OPENS WEST COAST PREMIERE OF NEXT FALL
Cast Also Features Ken Barnett, Betsy Brandt, Jeff Fahey,
Lesley Ann Warren and James Wolk
Helmed by Tony Nominee Sheryl Kaller
Opens November 2, 2011
LOS ANGELES, November 2, 2011 — Geoffrey Nauffts’ new play Next Fall opens tonight at the Geffen Playhouse with original director Sheryl Kaller and a completely new cast featuring the playwright himself in a leading role. Next Fall chronicles the relationship of Adam – portrayed by playwrightNauffts whose acting credits include Broadway productions of A Few Good Menand Caine Mutiny Court Martial, and Luke – played by James Wolk, who is most recognizable for his starring role in television’s Lonestar and the film You Again.
The couple seems like a case of opposites attract – Adam is older, neurotic and an atheist; Luke is impulsive, a struggling actor and a devout Christian. After Luke is involved in a critical accident, family and friends descend upon the couple and these longtime differences collide, forcing opposing views on faith into a stand-off. Luke’s parents, Arlene and Butch, are played by Academy Award nominee Lesley Ann Warren (Victor/Victoria) and actor/advocate Jeff Fahey (Lost), respectively. Broadway actor and Geffen alum Ken Barnett portrays Brandon, Luke’s childhood friend; and stage/screen actress Betsy Brandt, most recognized for her role on AMC’s Breaking Bad portrays the role of Holly, the woman who introduced the couple. As timely as it is touching, this must-see play exposes the fundamental truth that we love people both because of – and in spite of – who they are.
Next Fall had its world premiere at Naked Angels Theater in New York in 2009 before transferring to the Helen Hayes Theater on Broadway in 2010. This West Coast premiere will allow both playwright and director to delve deeper into this still new work, which was awarded the Outer Critics Circle’s “John Gassner Award” in 2010 for Best New American Play and has been honored with nominations for the 2010 Tony Award for Best Play, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Broadway Play.
Opening night festivities, which are
sponsored by Audi of America and Los Angelesmagazine, will be held onsite at the Geffen Playhouse. The evening will feature
culinary delights provided by Ronen Levy Events as well as a unique Next Fall themed cake designed by
Montage Beverly Hills pastry chef Richard Ruskell, and speciality beverages by
Herradura Tequila, Krol Vodka, Smartwater and Malibu Family Wines.
Written by Geoffrey Nauffts
Directed by Sheryl Kaller
Opening Night: Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Closing Night: Sunday, December 4, 2011
Ken Barnett Brandon
Betsy Brandt Holly
Jeff Fahey Butch
Geoffrey Nauffts Adam
Lesley Ann Warren Arlene
James Wolk Luke
Set Designer Wilson Chin
Costume Designer Kate Bergh
Lighting Designer Jeff Croiter
Sound Designer/Composer John Gromada
Production Stage Manager James T. McDermott
Monday No performances
Tuesday – Friday 8:00pm
Saturday 3:00pm; 8:00pm
Sunday 2:00pm; 7:00pm
Ticket prices currently range from $47 - $77. Contact the Geffen Playhouse box office in-person, via phone at 310-208-5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org for updated pricing and seating availability.
Ken Barnett (Brandon)
Ken Barnett is so happy to be back at the Geffen after appearing in Atlantain 2007. Broadway: Wonderful Town, Julie Taymor’s The Green Bird. Off-Broadway: Manon/Sandra, La Ronde (Outstanding Acting Award, 2009 NY Fringe), Debbie Does Dallas, Susan Stroman’s Christmas Carol, Whore of Sheridan Square (nomination: Best Featured Actor--NYIT), Tales of the City (ACT workshop). Regional work includes: Burn This (Burton) at the Mark Taper Forum, Clear at the O’Neill, Glass Menagerie (Tom), Adam Guettel’s Myths + Hymns (nomination: Best Actor--Philly Awards), Merrily We Roll Along (Frank) at the Guthrie, Balm in Gilead and Mame (opposite Christine Ebersole). Films: Welcome to People, Friends With Kids, Ira & Abby, Puccini for Beginners. TV: Mad Men, In Plain Sight, Grey’s Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, Entourage, Monk, The Boring Life of Jacqueline (HBO), and lots of commercials. Barnett is a graduate of Wesleyan University. Upcoming: February House at the Long Wharf and the Public Theatre in NYC.
Betsy Brandt (Holly)
Betsy Brandt is well known to television audiences and currently stars in AMC’s Emmy award-winning series Breaking Bad. Brandt has appeared in regional theatre companies across the country. Most recently, she originated the role of ‘Mary’ at the South Coast Repertory in the world premiere of Julia Cho’s The Language Archive and also appeared there in Ridiculous Fraud by playwright Beth Henley. She has starred in Royal Family and The Little Foxesat Intiman Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing for the Arizona Theatre Company, Control + Alt + Delete for the San Jose Repertory, as well as Thirst at A Contemporary Theater. Brandt’s film credits include Jeremy Fink and The Meaning of Life and will be seen in the upcoming film Magic Mike, directed by Steven Soderbergh. Brandt studied theatre at Harvard University’s Moscow Art School and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. In addition, she earned her BFA in Acting at Illinois Urbana-Champaign. A native of Bay City, Michigan, Brandt now lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.
Jeff Fahey (Butch)
From an early age Jeff Fahey has been a seeker of knowledge and new experiences. Fahey began his study of the arts at the Gratowski experimental theatre and the Studio Arena in New York. He received his feature film break being offered the role of ‘Tyree’ in Silveradostarring opposite Kevin Costner, Kevin Klein, and Danny
Glover. From his breakthrough in Silverado and continuing to the present day, Fahey has never experienced a lull in his acting career. He followed his many varied film roles with a hugely successful run on the stage in London in the production of Orphans starring opposite Albert Finney and Kevin Anderson. Fahey has also been involved in world causes for a number of years with a focus on issues in conflict and post-conflict regions. He commuted back and forth from Afghanistan to Hawaii to star for three seasons on the hit television series Lost, and upon returning from the Western Sahara he starred in the film Machette opposite Robert DeNiro. Fahey has recently been named Global Ambassador for the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.
Geoffrey Nauffts (Playwright
Geoffrey Nauffts has acted on Broadway in A Few Good Men and Caine Mutiny Court Martial, as well as the national touring companies of Biloxi Blues and The Full Monty. Off Broadway, he’s appeared in June Moon, Maiden’s Prayer, Moonchildren, Snake Bit, and Everything Will Be Different. Regionally, he’s performed at the La Jolla Playhouse, The Kennedy Center, The Huntington, South Coast Rep., NY Stage and Film, and the Mark Taper Forum. Some of his film and TV credits include: Woody Allen’s Melinda and Melinda, Missisippi Burning, Field of Dreams, Six Feet Under, Lipstick Jungle, Homicide, Picket Fences, Murphy Brown, From Earth to the Moon, all threeLaw and Orders, and three seasons on The Commish. He directed Naked Angels’ critically acclaimed production of Stephen Belber’s Tapein New York, Los Angeles and London and wrote and directed the award winning short film, Baby Steps, starring Kathy Bates (Best Short – Outfest’99.) He co-wrote the movie of the week, Jennifer for CBS, and was a writer on ABC’s Brothers and Sisters for two seasons. He is currently collaborating with Elton John on a score for Showstopper, a screenplay he co-wrote with Anthony Barrile for Ben Stiller’s company, Red Hour, and is penning a movie for HBO based on an NPR This American Life segment. His play Next Fallreceived the Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Award in 2010 for “Best New American Play,” and was nominated for a Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Tony Award for best play. He recently concluded a four-year stint as artistic director of Naked Angels where he’s been a proud member for over twenty-five years.
Lesley Ann Warren (Arlene)
After winning “Most Promising Newcomer” for 110 in the Shade on Broadway at 17, Warren found stardom as Cinderella and went on to star in the Broadway production of Drat the Cat, later returning to Broadway in the musical Dream. Warren’s first film was Disney’s The Happiest Millionaire. In Victor/Victoriashe garnered Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations. She won the New York Film Critics Award, People’s Choice Award and another Golden Globe nomination for Songwriter and a People’s Choice Award for Choose Me. Additional film credits include: 10th & Wolf, Secretary, The Limey, Clue, Burglar, Pure Country, Cop, Life Stinks and A Little Help. She won a Golden Globe Award for “Best Actress” in 79 Park Avenue, Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for Family Of Spies and Baja Oklahoma, and a Cable Ace nomination for 27 Wagons Full Of Cotton. She had a recurring role on Will & Grace and continues to appear in Desperate Housewives and the USA cable hit, In Plain Sight. Her theatrical credits include: the musical version of Gone with the Wind at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the L.A. production of The Threepenny Opera and Dreamhouse directed by Tony Richardson. Ms. Warren is a proud member of Actors’ Equity.
James Wolk (Luke)
James Wolk made his debut in CBS/ Hallmark Hall of Fame’s Front of the Class as “Brad Cohen,” a man challenged with Tourette Syndrome who defied all odds to become a gifted teacher. In 2009, he landed the title role in the ABC pilot Solving Charlie. Wolk later nabbed the lead role of “Robert/Bob Taylor” in the 2010 FOX series Lonestar. He played a charismatic and brilliant con artist entangled in a deep, complex web and caught between two very different lives and women. That summer, he also starred alongside Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Sigourney Weaver in the Disney film You Again. Most recently, Wolk starred in the 2011 ABC pilot Georgetown and finished shooting a multi-episode arc on the second season of the hit Showtime series Shameless. He also wrapped production on the independent feature For a Good Time Call. Wolk resides in Los Angeles.
ABOUT THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
The Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and musicals, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company is helmed by Producing Director and President of the Board Gilbert Cates, Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, please visit geffenplayhouse.org.
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