leash, Scooby and company became a comic book, a board game, a series of video [...]

  • Tootsie Santino Fontana

    'Tootsie' Ending Broadway Run in January

    “Tootsie,” the critically acclaimed musical adaptation of the 1982 classic film comedy, will play its final Broadway performance on Jan. 5, 2020. When it wraps up its run, the show will have logged 293 regular and 25 preview performances at the cavernous Marquis Theatre, where it sometimes labored to draw big crowds. Last week, “Tootsie” [...]

  • Laurel Griggs

    Laurel Griggs, Broadway and 'SNL' Actress, Dies at 13

    Laurel Griggs, who starred in Broadway’s “ONCE the Musical” as Ivanka, has died. She was 13. An obituary posted to Dignity Memorial indicates she died on Nov. 5, and Griggs’ grandfather wrote on Facebook that her death was due to a massive asthma attack. Griggs made her Broadway debut when she was six years old [...]

  • West End celling collapse

    Ceiling Collapse at 'Death of a Salesman' Leads to Theater Closure, Boycott Threats

    The West End revival of “Death of a Salesman” has moved into a temporary space after parts of the ceiling of Piccadilly Theatre collapsed during a Wednesday night performance. Five audience members sustained minor injuries and were taken to area hospitals. The theater will remain closed for the rest of the week. In the meantime, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content