THE U.S. PREMIERE OF
SMASH-HIT WEST END COMEDY
YES, PRIME MINISTER
OPENS AT THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
Written by Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay
Production helmed by Lynn
Opens June 12, 2013
LOS ANGELES, June 10, 2013 – One of the most successful West End plays in a decade, Yes, Prime Minister, makes its American premiere in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse with an opening night on June 12, 2013.
Academy Award nominee Michael McKean (A Mighty Wind, Best in Show) will play U.K. Prime Minister Jim Hacker in this riotous and timely take on British politics co-written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn who penned the award-winning BBC television sitcom of the same name. Lynn directed the West End production.
Joining McKean are cast members Ron Bottitta (Superior Donuts at Geffen, Rank at The Odyssey), Stephen Caffrey (Cinema Verite, The Constant Wife ), Brian George (A Perfect Wedding, Stuff Happens), Sasha Higgins (Cages at the Matrix, The Tempest at the Barbican), Dakin Matthews (Lincoln, True Grit), Jefferson Mays (Geffen Alum, Tony, Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Obie winner), Matthew Floyd Miller (Not About Nightingales on Broadway, The Invention of Love at Lincoln Center), Tara Summers (Boston Legal) and Time Winters (Camelot National Tour, LADCC nominee).
This riotous, timely and sharply satirical new take on the British corridors of power is set against the backdrop of the collapsing Euro and austerity measures in a world of 24 hour news, smart phones, and ‘sexed up’ dossiers. Writers Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn also penned the award-winning BBC television series of the same name.
The hilarious cast of characters range from the scheming Cabinet Secretary, Sir Humphrey Appleby, to the morally confused Principal Private Secretary, Bernard Woolley, and the ruthless Head of the PM’s Policy Unit, Claire Sutton, as they lurch from crisis to crisis, trying to survive a disastrous weekend that teeters on the edge of catastrophe despite their best (and worst) intentions. Will they manage to save the Euro from collapsing, resolve the energy crisis, solve the debt crisis, hide an embarrassing illegal immigrant, control the media and avoid public humiliation? Brits and Yanks alike can bank on the laughs in the American premiere of this uproarious satire fresh from its acclaimed West End run, which played three sold out seasons, as well as international tours (currently New Zealand and Australia).
Opening night festivities for Yes, Prime Minister will be sponsored by Napa Valley Grille, Audi of America, Malibu Family Wines and Los Angeles magazine. Post-show reception will be at Napa Valley Grille.
Special events during the run include the Geffen’s Signature Series for no additional cost to ticket-holders. These evenings include:
Talk Back Tuesdays – June 18 & 25, July 2 & 9, 2013
Enjoy complimentary Peet’s Coffee & Tea before the show in the Gil Cates Theater lobby starting at 7:00 pm and dig deeper into plot, characters and themes with Geffen artists post-performance. It’s interactive, intellectual and thought-provoking.
Girls Night Out – June 20, 2013:
Grab friends or bring a date and turn your ordinary Thursday evening into a scintillating, one-of-a-kind night out. This post show party held at the Geffen Playhouse will feature not one but two fashion retailers. Le Fashion Truck and J.D. Luxe are teaming up together to bring a shop ‘til you drop night to remember. Plus no Girls Night Out event would be complete without our photo booth, hosted wine bar from Martian Ranch & Vineyard wines, delicious food from Ronen Levy Events and Krol Vodka signature cocktails. Plus a take-away gift bag from Pixi Beauty and Luna.
Lounge Fridays – June 28 & July 5 2013:
Ease into your weekend with an enticing cultural happy hour, hosted by LAArtsOnline.com! Enjoy complimentary tray passed champagne, cider & other sparkling beverages in the Gil Cates Theater lobby during this festive, pre-show reception.
Wine Down Sundays – June 16, 23, 30, July 7 & 14, 2013
Marvelous ambiance enhances the mood Sunday nights with complimentary pre-show wine sampling in the Gil Cates Theater lobby courtesy of Domaines Paul Mas, high quality, high value French wines from across the esteemed Languedoc region. Plus media partner 100.3 FM The Sound spinning classic vinyl live.
For more information in regards to each of these signature evenings please view:
YES, PRIME MINISTER
Written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn
Directed by Jonathan Lynn
Opening Night: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Closing Night: Sunday, July 14, 2013
Ron Bottitta as TV Cameraman
Stephen Caffrey as BBC Presenter
Brian George as The Kumranistani Ambassador
Sasha Higgins as TV Floor Manager
Dakin Matthews as Sir Humphrey Appleby, Cabinet Secretary
Jefferson Mays as Bernard Woolley, Principal Private Secretary
Michael McKean as Jim Hacker, The Prime Minister
Matthew Floyd Miller as TV Cameraman
Tara Summers as Claire Sutton, Special Policy Advisor
Time Winters as The Director General of the BBC
Monday No performances
Tuesday – Friday 8:00pm
Saturday 3:00pm; 8:00pm
Sunday 2:00pm; 7:00pm
Ticket prices currently range from $47 to $77. Tickets are available in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, via phone at 310-208-5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org.
RON BOTTITTA (TV CAMERAMAN)
Ron was last seen at the Geffen as the heroic Russian entrepreneur Max Tarasov in Tracy Letts' Superior Donuts. Other L.A. stage credits include the recent American premiere of Rank at The Odyssey, Theatre in the Dark, The Arsonists and How the Other Half Loves also at The Odyssey, The Elephant Man at Theatre 68, and as a company member at Rogue Machine Theatre: A Bright New Boise, Monkey Adored, The Sunset Limited, Half of Plenty and Razorback. He's also the perennial host ofRant and Rave, Rogue Machine's monthly spoken-word performance series. Recent Film: The Den, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Adventures of Tintin, Chekhov and Maria, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Going the Distance, The Social Network, Hereafter and A Christmas Carol. TV: Elementary, Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order: LA, NCIS, Cold Case, and Lost. Training: MFA-NYU, BA-UC Berkeley. Married to actress Holly Fulger, Danny and Sasha’s dad, aviator, motorcyclist, member of The Iron Butt Association.
STEPHEN CAFFREY (BBC PRESENTER)
Theater credits include: Red (Playmakers), Galileo (Cleveland Playhouse), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Portland Centre Stage), Victoria Musica (Cincinnati Playhouse), King Lear and Autumn Garden (Anteaus), The Constant Wife (Pasadena Playhouse), Bach at Liepzig (South Coast Repertory), Heartbreak House (Berkeley Repertory), The Voysey Inheritence, The Real Thing, A Doll’s House (A.C.T. San Francisco), Thirty Six View (Laguna Playhouse), The Body of Bourne (Mark Taper Forum), All’s Well That Ends Well (Shakespeare Santa Cruz), Bargains (The Old Globe), The Miser (Hartford Stage), I Hate Hamlet (The Royal George), What You Get and What You Expect (New York Theatre Workshop), Scarlett Letter (Classic Stage) and Restoration Comedy (Seattle Repertory). Film and Television: Cinema Verite (HBO), CSI Miami, Tour Of Duty (series regular), Longtime Companion, Chicago Hope, Buried Alive, The Profiler, Indiana Jones Chronicles, Nothing Lasts Forever, Blowback and Murder of Innocence. Stephen is a member of Actors’ Equity.
BRIAN GEORGE (THE KUMRANISTANI AMBASSADOR)
Brian George started his professional acting career in Canada, where he co-founded the Bear Theater Company with friends from the University of Toronto. A few years later, he was brought in to perform with the cast of Second City, alongside Catherine O’Hara and Martin Short. He has performed in countless television sitcoms and dramas, among them Seinfeld, Star Trek, Grey’s Anatomy, Secret Life of the American Teen and The Big Bang Theory. On stage he appeared in the Kirk Douglas Theater’s opening production of Charles Mee’s A Perfect Wedding and in David Hare’s Stuff Happens at the Mark Taper Forum.
SASHA HIGGINS (TV FLOOR MANAGER)
Los Angeles theater work includes Cages (The Matrix), Kowalski (Two Roads Theater), The Christmas Present (Sacred Fools) and Build (Geffen Playhouse). New York Off-Broadway: Mean Time (workshopped at the Vineyard Theater and New York Theater Workshop), Seven Ways to Mourn the Dead (MCC Playlab) and London Cries (Old Vic/Irondale Ensemble Production). In London, on the West End, she appeared as Miranda in The Tempest (at the Barbican) and off West End in The Dresser (Watford Palace). Radio: The Tempest for the BBC. Film/TV: Dark Fields (Lionsgate/Showtime), Monday Morning, Dead Men and the upcoming feature The Badger Game. Sasha attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.
DAKIN MATTHEWS (SIR HUMPHREY APPLEBY)
Broadway: The Best Man, Man for All Seasons, Henry IV (Bayfield, Drama Desk Awards). Other NY: All’s Well, Measure for Measure (Shakespeare in the Park); Winter’s Tale, Cherry Orchard (Bridge Project at BAM and World Tour); Freedomland (Playwrights Horizons); Where’s Charley? (Encores); The Hostage, School for Scandal, Women Beware Women (The Acting Company). Center Theatre Group: 15 productions including The Nether, History Boys, Stuff Happens, Water & Power, The Real Thing and Hedda Gabler. Other L.A.: Misalliance, Major Barbara, Shadowlands (SCR); Much Ado, Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Center); King Lear, Mercadet (Antaeus); Prince of L.A., The Liar, San Fran Scapin (Andak). Regional: 250 productions. Film: 25 films including Lincoln, True Grit, Zero Charisma, White Mile, And the Band Played On, Nuts, Clean and Sober. TV: 250 episodes, regular and recurring roles in 13 series, including recently King of Queens, Gilmore Girls, and Desperate Housewives.
JEFFERSON MAYS (BERNARD WOOLLEY)
Broadway: The Best Man, I Am My Own Wife, Pygmalion, Journey’s End and Of Thee I Sing. Off-Broadway: Blood & Gifts, Measure for Measure, Lydie Breeze, Quills and Orestes. Regional: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, My Fair Lady, Quartermaine’s Terms, Misalliance, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Importance of Being Earnest, The Cherry Orchard, Tartuffe, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Hamlet, Miss Julie, Private Lives, Triumph of Love, The Show Off, She Stoops to Conquer, The Winter’s Tale and Peter Pan. Film and Television credits include: Alfie, Kinsey, The Notorious Bettie Page, Cousin Bette, The Good Wife, Mildred Pierce, Detroit, 1-8- 7, Lie to Me, Fringe, Law & Order, Nurse Jackie, The Closer and Dolley Madison. Awards include: Tony, Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, Obies, Outer Critic’s Circle, Helen Hayes, Elliot Norton, Theatre World, Drama League, Jefferson, Drama-logue and Helpmann. Education: Yale College, BA; UCSD, MFA.
MICHAEL McKEAN (JIM HACKER)
Los Angeles theater credits include: Randy Newman’s Harps and Angels (Taper) and Rupert Holmes’ Accomplice (Pasadena Playhouse). New York: Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, King Lear, Our Town, Superior Donuts, The Homecoming, The Pajama Game, Woody Allen’s A Second Hand Memory and Hairspray. Film credits include: This is Spinal Tap, Clue, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Whatever Works, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, The Brady Bunch Movie and The Words. TV credits include: Family Tree (HBO), Homeland, Law & Order SVU, Castle, Happy Endings, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sesame Street, Saturday Night Live, Laverne & Shirley, The X-Files and Smallville. He is the first million dollar Celebrity Jeopardy champion. Awards: Theatre World Award for Accomplice on Broadway; Grammy for title song A Mighty Wind, written with Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy; Oscar nomination for Best Song A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow, written with Annette O’Toole.
MATTHEW FLOYD MILLER (TV CAMERAMAN)
Broadway: Not About Nightingales, dir.Trevor Nunn (Circle in the Square); The Invention of Love (Lincoln Center Theatre). Off-Broadway: Another Part of the Forest(Peccadillo Theatre Co.); Of Mice and Men (Urban Stages); Letters From Cuba(Signature Theatre Co.); The Seagull (NYU Director’s Lab). Regional Highlights: The 39 Steps (Ensemble Theatre Co.); Noises Off (La Mirada Theater Center); Private Lives (Rubicon Theatre/Laguna Playhouse);Tom Stoppard’s Rock‘n Roll, The Pillowman, The Underpants (ACT-Seattle); Hysteria (Wilma Theatre); Around the World in Eighty Days (San Jose Rep./Laguna Playhouse); This Wonderful Life(Portland Center Stage); A Prayer For Owen Meany (U.S. premiere, Playmaker’s Repertory); Theophilus North (world premiere, Arena Stage/Geva Theatre Center);Desire Under The Elms (Dean Goodman Award, San Jose Rep.); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Old Globe); The Tempest (Playmaker’s Rep.); TV/Film: Major Crimes; Criminal Minds; Law & Order; Pop Rocks (Audience Award, Breckenridge Film Festival); All Good Things; End of the Line. Training: NYU Graduate Acting. He is delighted to be making his Geffen debut — thanks to Phyllis and Suzanne
TARA SUMMERS (CLAIRE SUTTON)
British Actress, Tara Summers is perhaps best known for her role as Katie Lloyd on David E. Kelley’s hugely successful series Boston Legal. She has done numerous arcs on other critically acclaimed shows such as Damages, Ringer and Sons of Anarchy. Past film and television credits include Hitchcock, Private Practice, Factory Girl, Alfie, Dirt and What a Girl Wants. Most recently, Tara starred opposite Greg Kinnear in the pilot Rake, directed by Sam Raimi. The pilot has just been picked up to series and will air in the spring on Fox. Tara wrote, produced and starred in a one-woman autobiographical show, Gypsy of Chelsea. She performed the play at the Royal Court Theatre (London), Studio 54 (NY) and the Hudson (Los Angeles). An alumna of Brown University where she received a BA in History, Tara trained at the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill, Connecticut and has an MFA in Acting from L.A.M.D.A. She currently resides in Venice, CA .
TIME WINTERS (THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF THE BBC, JEREMY BURNHAM)
Time has appeared on Broadway and in legion theatres regionally, including Camelot (National Tour with Michael York and Lou Diamond Phillips) and Amadeus. Local theater credits include: Cymbeline and The Beaux Stratagem (A Noise Within), The Merchant of Venice (Banshee Theatre), The Good Book of Pedantry and Wonder (Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle nominee) and How to Disappear Completely (Theatre @ Boston Court), How the World Began (South Coast Repertory), Holmes in Sherlock’s Last Case (Colony Theatre), The Good Doctor (Pasadena Playhouse) and many others. Film appearances include: Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie, Sweet Talk, The Runaways, The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Nosferatu L.A., Little Princess, Doc Hollywood, Defending Your Life, Sneakers, Gremlins 2 and more. Guest starred on Television’s Southland, Criminal Minds, Big Love, Carnivale, Ghost Whisperer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ER, Star Trek: The Next Generation and more. He is married to the brilliant actress Tracy Winters.
ANTONY JAY (Playwright)
Sir Antony Jay has enjoyed a distinguished career as writer, broadcaster and producer. He was a founder member and became editor of the BBC’s legendary Tonight program and is founder-editor of The Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations and author of Elizabeth R and two acclaimed documentaries on the royal family. He is a commander of the Royal Victorian Order. His books include two management classics Management and Machiavelli and Corporation Man. Antony Jay co-founded (with John Cleese) Video Arts Ltd and was chairman from 1972 to 1989. The company won over 100 national and international awards for its comedy training films and won the Queen’s Award to Industry in 1982. Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay’s BAFTA Award-winning political comedy Yes Minister first aired on BBC2 in 1980 and ran until 1984 (three series). The sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, ran from 1986 until 1988 (two series). Both series are now released in their entirety on BBC DVD. Lynn and Jay also wrote three novels, The Complete Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, volumes one and two; which cumulatively sold more than one million copies in hardback, were on the British top 10 bestseller list for three years and have been translated into numerous languages.
JONATHAN LYNN (Playwright and Director)
Lynn’s West End theater debut, aged 23, was as Motel the Tailor in the original London cast of Fiddler on the Roof. London directing credits include: The Glass Menagerie working with Tennessee Williams; Songbook (Best Musical, Society of West End Theatres Award and Evening Standard Award); Anna Christie (RSC, Stratford and the Donmar); Joe Orton’s Loot; Pass The Butler by Eric Idle, Shaw’s Arms And The Man and The Gingerbread Man (Old Vic, two successive Christmas seasons). At the National Theatre, Lynn directed A Little Hotel on the Side by Georges Feydeau and Three Men on A Horse (Society of West End Theatres Award, Best Comedy). As artistic director of the Cambridge Theatre Company, Lynn directed 20 productions, producing 20 others, 9 of which transferred to the West End. Film directing includes the cult classic Clue (also wrote the screenplay), Nuns on the Run (also written by Lynn), My Cousin Vinny, The Distinguished Gentleman, Sgt. Bilko, Greedy, Trial And Error, The Whole Nine Yards, The Fighting Temptations and most recently, Wild Target. For television, Lynn’s writing credits include dozens of episodes of various comedy series, creating and starring My Brother’s Keeper and the phenomenally successful, multi-award-winning BBC series Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, co-written and created with Antony Jay. Lynn authored The Complete Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister Volumes I and II, which cumulatively sold more than a million copies in hardback and have been translated into numerous languages and are still in print nearly 30 years later. His new book, Comedy Rules (Faber and Faber) received rave reviews. Lynn received an MA in Law from Cambridge University and describes himself as a recovering lawyer.
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 second productions, 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 was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by 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.