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Jean Stapleton
William Friedkin blows out the candles on 'The Birthday Party'
William Friedkin blows out the candles on 'The Birthday Party'

Whoever is ultimately at fault in the conflict between actor Steven Berkoff and director William Friedkin that led to the postponement of the Geffen Playhouse’s much anticipated production of “The Birthday Party,” there’s no denying that the botched handling of the situation was a loss for the Geffen, the artistic company and Los Angeles theater. I was looking forward to reencountering this early Pinter classic more than almost any other production this season. The last revival I saw was ages ago off-Broadway, the Classic Stage Company’s astringent 1989 production with Jean Stapleton and David Strathairn. The time has come for a fresh look at this comedy of...

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