Aja Naomi King in L.A. Theatre Works' audio-theatre production of "The Mountaintop" by Katori Hall.

L.A. Theatre Works 2017-18 Season to Feature “I Love Lucy” Play

The Los Angeles audio theatre producer will present a new play by Gregg Oppenheimer, about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

LOS ANGELES: L.A. Theatre Works has announced its 2017-18 season, comprised of seven audio-theatre productions. The productions will be recorded in front of a live audience, to be distributed later online and via radio. It will include two world premiere plays, including an adaptation of George Elliot’s novel Daniel Deronda, and a play about the making of “I Love Lucy.”

Kicking off the season will be a special benefit performance of LATW’s acclaimed national touring production of Judgement at Nuremberg by Abby Mann, about the Nazi trials after World War II (Sept. 27). The play toured to 19 cities in 2016-17.

Next will be Watch on the Rhine by Lillian Hellman and directed by Rosalind Avres (Oct. 12–15). Watch on the Rhine is set in Washington D.C. on the brink of U.S. involvement in World War II. Golden Globe-winner Marsha Mason will reprise the role of Fanny, which she performed in last season at Arena Stage in D.C.

After that will be the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis (Nov. 16 – 19). The play tells the story of an ex-cop and his ex-con son who are barely holding onto one of the last great rent-stabilized apartments in Manhattan. The production will feature Seamus Dever.

Next will be The Goodbye Girl by Neil Simon, directed by Marsha Mason (Jan. 25–28, 2018). Mason starred in the original Golden Globe-winning romantic comedy, about a single mom and her daughter who must welcome a new roommate into their apartment.

Then LATW will present the world premiere of Daniel Deronda (March 15-18, 2018). The play is a commission from the theatre and is based on George Elliot’s controversial novel. The play will be adapted and directed by Kate McAll and will feature Joanne Whalley.

After that will be Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar (April 19–22, 2018). The Pulitzer-winning play is about Muslim identity in modern America. Disgraced will be directed by Brian Kite and will feature Behzad Dabu and Emily Swallow.

Next will be Spill by Leigh Fondakowski (May 17-20, 2018). The play is about the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. It will be directed by Martin Jarvis and will feature Jane Kaczmarek.

The second world premiere will be I Love Lucy: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom by Gregg Oppenheimer (July 12–15, 2018). Oppenheimer is the son of “I Love Lucy” creator/producer/head writer Jess Oppenheimer, and is an expert about the show. The play tells the story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and how they created the popular television show.

In addition to the mainstage productions, LATW will also present a national tour of The Mountaintop by Katori Hall (Jan. 12-April 23, 2018), to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. The play takes place the night before King’s death.

L.A. Theatre Works aims to make great theatre widely accessible and affordable. They record their plays in front of a live audience and the recordings are syndicated weekly on public radio stations across the U.S., and heard daily in China and worldwide on the Radio Beijing Network. The recordings can also be downloaded as a podcast via iTunes and NPR One, and can be streamed at www.latw.org.

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