Jeannie Berlin, JoBeth Williams join ‘Other Desert Cities’ cast

Playwright Jon Robin Baitz
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles premiere of “Other Desert Cities” by Jon Robin Baitz is to feature Jeannie Berlin, JoBeth Williams and Robin Weigert. The actors are joining the previously announced Justin Long and Robert Foxworth in the comedy about a wealthy family living in Palm Springs.

“Other Desert Cities” -- which was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for drama -- is scheduled to open Dec. 9 at the Mark Taper Forum. The play premiered off-Broadway in 2011 and transferred to Broadway the same year with a cast that included Stockard Channing, Judith Light, Stacy Keach and Rachel Griffiths.

The L.A. production is to feature Foxworth and Williams in the roles played by Keach and Channing: the wealthy husband and wife whose grown children come home for the holidays. Berlin, who recently garnered strong reviews for her role in Kenneth Lonergan’s movie “Margaret,” is to take the role played on Broadway by Light: the sister of the Williams’ character who is back from a stint in rehab.

Weigert is set for the role of the couple’s daughter, played by Griffths on Broadway, while Long is taking the part of their son, played in New York by Thomas Sadoski.


Previews for “Other Desert Cities” are scheduled to begin Nov. 28. The play is set to run through Jan. 6. Robert Egan is directing. The off-Broadway and Broadway runs of the play were directed by Joe Mantello.

The play was developed at the Ojai Playwrights Conference in 2010 before opening off-Broadway at Lincoln Center. Egan is the artistic director at Ojai and formerly served as producing artistic director at the Taper.


Jon Robin Baitz stops by Ojai on his way to New York


Joe Mantello drops out of Center Theatre’s “Other Desert Cities”