The recent stage adaptation of the bestselling novel "Sideways" that debuted in May in Santa Monica is moving up in the world. The La Jolla Playhouse said it will produce the play starting in July, with former artistic director Des McAnuff at the helm.
Rex Pickett adapted his own novel for the stage. The plot follows two middle-aged male friends as they make their way through California wine country and meet two women who become possible romantic interests. The 2004 movie version of the novel, directed by Alexander Payne, was a critical and commercial success.
The play opened at the Ruskin Group Theatre in Santa Monica in May. It was a fitting venue to debut the play, because the story's main character begins his adventures in Santa Monica. The company's production was directed by Amelia Mulkey.
A Times reviewer wrote the play was "enjoyable" but that it "could be tightened considerably by reworking and compressing the dramatic and emotional arcs into fewer scenes rather than simply re-creating episodes from the novel."
"Sideways" is a new addition to the La Jolla Playhouse's 2013-14 season, which is being announced in a piecemeal fashion.
The company also said it has added "His Girl Friday," John Guare's play adaptation of the 1940 movie of the same name. The play, which also draws from the original play "The Front Page," by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, debuted in 2003 in London.
Christopher Ashley, the artistic director at La Jolla, will direct "His Girl Friday," which begins performances in June.
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