La Jolla Plans His Girl Friday and Wine-Drenched Sideways; Des McAnuff Will Guest-Direct

By Kenneth Jones
December 15, 2012

Two titles have been added to the 2013-14 season at La Jolla Playhouse, and both have been seen in popular film versions.



La Jolla Playhouse artistic director Christopher Ashley will direct His Girl Friday, John Guare's adaptation of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur's play The Front Page — and its sex-switched film "His Girl Friday."

The screenplay for the 1940 Howard Hawks-directed film was by Charles Lederer; Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant starred. This new adaptation has played London, and was recently presented by the Shaw Festival in Ontario. It's now popping up in regional American markets.

His Girl Friday will launch the season in June-July 2013 in the Mandell Weiss Theatre. The satire of soulless journalism is set in a 1939 Chicago press room "when ace reporter Hildy Johnson stops by for one last visit before leaving the newspaper game for good," according to LJP notes. "But when her former editor and ex-husband entices her with the promise of the scoop of a lifetime, the lure of fame and rekindled romance prove more than she can resist."

The Playhouse will also produce Sideways, a play by Rex Pickett based on his own novel, which was also adapted into the acclaimed 2004 film of the same name. Directed by Playhouse Director Emeritus Des McAnuff (Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Jersey Boys), Sideways will run July-August in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre.

According to JLP, "Sideways is the story of two friends — Miles, a frustrated novelist; and Jack, a no-name TV actor and director — and their journey across the Santa Ynez Valley wine country. During one last blowout road trip before Jack is to be married, the two men run tangle-footed into their midlife crises, all the while exploring this once little-known central California wine region."

For more about the coming season, visit lajollaplayhouse.org.