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Theatre News Wire

Geffen Playhouse to Present The Power of Duff
Mar 13, 2015


The Power of DuffGeffen Playhouse announces the cast for its West Coast premiere production of The Power of Duff by Stephen Belber, directed by Peter DuBois. The production features Tanner Buchanan (The Goldbergs, Bella and the Bulldogs), Brendan Griffin (Clybourne Park on Broadway, Person of Interest), Eric Ladin (Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire), Joe Paulik (The Good Wife), Elizabeth Rodriguez (Orange Is the New Black, Tony Award nominee for The Motherfucker with the Hat) Josh Stamberg (Parenthood, The Affair) and Maurice Williams (Pitbulls at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, When January Feels Like Summer Off-Broadway). The Power of Duff runs April 7 through May 17, 2015 (opening night is April 15, 2015) in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse. When TV anchor Charlie Duff begins to sign-off each broadcast with a prayer, a growing crowd of believers becomes glued to their TV sets - wondering when their prayers will be answered. But what the prayers do - and don't do - to those closest to Duff tests the news anchor's own beliefs. Stephen Belber's sharp new play asks if there is anything more vital than the faith we have in one another. Stephen Belber was an associate writer on Tectonic Theater Project's The Laramie Project (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominations) and a co-writer on The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. His plays have been performed in 25 countries, including his Broadway debut Match starring Frank Langella, which he recently directed as a movie starring Patrick Stewart. Belber said, "I've simply tried to ask questions that most humans ask at one point or another: how can I feel more connected; what's the best way to be human; faith in what? It struck me as interesting to write a play about a person who is fundamentally ambivalent about religion, even about spirituality - who undergoes an emotional transformation, which in turn leads him to a position of being a suddenly looked-to spiritual 'leader' - even as his ambivalence continues. I like the question of what one should or can do when put in that position, and how one might act when faced with an almost undeniable spiritual reality taking place all around - and maybe even inside - him." Huntington Theatre Company Artistic Director Peter DuBois, who helmed the Geffen Playhouse's hit Rapture, Blister, Burn last season, will direct this West Coast premiere. DuBois said, "Uniquely comic and unabashedly theatrical, The Power of Duff also pulses with incredible emotional clarity. It tells the transformative story of one man waking up to life, just as it seemed he was too lost and it was too late." The Boston Globe said The Power of Duff is, "a smart take on a thorny subject, leavened with an intriguing blend of skepticism and sincerity ... as he sets out on a bumpy journey to make things right with his family, the question Charlie confronts is pretty much the one we all face at one time or another: Whether he has the power, not to change the world, but to change himself." Broadway World said, "This is a play whose power creeps slowly into one's consciousness and then lingers long after the experience in the theater is over." Theater Mania said, "There are plenty of cleverly constructed and well-written plays, but The Power of Duff possesses a rare strain of sincerity. That's what gives this well-put-together play its power to move, and to delight." In addition to the opening night, the run of The Power of Duff will feature over a dozen pre-show and post-show Signature Series events. Ranging from the cerebral to the celebratory these include TGIF at the Geffen, Talk Back Tuesdays (Audience Q+A with artists), Lounge Fridays, Girls Night Out and Wine Down Sundays. Thanks to the support of Geffen Playhouse partners and sponsors, all elements of Signature Series evenings are complimentary as part of the ticket price. Signature Series events include: • Talk Back Tuesdays give theater lovers a chance for a deeper conversation to discuss plot, character, themes or any other questions directly with the artists. Talk Back Tuesdays include a complimentary Keurig beverage before the show and a post-show Q+A. • Happy hour Lounge Fridays turns the Geffen Playhouse into a haven to help fast-paced Angelenos ease into their weekend and unwind at this cultural happy hour. Complimentary sparkling joins other enticing refreshments starting at 7:00 pm. • Wine Down Sundays provides the perfect pairing - pre-performance wine sampling poured directly by the winemaker or distributor. These evenings often feature different vintages for each production, so patrons who come regularly will discover new wine before their theatrical experience. • Geared towards ladies, with enticements for guys, Girls Night Out at the Geffen is the ultimate night out in LA. For this after-party, Reka Lena - designs on silk inspired by Elena Avanesova's original oil paintings transformed into wearable designs will be showcased. Plus eclectic jams from DJ Mike, signature Deep Eddy vodka cocktails, delectable buffets, delicious Malibu Family Wines, the always popular Girls Night Out photo booth, a Keurig coffee and tea bar and Pixi Beauty take-away gift. • TGIF at the Geffen takes place on Friday of preview week and is the ideal cultural meet up and hot-spot on the west side. Enjoy classic to contemporary tunes from DJ Mike pre-show on the Simms Courtyard patio plus drink specials at the concessions bar.

For Signature Series dates associated with the run of The Power of Duff, visit www.GeffenPlayhouse.com/ThePowerofDuffEvents.

Tickets currently range from $39 - $79 and can be purchased in-person, online at www.GeffenPlayhouse.com or by phone at 310.208.5454. Fees apply.