Ben McKenzie of ‘Southland’ and ‘The O.C.’ to star in ‘Glass Menagerie’ at Mark Taper Forum


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For sightings of hunky young screen stars, forget the Chateau Marmont. The place to gawk and appreciate this season is the Mark Taper Forum.

Following Chris Pine’s starring role in ‘The Lieutenant of Inishmore,’ the Center Theatre Group has announced that Ben McKenzie will appear in its upcoming production of Tennessee Williams’ ’The Glass Menagerie,’ also starring Judith Ivey, which runs Sept. 1 to Oct. 17.


McKenzie starred in the hit series ‘The O.C.’ from 2003 to 2007 and is now in the cop series ‘Southland,’ which originated at NBC before jumping to TNT. The actor will play the role Jim O’Connor, a gentleman caller, opposite Ivey’s Amanda Wingfield.

This production of ‘The Glass Menagerie,’ directed by Gordon Edelstein, played at the Long Wharf Theatre and later at New York’s Roundabout Theatre, but McKenzie will be new to the cast.

The other cast members for the Taper production include Keira Keeley and Patch Darragh, both of whom starred in the Roundabout version.

Ivey received accolades for her performance as Wingfield, a nagging and slightly crazy Southern matriarch. Charles Isherwood, of the New York Times, wrote that Ivey gave ‘what is surely the performance of her career.’

In a bit of theater-world serendipity, McKenzie happens to be the nephew of Robert Schenkkan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of ‘The Kentucky Cycle,’ which ran at the Taper in 1992.

-- David Ng

Photo (top): Ben McKenzie. Credit: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images


Photo (bottom): Judith Ivey in the Long Wharf production of ‘The Glass Menagerie.’ Credit: T. Charles Erickson


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