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News in the Audrey: Switzerland Extends, Original New York Cast Announced for Murder for Two

NEWS ABOUT PRODUCTIONS IN THE
GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE’S AUDREY SKIRBALL KENIS THEATER

FINAL EXTENSION ANNOUNCED FOR SWITZERLAND
EIGHT PERFORMANCES ADDED; MUST CLOSE APRIL 26

ORIGINAL NEW YORK CAST JEFF BLUMENKRANTZ AND BRETT RYBACK
ANNOUNCED FOR THE OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL HIT MURDER FOR TWO
MAY 26 TO JULY 5; PRESS OPENING JUNE 3

LOS ANGELES (April 2, 2015) – Joanna Murray-Smith’s Switzerland – already extended one week – will extend yet another eight performances by popular demand with a final closing date of April 26, 2015. A world premiere with the Sydney Theatre Company, Switzerland is a Los Angeles Times Arts Editors’ “Essential Arts and Culture” Pick and features Laura Linney (Broadway World said she is “pure gold”) and Seth Numrich (called “outstanding” by the Los Angeles Times).

Director Mark Brokaw’s production has been named by the LA Weekly as a “GO!” Brokaw is also currently represented in Los Angeles at Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Theatre with the national tour of his Broadway production of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Switzerland’s final closing date is now confirmed as April 26, 2015. Courtesy of Laura Linney and Seth Numrich, net proceeds from one of the closing week’s performances will be donated to other not-for-profit organizations including Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.

Patricia Highsmith, best known for her murderous Tom Ripley character and novels, is the fourth literary figure to receive an extended run in the Audrey. The prior three, Charles Dickens, Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy, were all included in Scott Carter’s 2014 hit (and first play in this Audrey Skirball Kenis Season) Discord, which extended five weeks before closing last December.

A shared literary theme will give way to murderous one with a clever and funny take. The original New York cast of the Off-Broadway hit musical, Murder for Two, arrives in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater soon after the close of Switzerland. Jeff Blumenkrantz and Brett Ryback will perform as an, “ingenious … snazzy vaudevillian double act,” (The New York Times) in what The New York Observer called a, “hilarious musical whodunit.” Murder for Two runs from May 26 through July 5, 2015 in the intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse. The press opening is Wednesday, June 3.

Everyone is a suspect in Murder For Two, a hilarious musical murder mystery with a twist: one actor investigates the crime, the other plays all of the suspects and they both play the piano! A zany blend of classic musical comedy and madcap mystery, this 90-minute whodunit is a highly theatrical duet loaded with killer laughs.

Featuring book and music by Joe Kinosian, book and lyrics by Kellen Blair and direction by Scott Schwartz, Roma Torre from NY1 calls Murder for Two a, “90-minute jolt of caffeinated creativity.”

Murder for Two stars Jeff Blumenkrantz as The Suspects, and Brett Ryback as Marcus. Blumenkrantz performed on Broadway in Into the Woods (1987), Threepenny Opera (1989), Damn Yankees (1994), How to Succeed in Business… (1995), and A Class Act (2001), as well as Off-Broadway in Murder for Two (Lortel Award nomination) and in the City Center Encores production of Anyone Can Whistle. His regional theater credits include productions at La Jolla Playhouse, Old Globe, Kennedy Center, Long Wharf, and Asolo. On camera, Jeff can be seen in 30 Rock, The Good Wife, Ugly Betty, Joseph … Dreamcoat, Will and Grace, Law & Order, and the PBS telecasts of the New York Philharmonic concerts of Sweeney Todd and Candide. Also a musical theater composer/lyricist, Jeff received a Tony Award nomination as one of the co-writers of the score of Urban Cowboy. He is the recipient of the 2011 Fred Ebb Award as well as commissions from Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Guggenheim Works and Process. Most recently, he released a CD titled I’ve Been Played: Alysha Umphress Swings Jeff Blumenkrantz, featuring his jazz songs and arrangements. His songs have been recorded by Audra McDonald, Sutton Foster, Rebecca Luker, and Victoria Clark, among others. To hear Jeff’s music, check out The Jeff Blumenkrantz Songbook Podcast by visiting either iTunes or jeffblumenkrantz.com.

Brett Ryback is an actor, composer, and playwright based in Los Angeles. He originated the role of Marcus Off-Broadway in Murder for Two at Second Stage and New World Stages. His recent TV/Film appearances include: Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, House, and the Coen Brother’s upcoming film, Hail, Caesar! Regional theatre credits include: The History Boys (Ahmanson); The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Mark Taper Forum); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Little Shop of Horrors, Broadway Bound (La Mirada); and the world premieres of The Prince of Atlantis, Dr. Cerberus (South Coast Rep), and Upright Grand (Theatreworks, Palo Alto). His plays and musicals include: Liberty Inn: The Musical (Ovation nominations Best Book, Best Music/Lyrics); Darling (Weston Playhouse New Musical Award, Featured on NBC’s “The Apprentice”); The Tavern Keeper’s Daughter (Best Musical, Pasadena Weekly), and The Many Selves of Mia Scott. He was commissioned to write music for Just a Little Critter Musical for First Stage Milwaukee, which will premiere in February 2016, and this past winter he was invited to participate in the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed to develop his latest project Passing Through. www.brettryback.com

Produced by Jayson Raitt, Barbara Whitman, Steven Chaikelson and Second Stage Theatre, Murder For Two first played New York in a limited summer engagement at Second Stage Theatre Uptown (Carole Rothman, Artistic Director, Casey Reitz, Executive Director and Christopher Burney, Curator and Associate Artistic Director) in the summer of 2013. It was extended twice, due to popular demand, before transferring to New World Stages for an eight-month run through June 2014.

Tickets are available in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, via phone at 310.208.5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org.

LOCATION
Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024
www.geffenplayhouse.org or 310.208.5454

SWITZERLAND PEFORMANCE DATES
Now through April 26, 2015

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Monday No performance*
Tuesday – Friday 8:00pm
Saturday 3:00pm; 8:00pm
Sunday 2:00pm; 7:00pm

MURDER FOR TWO PERFORMANCE DATES
May 26 – July 5, 2015
Previews: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 – Tuesday June 2, 2015
Opening Night: Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Closing Night: Sunday, July 5, 2015

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Monday No performance*
Tuesday – Friday 8:00pm
Saturday 3:00pm; 8:00pm
Sunday 2:00pm; 7:00pm
*There will be no performance on 6/17/15 and an 8:00pm Monday performance on 6/15/15.

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets are available in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, via phone at 310.208.5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org. Fees may apply.

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, Interim Managing Director Gil Cates Jr., and Co-Chairs of the Board Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson Hollander. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen 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 www.geffenplayhouse.org.

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