Keach to take part in Malibu Stage Co. reading

Stacy Keach

Jackie Bridgeman, president and guardian angel of the Malibu Stage Company, is presently hard at work on a fundraiser scheduled for Feb. 21 at its intimate, 99-seat theater off Pacific Coast Highway near Zuma Beach.

Malibuites Stacy Keach, who recently triumphed in the Mark Taper’s production of “10 Unknown,” and actress Genevieve Bujold (who received an Oscar nomination for “Anne of a Thousand Days”) will present a staged reading of “The Unexpected Man.” A black-tie champagne reception and buffet supper will follow the performance.

The play, about an encounter between a celebrated novelist and a hitherto unknown admirer aboard a European train, was written by Yasmina Reza, currently the superstar of European theater (and of women playwrights as well). Hailed by the British newspaper The Guardian as ” … a cultural phenomenon,” Reza, whose plays are packing theaters from Berlin to Buenos Aires, has won just about every major theater award in Europe and the U.S. “The Unexpected Man,” written in 1995, followed “Art,” her 1993 play, which has set long-run records in Paris, garnered more than $300 million internationally and won her the Tony award in 1998.

Recent Malibu Stage productions have been garnering enthusiastic reviews lately. Last spring, the legendary playwright Moss Hart’s “Light Up the Sky” was hailed by the Los Angeles Times in a review headlined, “Malibu Stage Company Soars!” Directed by Chris Hart, son of the late writer and Kitty Carlyle, who attended the opening night benefit, the play set standards tough for any community theater to equal. More recently, Oren Safdie and Ronnie Cohen’s musical, “Jews and Jesus,” was also a major hit. Safdie’s earlier play, “Private Jokes in Public Places,” which received its world premiere at the Malibu Stage in 2002, opened Off Broadway last November to excellent reviews from the New York Times and the New Yorker.

Tickets for the benefit are $250. More information can be obtained by calling 310.589.1998.