Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Michael Ritchie has announced the roster of productions set for the Mark Taper Forum's upcoming 47th season.
The season will open with Christopher Durang's 2013 Tony Award-winning Chekhovian send-up, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, directed by its original Tony Award-nominated director Nicholas Martin. The production is set to run from January 29-March 9, 2014.
Next will be the world premiere of Obie Award winner Daniel Beaty's The Tallest Tree in the Forest, a "play with music" about African-American singer, actor, and civil rights activist Paul Robeson. Moisés Kaufman will direct the production, set to run from April 14-May 25, 2014.
This will be followed by the U.S. premiere of Roger Crane's The Last Confession, which chronicles the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of Pope John Paul I in 1978, only 33 days after he was elected. Directed by Jonathan Church, the production will run from June 7-July 6, 2014.
Straight off a successful New York run, Drama Desk winner Michael Urie will come to the Mark Taper Forum to continue performances of Jonathan Tolins' one-man show Buyer & Cellar. Stephen Brackett will direct the show in its West Coast premiere, set to run from July 9-August 17, 2014.
Tony Award winner Pam MacKinnon (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) will then direct the world premiere of Marjorie Prime, a new play by Jordan Harrison, featuring Drama Desk Award winner Lois Smith (The Old Friends). Scheduled to run from September 10-October 19, 2014, the play follows 85-year-old Marjorie who recognizes the slow deterioration of her memory while residing in an assisted-living facility and receiving frequent visits from her daughter Tess and her son-in-law Jon. She soon meets a mysterious young man named Walter who hopes to help reverse her decline.
Closing the season will be the classic Joe Orton farce, What the Butler Saw, about the philandering psychiatrist, Dr. Prentice. Directed by John Tillinger and featuring Drama Desk Award winner Paxton Whitehead (The Importance of Being Earnest), the production will run from November 12-December 21, 2014.
Mark Taper Forum season ticket members will also be given priority access to two additional productions, playing at the Ahmanson Theatre. From November 21-December, the theater will host Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty, a reimagining of Marius Petipa's 1890 ballet to the classic music of Tchaikovsky. Two-time Tony Award winner Christopher Plummer (Inherit the Wind) will then perform his own piece entitled A Word or Two from January 19-February 9, 2014, offering his take on a number of literary giants that he spent his youth reading.