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Geffen Playhouse Announces 2017/2018 Season Preview

GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE PREVIEWS ITS 2017/2018 SEASON

SEASON INCLUDES THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “CHASING MEM’RIES: A DIFFERENT KIND OF MUSICAL;” THE WEST COAST PREMIERES OF “A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY,” “THE WAY WE GET BY,” AND “SELL/BUY/DATE;” AND THE LOS ANGELES PREMIERE OF “SKELETON CREW”

FEATURING WORKS BY ACCLAIMED PLAYWRIGHTS NEIL LaBUTE, SARAH JONES, HALLEY FEIFFER, JOSHUA RAVETCH AND DOMINIQUE MORISSEAU

LOS ANGELES (February 22, 2017) – The Geffen Playhouse today announced five plays in its 2017/2018 season with a focus on staging works by emerging contemporary playwrights and celebrated veteran writers.

The season begins with the West Coast Premieres of Halley Feiffer’s Off-Broadway smash hit comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City in the Gil Cates Theater and renowned writer Neil LaBute’s The Way We Get By, his seventh play at the Geffen, in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater.

Following that, the Geffen will present in the Cates theater the World Premiere of Chasing Mem’ries: A Different Kind of Musical, written and directed by Joshua Ravetch with music from legendary songwriters Alan & Marilyn Bergman, starring Tyne Daly and Robert Forster; and the Los Angeles Premiere of Skeleton Crew, the final installment in Dominique Morisseau’s award-winning three-play cycle, The Detroit Projects. The West Coast Premiere of Sell/Buy/Date, Tony Award-winner Sarah Jones’s timely and provocative one-woman play, will debut in the Audrey theater.

Three additional plays are still to be announced.

“In their own ways, each of these stories asks questions about whom and how we love,” said Randall Arney, Artistic Director of the Geffen Playhouse. “In a time when the world seems laser-focused on that which divides us, what better way to examine the human condition than through the ties that bind?”

Added Gil Cates, Jr., Executive Director of the Geffen Playhouse, “All great plays start with great writing, and Randy Arney has put together a collection of plays from writers whose fresh voices will resonate with a diverse and modern audience.”

The Geffen Playhouse 2017/2018 season is currently available by subscription only. For more information and to purchase a subscription, please call 310.882.6533. Single tickets for all 2017/2018 season productions will be available this summer at www.geffenplayhouse.org.

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY
WEST COAST PREMIERE
Written by Halley Feiffer

Sitting bedside at Memorial Sloan Kettering has never been so entertaining. While their ailing mothers share a hospital room, Karla and Don discover truth in the old cliché that opposites attract…and repel…and attract.

Halley Feiffer
Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Halley Feiffer has emerged in recent years as a fresh comedic talent and an exciting new voice. Winsome and biting by turns, her work has been a critical and audience favorite in New York’s last two theater seasons, with I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard breaking box office records at the Atlantic Theater Company in 2015 and New York Times Critics’ Pick A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center premiering at MCC Theater in 2016. Feiffer has been commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Williamstown Theatre Festival and Manhattan Theatre Club.

THE WAY WE GET BY
WEST COAST PREMIERE
Written by Neil LaBute

Complete with the humor, confusion and excitement that follows great sex, Neil LaBute’s surprisingly sweet comedy brings us Beth and Doug, an unlikely pair who struggle to find common ground in a truly uncommon conundrum.

Neil LaBute
With six previous productions on our stages (Reasons to be Pretty, Fat Pig, Some Girl(s), Wrecks, The Break of Noon and an adaptation of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie), Neil LaBute has been a favorite playwright at the Geffen Playhouse for many years. One of the most lauded contemporary writers in America, he has been nominated for numerous Tony, Drama Desk and Lortel Awards, winning an Outer Critics Circle Award for Fat Pig and an induction onto the famed Playwrights’ Sidewalk in front of the Lucille Lortel Theatre. The smart, sexy and even hopeful The Way We Get By marks a shift from his famed interrogations of masculine psychopathology toward a much more tender examination of the pitfalls and possibilities of love.

CHASING MEM'RIES: A DIFFERENT KIND OF MUSICAL
WORLD PREMIERE
Written & Directed by Joshua Ravetch
Lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman
Music by Bill Cantos & Mari Falcone, Dave Grusin, Marvin Hamlisch, Michel Legrand and Johnny Mandel
Featuring Tyne Daly and Robert Forster

In this bittersweet world premiere filled with the music of beloved songwriters Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Tyne Daly stars as a woman not quite ready to let go of the life she’s loved and the love of her life.

Joshua Ravetch
Perhaps best known for such illustrious artistic collaborations as Carrie Fisher’s Wishful Drinking (which he directed at the Geffen Playhouse in 2006), Joshua Ravetch has long been a member of the Geffen family. He now makes his return as both a writer and director with Chasing Mem’ries, a beautiful ode to love, nostalgia and our resistance to the passage of time. This different kind of musical is an exciting collaboration with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, songwriters who have long enriched the American—and Hollywood—songbook with such classics as “The Way We Were,” “In the Heat of the Night” (recorded by Ray Charles), “That Face,” “You Must Believe in Spring” and “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?”

SKELETON CREW
LOS ANGELES PREMIERE
Written by Dominique Morisseau

It’s 2008 and the employees of a Detroit auto factory are facing an uncertain future. As a family of co-workers navigates economic instability, this stirring play examines the ways in which loyalty and love shape every decision we make.

Dominique Morisseau
Recently named a finalist for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Dominique Morisseau writes with expansive ambition while keeping her stories extraordinarily intimate. Skeleton Crew marks the final play in her celebrated trilogy The Detroit Projects, each play of which explores a moment on the precipice of change in Morisseau’s Michigan hometown. With a deep focus on the beauties and challenges of building and maintaining a community and on shining a light on stories not commonly told, Morisseau’s writing is strong, vivid, empathetic and incredibly specific to the time and place of her setting. Nationally recognized as one of our most vital contemporary dramatists, she received both the 2014 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama and a 2015 Steinberg Playwright Award.

SELL/BUY/DATE
WEST COAST PREMIERE
Written by Sarah Jones

In her new solo show, Tony Award-winning writer/performer and true chameleon comedian Sarah Jones brings to life an entire cast of characters, all of whom have something to say about gender, sex work and the time in which we are living.

Sarah Jones
A gifted writer and performer, Sarah Jones approaches the creation of characters with virtuosic flair, introducing us to more than a dozen in Sell/Buy/Date with incredible distinctness and piercing specificity. Jones is best known for her multi-character, one-person Broadway hit Bridge & Tunnel, for which she won an Obie Award and a special Tony Award. The fearless, clever and often hilarious New York Times Critics’ Pick Sell/Buy/Date examines gender roles, sex work and the progress we stand to make through the lens of everyone from a grad student hosting feminist pole-dancing parties on the side to a reformed pimp exploring cognitive behavioral therapy.

OPENING NIGHT SPONSORS
Audi of America
City National Bank
Hint
Kind

SIGNATURE SERIES
Each production in the 2017/2018 season will feature the Geffen’s Signature Series events Talk Back Tuesdays, Girls Night Out, Lounge Fridays and Wine Down Sundays. Thanks to the support of Geffen Playhouse partners and sponsors, all elements of Signature Series evenings are complimentary as part of the ticket price.

· TALK BACK TUESDAYS
Talk Back Tuesdays give theater lovers a chance for a deeper conversation to discuss plot, character themes or any other questions directly with the artists with a post-show Q&A from the stage.

· GIRLS NIGHT OUT
It’s a globally accepted piece of pop-culture that girls just wanna have fun and this Signature Series was designed with that in mind, although gentlemen are welcome to join. These unique events only happen once during each Gil Cates Theater production, and every Girls Night Out features partnerships with different lifestyle experts, brands or products that keep patrons on the cusp of what’s hot in LA. Each night features different partners ranging from private shopping events to showcasing the latest beauty trends, but every Girls Night Out promises a festive evening of theater followed by a unique party complete with complimentary signature drinks, delectable buffets and the popular GNO photo booth.

· LOUNGE FRIDAYS
Happy hour Lounge Fridays turn the Geffen Playhouse into a haven to help fast-paced Angelenos ease into their weekend and unwind. Complimentary sparkling joins other enticing refreshments starting at 7:00 p.m. with eclectic jams from DJ Mike on the courtyard patio. Sponsored by LAArtsOnline.com.

· WINE DOWN SUNDAYS
Wine Down Sundays provides the perfect pairing – pre-performance wine sampling followed by a 7:00 p.m. curtain time to close out the week. These evenings feature different vintages for each production, so patrons who come regularly will discover a new wine brand before their theatrical experience.

COLLEGE AUDIENCES
Through a variety of events and other opportunities, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes college students to experience the live storytelling presented on our stages. We are proud of our association with UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television, and open our doors to all college students throughout Los Angeles. More information is available at www.geffenplayhouse.org/college.

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ABOUT GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
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 not-for-profit organization 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, Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr., and Co-Chairs of the Board Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains extensive education and community engagement programs, designed to involve underserved young people and the community at large in the arts. www.geffenplayhouse.org.

Media Contact
Ashley Bodul, Geffen Playhouse

310.208.6500 Ext. 159