David Mamet's Oleanna opens to the press on Friday night at the Taper. This is not the theater's first attempt to do this play about a charge of sexual harassment between a presumptuous male college professor and his academically challenged but aggressive female student. In 1994, the Taper wanted to produce the play with Jack Lemmon. Mamet, who was also slated to direct, wanted an actor he had already worked with, Lionel Mark Smith. After an in-house "reading" of the play, which Mamet and Smith took to be an audition, Mamet pulled the play from the Taper and staged it at the now defunct 99-seat Tiffany Theatre, on Sunset Boulevard. Time heals some wounds, however, and the play premieres at the Taper with Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles. Doug Hughes directs. Photo By Craig Schwartz
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June 7: The Power of Birds by Robin Rice Lichtig "A Young Girl is captivated by her father's flights of fancy in this dreamscape drama bout family, navigating new terrain, and learning to love what sets you free." 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Boulevard, Topanga (310) 455-3723 or http://theatricum.com
THEATRE WEST READINGS
At Theatre West on June 9, 8 p.m., a reading of Petain, written and directed by Lloyd J. Schwartz. The two-act historical drama concerns Marshal Petain, a French general in World War I and the hero of the Battle of Verdun. "In World War II, he was President of France and collaborated with Hitler, and was a traitor. He always believed that his mission was to save French lives. He did that for his soldiers. As President of Vichy France, he did that by sacrificing the Jews." Cast: Andrew Parks, Bridget Hanley, Adam Conger. Theater West, 3333 Cahuenga Boulevard West (on the Valley side of the Cahuenga Pass). (323) 851-7977.