Malibu Seen: Malibu’s Geffen Going On

The Geffen Playhouse’s Artistic Director Randall Arney has another hit on his hands.

Local mega media king David Geffen has made headlines of late, not only for selling the Malibu Beach Inn for a whopping $80 million, but also for landing on the list of Forbes magazine’s richest folks. With a $6.9 billion dollar fortune, the DreamWorks cofounder is one of the country’s richest Americans and ranks among the top 200 wealthiest in the world.

But the DreamWorks king also gives back and has put his name on numerous institutions, from medical to cultural. New York’s Lincoln Center just announced that he is donating $100 million toward a major renovation of Avery Fisher Hall, which will be renamed in Geffen’s honor. 

Closer to his Malibu home, the Geffen Playhouse has an exciting new season underway. It recently pulled back the curtain on the west coast premiere of Conor McPherson’s “The Night Alive.” 

Artistic Director Randall Arney has brought us many memorable productions over the years and you can add this one to the list.

The production features Paul Vincent O’Connor, most recently seen at the National Theater in London and its production of “August: Osage County,” as “Utopia’s” Fiona O’Shaughenessy, Dan Donohue of “The Lion King” on Broadway, as well as “Basic Instict’s” Denis Arndt and “Band of Brothers’” Peter O’Meara. 

Together, with the most talented Mr. Arney, they weave together an intriguing and engaging tale. 

The lead, Tommy, owes much more than he earns, but finds himself compelled to help Aimee, a young woman who’s even more down on her luck than he is. But leave it to three-time Towny Award-nominee Conor McPherson to make Phoenix Park, Dublin a place where anyone can rise from the ashes.

“People are hungry for a good story,” says Randall “And this is an incredibly human and exhilarating story. Nobody tells a story like Conor.” Audiences have given rave reviews, with Randall’s fluid direction described as “marvelous.”

The Geffen is planning a full season ahead, including the psychological thriller “Switzerland,” starring Laura Linney and Seth Numrich, followed by the west coast premiere of “The Power of Duff,” and then back-to-back laughs with the musical whodunit “Murder for Two” and Joshua Harmon’s “Bad Jews.”

The Geffen is putting both its Gil Cates Theater and the smaller, more intimate Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater to good use. And it will be a combination of music and magic at the annual “Backstage at the Geffen” fundraiser later this year. The splashy bash will be honoring hit maker Elton John and movie icon George Lucas. Talk about seeing stars!