Jean Smart to join original cast members of Last Summer at Bluefish Cove
Emmy award-winning actress Jean Smart (Designing Women, Hacks) will join fellow original cast members Lee Garlington, Nancy Linari and Sandra Marshall at the Saturday, July 15 performance of the Fountain Theatre's current, 40th anniversary production of Last Summer at Bluefish Cove. The groundbreaking play by Jane Chambers previously ran at the venue for two years, from 1983-85, and Smart's breakout role in that production has been credited with establishing her later career in television.
In the play, a group of women spend their summers together in a remote town on the Long Island Sound. Their lesbian enclave is disrupted when Eva, a naïve straight woman recently separated from her husband, stumbles unaware into their circle and falls for the charming, tough-talking Lil. The iconic play bursts with heartfelt friendship, laughter, and love.
The 1983 production was a turning point for the lesbian community in Los Angeles at the time, a benchmark achievement in L.A. theater, and a milestone in the history of the Fountain Theatre. Smart was seen in the Fountain production by the casting director for Designing Women, leading to her starring role on that popular TV series.
"That play got me my first agent, my first Broadway show, it started everything for me," Smart said in a 2021 New Yorker interview. "And when I moved to LA three years later I did it again in LA for a year, I got an HBO series out of it. That play started my entire career."
The current production is mounted on the Fountain's spacious outdoor stage, installed during the pandemic. The area surrounding the set has been transformed into Bluefish Cove - creating a true beachfront experience for the audience.
Performances continue at the Fountain through August 27. Smart, Garlington, Linari and Marshall will participate in a Q&A discussion with the audience following the performance on July 15.