Los Angeles’s Mark Taper Forum will kick off its 2014 season with Christopher Durang’s Tony-winning play Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, followed by a handful of exciting shows that will bring some grade-A drama and comedy to the Center Theatre Group.
Vanya and Sonia will play the Forum from January 29 through March 9, 2014. Directed by Nicholas Martin, the play takes a hilarious look at sibling rivalry and family reunions, set in a homey country house in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The acclaimed Broadway production recently played its final performance on August 25; casting for the Forum production has not yet been announced.
Next up: the world premiere production of the Kansas City Repertory Theatre/La Jolla Playhouse’s The Tallest Tree in the Forest, directed by Moises Kaufman and written/performed by Daniel Beaty. The play with music tells the story of Paul Robeson, a minister’s son whose achievements in life despite indignant oppression led to his becoming the voice of millions. The show runs from April 15 through May 25.
The Last Confession, a searing drama about a papal scandal and the witnesses who recount it, will run from June 7 through July 6. Written by Roger Crane and directed by Jonathan Church, the U.S. premiere of this provocative thriller stars Tony nominee David Suchet and Tony winner Brian Bedford.
Michael Urie reprises his acclaimed one-man show Buyer & Cellar, which explores the life of a clerk for a certain celebrity (named Barbra) with an extensive warehouse of collected treasures under her Malibu residence. The Jonathan Tolins-penned comedy, which is currently enjoying an extended run at the Barrow Street Theatre, will get an L.A. premiere from July 9 through August 17.
Tony winner Pam MacKinnon directs the world premiere of Jordan Harrison’s new drama Marjorie Prime, starring two-time Tony-nominated stage veteran Lois Smith as an 85-year-old woman presented with an incredible opportunity to change her life at an assisted living facility. The drama runs from September 10 through October 19.
From November 12 through December 21, the wild farce What The Butler Saw will slay audiences in a production directed by John Tillinger. Paxton Whitehead leads the cast of Joe Orton’s subversive comedic classic about mistaken identity, manic action, disappearing clothes and characters with raging libidos.
The Mark Taper Forum will also present two bonus options for season ticket holders to get an early jump on: Matthew Bourne’s ballet adaptation of Sleeping Beauty, with music by Tchaikovsky, running from November 21 through December 1; and Christopher Plummer’s celebrated one-man show A Word or Two, directed by Des McAnuff. Plummer’s poetic achievement will be presented in association with the Stratford Festival of Canada from January 19 through February 9.