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Los Angeles Theater Preview: THE CITY OF CONVERSATION (The Wallis in Beverly Hills)



May 20, 2016

By Tony Frankel

The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts is about to begin a new era under the leadership of its new Artistic Director Paul Crewes. Right out of the gate is a production of novelist, essayist and playwright Anthony Giardina's The City of Conversation, which premiered at Lincoln Center last year. While it usually takes years for an exciting new play to see its L.A. premiere, it's thrilling to see that this gloriously reviewed play is arriving here in both a timely manner and brand new production directed by Michael Wilson.

Spanning 30 years and six presidential administrations, this inside-the-Beltway play is about politics in family and families in politics. It opens tonight in the Bram Goldsmith theater on the Wallis campus in Beverly Hills, and plays a short run through June 4, 2016. The stellar cast includes Christine Lahti, Jason Ritter, Steven Culp, Michael Learned, Deborah Offner, Nicholas Oteri, Johnny Ramey, David Selby, and Georgia King.

Georgetown hostess Hester Ferris runs in an elite circle, opening her home for political foes to lay down arms and raise a glass. When her son's formidable, conservative wife comes on the scene, the parlor pleasantries of D.C.'s past descend into entrenched posturing and an ultimatum that could implode the family. Follow the Ferris clan from the end of Carter's presidency through the Reagan era and into Obama's game-changing inauguration in this "smart, literate and funny" (The New York Times) inside look at the theater of politics and the politics of conversation. It delves into the ever-changing tapestry of U.S. Government and the people who shape it off the senate floor.

Sneak peek via production photos
(c) Photo by Kevin Parry

(c) Photo by Kevin Parry

(c) Photo by Kevin Parry

The City of Conversation - Bram Goldsmith Theater - Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts - 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd in Beverly Hills - ends on June 4, 2016 - for tickets, call 310-746-4000 or visit The Wallis

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