Center Theatre Group has announced that Robert Egan is set to direct Jon Robin Baitz's immensely entertaining "Other Desert Cities" at the Mark Taper Forum. The play that received a 2012 Tony nomination for Best Play will be presented in its West Coast premiere at the Taper and will close out the Taper's 45th season at the Los Angeles Music Center.
Egan, who is the Artistic Director/Producer of the Ojai Playwrights Conference, returns to CTG, where he previously directed numerous productions and served as Producing Director for the Taper. Originally set as the director for "Other Desert Cities," Joe Mantello is no longer available due to a scheduling conflict.
The presentation of "Other Desert Cities" has changed by a week and will now run November 28, 2012, through January 6, 2013, with the opening set for December 9.
"Other Desert Cities" tells the story of a once promising novelist who returns home after a six year absence to spend the holidays with her parents, her brother and her aunt. When she announces that she is about to publish a memoir focusing on an explosive chapter in the family's history, the reunion is thrown into turmoil.
Ben Brantley of The New York Times said that "Other Desert Cities" is ". . . the most richly enjoyable new play for grown-ups that New York has known in many a season . . . In his most fully realized play to date, Mr. Baitz makes sure our sympathies keep shifting among the members of the wounded family portrayed here. Every one of them emerges as selfish, loving, cruel, compassionate, irritating, charming and just possibly heroic." Linda Winer of Newsday said that the play is "…a smart, juicy, gorgeously written family drama that knows individual psychology as keenly as it understands the world around it.. . ."
CTG has presented five Jon Robin Baitz's plays including "Dutch Landscape" (world premiere – 1988-1989 season), "The Substance of Fire" (1992-1993 season), "Three Hotels" (1994-1995 season) and "Ten Unknowns" directed by Robert Egan (2002-2003 season), all four productions at the Taper, and the world premiere of "The Paris Letter" (2004-2005 season) at CTG's Kirk Douglas Theatre. His other plays include "The Film Society," "The End of the Day," "A Fair Country," "Mizlansky/Zilinsky," and a new version of Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler" (for Broadway starring Kate Burton). He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist for "A Fair Country" and a Guggenheim, NEA and American Academy of Arts & Letters Award winner. His screenplays include "The Substance of Fire" and "People I Know" starring Al Pacino, both for Miramax. He created the ABC-TV drama "Brothers & Sisters" in 2006, after writing an episode of "The West Wing" ("The Long Goodbye").
Robert Egan is the Artistic Director/Producer of the acclaimed Ojai Playwrights Conference. Prior to Ojai he was the Producing Director of the Taper for 20 seasons, where he founded and produced 15 seasons of the New Work Festival and directed "Made in Bangkok," "Closer," "Hedda Gabler," "Arcadia" and Jon Robin Baitz's "Ten Unknowns," among many others. He is also the Founder and President of RHEgan Productions LLC and Eye Street Media where he has conceived, written, produced and directed major live events and media celebrating Cure Autism Now, Operation Smile, LA Team Mentoring, GlobAl Green USA and Homeboy Industries. Egan was recently named the Artistic Director/Producer of Watts Media, one of the nation's leading companies in strategizing and creating live events and media for corporations and non-profits across the country. Other directing and producing credits include major productions ranging from world premieres to Shakespeare at theatres across the country including in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and in London and Europe.
"Other Desert Cities" premiered at Lincoln Center Theater in December 2010 and played at the Booth Theatre on Broadway, October 2011 through June 2012, receiving a total of five Tony nominations. Tickets for "Other Desert Cities" will be available starting August 9 at CenterTheatreGroup.org, the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre, or by calling (213) 628-2772.