The American premiere production of Nightingale, written and performed by Lynn Redgrave, opened October 15 at the Center Theatre Group's Mark Taper Forum in the Los Angeles Music Center. Performances will continue through November 19. Among those present at opening night were Charlotte Rae, Victor Garber, Charlayne Woodard, Bill Condon, Karen Ziemba and Andrea Marcovicci.
Nightingale, "a compassionate work that reflects on immortality and on those whose life and death leave little mark in this world, was inspired by Redgrave's maternal grandmother, Beatrice Kempson, who died in the 1960s and was buried in England. While visiting the graveyard a few years ago, Redgrave found with much dismay that the headstone had been erased by acid rain," according to CTG notes. "Redgrave, who comes from one of the most illustrious families in entertainment, wondered who would remember this rather chilly, not very lovable woman who was one of the lesser-known members of the family. By threading together tantalizing fragments of stories passed down from her mother, Redgrave has fashioned a compelling narrative that is part speculation and invention, and completes a portrait not only of a woman caught in a loveless marriage but of the rigid Edwardian time in which she lived." The production is directed by Joseph Hardy.
Nightingale joins other works Redgrave has written about her family: Shakespeare For My Father (which garnered Redgrave a Tony Award nomination for her performance) dealt with her father, the late Sir Michael Redgrave, and The Mandrake Root is loosely based on her mother, Rachel Kempson.
Visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org for tickets and more information.
Bill Condon and Joseph Hardy
Joseph Hardy and Lynn Redgrave
Charlotte Rae, Lynn Redgrave and Victor Garber
Lynn Redgrave and fan
Lynn Redgrave and Charlayne Woodard
Lynn Redgrave and Karen Ziemba
Lynn Redgrave and Andrea Marcovicci
BWW Hi-Res Gallery - Original Version