Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse will launch its 2018–2019 season—the first under the leadership of Artistic Director Matt Shakman, with the world premiere of José Rivera’s The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona. Performances will run September 4–October 7 at the Gil Cates Theater.
Oscar nominee Rivera’s new play is a technology-driven take on the Orpheus myth and follows a woman who, after losing her twin sister, is given the opportunity to communicate with the dead, leading to a journey through a surprising afterlife universe.
The lineup also includes the world premiere of Tony winner Jefferson Mays’ adaptation of A Christmas Carol, in which he’ll perform a variety of parts (as he did on Broadway in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder). Performances will run October 30–December 2. The West Coast premiere of Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole will follow February 5–March 10, 2019. The Colman Domingo and Patricia McGregor (who also directs) piece will star Dulé Hill and Daniel J. Watts as Cole and Sammy Davis Jr., respectively
A new adaptation of Antigone, helmed by Sweat director Kate Whoriskey, will run April 9–May 12. Rounding out the Gil Cates season is the world premiere of Mysterious Circumstances, a Geffen commission from Michael Mitnick (June 11–July 14).
Meanwhile, the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater will begin September 10 with Echo Theater Company’s production of The Cake, with Debra Jo Rupp reprising her performance as Della, a southern baker asked to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding. Jennifer Chambers directs the Bekah Brunstetter play, which will also feature Joe Hart, Morrison Keddie, Shannon Lucio, and Carolyn Ratteray.
Tony winner Brian Dennehy will star in a double-bill of Hughie and Krapp’s Last Tape, running November 5–December 16. Two world premieres will follow: Inda Craig-Galván’s Black Super Hero Magic Mama, about a mother who grieves the death of her son, a victim of a police shooting, through retreating to a superhero-filed fantasy world (March 5–April 14, 2019), and magician Helder Guimarães’ Invisible Tango. The Frank Marshall-helmed solo show explores the virtues of mystery in a culture of over-sharing.
The current Geffen season continues with Sara Jones' Sell/Buy/Date, which began performances February 27. As recently announced, the world premiere of Amanda Peet's Our Very Own Carlin McCullough will replace the initially scheduled Fat Pig, by Neil LaBute.