Playwright to sign copies of "Side Man" opening night

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Ellen Greene stars in "Side Man" by Warren Leight at the Malibu Stage Co. Photo by Joshua Sliwa

This Friday, the Tony Award-winning play “Side Man” opens at the Malibu Stage Co., and as a bonus, author Warren Leight will be at opening night and will sign copies of his play.

Chris Hart directs Ellen Greene in “Side Man,” the story of which spans three decades in the life of a Manhattan musician.

Set in 1953 and traveling to 1985, the story unfolds through the eyes of Clifford, the only son of Gene, a jazz trumpet player, and Terry, an alcoholic mother. (Playwright Leight’s father was a “side man.”) Their marriage slowly dissolves and young Clifford is witness to it all. When an adult Clifford visits Gene in a rundown jazz club after years of separation, he requests that the old man play his mother’s favorite song, the old standard, “Why Was I Born?”

Greene, who plays Terry, garnered a Tony Nomination for her performance in “The Threepenny Opera,” opposite Raul Julia at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre in Lincoln Center. Other Broadway credits include: “Little of Shop Of Horrors,” “The Prince And The Aviator” and “Three Men On A Horse.”

The rest of the cast includes Jack Conley, Eddie Kehler, David Barry Gray, Todd Truley, Mary Lou Metzger and John Mariano.

Director Hart recently directed the Malibu Stage Co.’s successful production of “Light Up The Sky” by his late father, Moss Hart. He has directed dozens of plays in Los Angeles as well as regionally, which have earned him numerous nominations for Ovation Awards, Garland Awards, Drama Critic Circle Awards and Robby Awards. Next season he will be directing a new production of his father and George S. Kaufman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “You Can Take It With You” at the Geffen Playhouse.

Scheduled through July 18, “Side Man” runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25. For reservations call 310.589.1998.