By Jean Strauber, Entertainment Editor
A Free Event
Theatre West has scheduled a FREE staged play reading of “Sunset” on Sunday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m. This classic play, written by noted playwright and author Isaac Babel in 1927, tells the story of two young men who take action to foil plans of their father, who has clandestinely planned to sell off the family hauling business and spend the proceeds on his young pregnant mistress.
Fists will fly, blood will flow, but crimes against the family will not go unpunished and things will be made right in the end. Isaac Babel (1891-1940), considered one of the most important European writers of his era, based the play on his popular Odessa Stories, set in the Moldavanka, the Jewish section of Odessa, Russia, where Babel was born. Many of Babel’s stories contained social critique. Stalin considered Babel an enemy of the State, and had him tortured and executed in 1940. Malachi Throne directs a cast that includes Don Moore, Seemah Wilder, Paul Gunning, Yancey Dunham, Bridget Hanley, Marvin Kaplan and Throne himself.
Sunset is produced by Malachi Throne and associate producer is Nan Tepper. The Theatre West Sunday Reading Series is produced by Sandra Tucker. John Gallogly is the Theatre West executive director. The Theatre West is located at 3333 Cahuenga Boulevad. West in Los Angeles, CA 90068. Admission is free. Reservations are not necessary. Free parking in the lot across the street. For more information please call (323) 851-7977 or go to www.theatrewest.org
The Au Pair Man
The public is invited to the opening of a new comedy at the Raven Playhouse, “The Au Pair Man,” written by Hugh Leonard and directed by Joe Praml. “Au Pair Man,” one level a parable about the bitter enmity between Ireland and England, is a dark, sometimes foreboding comedy about an ambitious young Irishman living in London, who seeks the position of an au pair, a livein employee of a mysterious attractive middle-aged woman of position and wealth.
Eugene Hartigan and Mrs. Rogers, the two characters in the play, engage in an ominous dance of wit, will, and courtly manners, leaving us with that wise old dictum, ‘Be careful what you wish for.’ Virginia Morris portrays Mrs. Rogers and Joe Corgan is Eugene Hartigan. Hugh Leonard (1927-2009) was considered the most prolific of modern Irish playwrights. He is best known in America for the play “Da.”
“The Au Pair Man” had its world premiere in Dublin in 1968. Au Pair Man is presented by ACS/The Celtic Arts Center with The Raven Playhouse, which is located at 5233 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601. Previews on Friday, May 13, opens Saturday, May 14 and runs through June 12, 2011. Admission is $20; students and seniors $15. For reservations call (818) 760-8322 or e-mail celt@ celticartscenter.com.
Film Screens at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Cinespia hosted its first film screening at Hollywood Forever Cemetery 10 summers ago with Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller Strangers on a Train (1951). Since then, Cinespia has become a summer institution in Los Angeles, drawing thousands of film fans to watch classics and cult favorites projected outdoors on the marble wall of the mausoleum where legends like Rudolph Valentino rest in peace.
Cinespia’s founder and director John Wyatt says: “This all started from scratch, and was built on word of mouth. The idea was to present films, but take them out under the stars, into a festive atmosphere, as they were meant to be seen: projected big, with a large, enthusiastic crowd. People share food and drinks with their neighbors, get to know other Angelenos, and cuddle up under a blanket. When we first began renting the cemetery for screenings, the audience was made up of our film club and friends. Now it includes a city wide cross-section of Angelenos. It’s our passionate audience that makes Cinespia what it is.”
Now, Cinespia’s 10th season features the best films shown in the last 10 years, including Alien (1979), Vertigo (1958), and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). 2011 also welcomes a few newcomers like ‘80s cult comedy Heathers (1988). But as any die-hard Cinespia fan knows, it’s not just about the films at the cemetery; it’s all about picnics, good company, and especially music. This year is no exception, as Cinespia continues to bring worldclass DJs to spin before and after the films. To kick off its 10th year, Cinespia screens Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) on Saturday, May 14th. It stars the late, great screen siren Elizabeth Taylor in one of her most memorable performances as Maggie “the Cat.” Richard Brooks’ screen adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams was named one of the top-ten box office hits of 1958, and stars Paul Newman as erstwhile jock Brick Pollitt and folk musician Burl Ives as Big Daddy.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery (6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038) on the corner of Santa Monica and Gower. Gates open at 7 pm, the film screens at 8:30 pm. $10 donation/$10 parking.