Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Kevin Anderson and Catherine Dent Join Tracee Chimo and John Earl Jelks in Neil La Bute’s The Break of Noon for LA Run at the Geffen Playhouse, 1/25-3/6

John Earl Jelks and Tracee Chimo at the opening night afterparty at 49 Grove for MCC's production of Neil LaBute's The Break of Noon in New York on November 22, 2010 Photo by Lia Chang

John Earl Jelks and Tracee Chimo at the opening night afterparty at 49 Grove for MCC's production of Neil LaBute's The Break of Noon in New York on November 22, 2010 Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway veteran Kevin Anderson leads the cast in the Los Angeles run of the world premiere production of Neil LaBute’s The Break of Noon. The Break of Noon, which is a co-production with MCC in New York, will feature Catherine Dent as well as Tracee Chimo and John Earl Jelks, who performed their roles in the New York portion of the run. Helmed by director Jo Bonney, The Break of Noon begins in previews on January 25, 2011 and officially opens February 2, 2011.

Kevin Anderson, who was recently nominated for a Tony Award for his role in Death of a Salesman, portrays the play’s central character, John Smith, a man who hears the voice of God during a tragic office shooting. Smith is a selfish, philandering liar – or at least he was. After the incident, this imperfect man reforms himself and goes on a mission to spread the word about a better way of life to everyone surrounding him: his wife and his wife’s cousin, both portrayed by Catherine Dent, known for her longtime role on The Shield; a morning talk show host and a call girl, both played by Tracee Chimo, who recently received the Eugene O’Neil Award for her role in Irena’s Vow; and his lawyer and the detective on the case, both played by Tony Award nominee John Earl Jelks (Radio Golf). But is Joe’s divine encounter merely a ploy for celebrity, a chance to escape his rocky past, or is it part of an infinite and almighty plan? In The Break of Noon, LaBute explores the trials and tribulations of a modern day prophet – and what he signifies in a jaded world that is thousands of years removed from burning bushes and stone tablets.

The production team includes set design by Neil Patel, costume design by Emilio Sosa, lighting design by David Wiener, sound design by, Darron L. West, with Christina Lowe as production stage manager.

The Break of Noon marks the fourth time LaBute’s work has been at the Geffen Playhouse; his past works at the theater include Fat Pig (also directed by Bonney), Some Girl(s) and Wrecks, all of which ran in the Audrey Skirball Kenis Theater. The Break of Noon runs from January 25 to March 6, 2011.

The performance schedule is Tuesday – Friday 8:00pm, Saturday at 3:00pm and 8:00pm and Sunday at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. Ticket prices range from $37 – $57 for preview performances and from $47 – $77 for the regular run. Tickets are on sale now at the Geffen Playhouse box office at 310-208-5454 or online at

Tracee Chimo, David Duchovny, Amanda Peet and John Earl Jelks at the opening night curtain call of MCC Theater's world premiere of Neil LaBute's The Break of Noon at the Lucille Lortel in New York on November 22, 2010. Photo by Lia Chang

Tracee Chimo, David Duchovny, Amanda Peet and John Earl Jelks at the opening night curtain call of MCC Theater's world premiere of Neil LaBute's The Break of Noon at the Lucille Lortel in New York on November 22, 2010. Photo by Lia Chang

The New York production of The Break of Noon, starring David Duchovny, Amanda Peet, Tracee Chimo and John Earl Jelks has been extended through December 22, 2010 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street, NYC). The show is playing the following schedule for the extension due to the holiday:
Thursday, December 16 at 8:00 p.m.
Friday, December 17 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 18 at 2:00 & 8:00 p.m.
Sunday. December 19 at 3:00 p.m.
Monday, December 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, December 21 at 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 22 at 2:00 & 7:00 p.m.

Subscriptions for MCC’s 2010-2011 season are on-sale now and priced as low as $99 for the 3-play season. For more information visit or to purchase packages, contact TicketCentral directly at or call 212-279-4200.

Kevin just returned from London’s West End and Dublin as Andy Dufresne in the new stage adaptation of The Shawshank Redemption. An ensemble member since 1984, other plays at Steppenwolf include I Never Sang for My Father, Our Town, Three Sisters, Earthly Possessions and Orphans, which took him to New York (Theatre World Award), London’s West End and eventually the movie with Albert Finney. Other Chicago credits include A Guide for the Perplexed (Victory Gardens); Pal Joey and Death of a Salesman (The Goodman); among others. Broadway and off-Broadway include Death of a Salesman (Outer Critics and Drama Desk awards, Tony® nomination), the musical Brooklyn, Orpheus Descending, Moonchildren, Brilliant Traces, The Red Address, Speaking in Tongues and Summer and Smoke. Other London theatre credits include the original Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard and Dinner with Friends. Some of his films include Charlotte’s Web, Miles from Home, In Country, Sleeping with the Enemy, Liebestraum, Hoffa, The Night We Never Met, Rising Sun, Firelight, A Thousand Acres, Eye of God, Doe Boy and the new Al Pacino docu-drama Wilde Salome. Cable films include Orpheus Descending, The Wrong Man, Hunt for the Unicorn Killer, Ruby’s Bucket of Blood, Monday Night Mayhem and Power and Beauty. He starred in the TV series Nothing Sacred, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination.

JO BONNEY (Director)
Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig (MCC/Geffen Playhouse) and Some Girl(s) (MCC); Culture Clash’s American Night (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Darci Picoult’s Lil’s 90th (Long Wharf Theatre); Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home from the Wars (Public LAB); Naomi Wallace’s The Hard Weather Boating Party and The Fever Chart; Michael Weller’s Beast (New York TheatreWorkshop); Alan Ball’s All that I Will Ever Be (NYTW); Eric Bogosian’s subUrbia, Charles Fuller’s A Soldier’s Play and Lisa Loomer’s Living Out (Second Stage); Will Power’s The Seven (NYTW & La Jolla Playhouse; Lortel Award, Best Musical); Christopher Shinn’s On the Mountain (Playwrights Horizons); Universes’ Slanguage (NYTW/Mark Taper Forum); Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July (Signature Theatre; Lortel Award, Best Revival); José Rivera’s References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot (The Public Theater); Diana Son’s Stop Kiss (The Public Theater); Jessica Goldberg’s Good Thing (The New Group); John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger (CSC); Danny Hoch’s Some People and Jails, Hospitals & Hip-Hop (USA/Britain); numerous solos by Eric Bogosian (USA/Britain). Recipient of a 1998 Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Direction and editor of Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts from the Twentieth Century (TCG). Upcoming: Lynn Nottage’s By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Second Stage).

Tracee was last seen as Regan in The Bachelorette. Broadway: Irena’s Vow. Off Broadway: Circle Mirror Transformation (Lucille Lortel nom, Drama Desk award for Outstanding Ensemble Performance), Vendetta Chrome, Guilty, Bushwhackin’, Vamp. Regional: Sundance ’08, Humana Festival/Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, The Cleveland Playhouse and Philadelphia Theatre Company. TV: Guest-star in the FX series Louie, Guiding Light. Film: Evening, What Would Jesus Do?, Daughters of Liberty and Wasted Time. Last year Tracee was honored by actress Marian Seldes and The O’Neill Studio, where she studied, with the Eugene O’Neill Award for her work in Irena’s Vow.

CATHERINE DENT (Ginger, Jesse)
Theater: (Broadway) Uncle Vanya (Off-Broadway) Amoeba Concerto (Regional) The Country, The Street of the Sun. TV: N.C.I.S., Law and Order: Los Angeles, The Closer, Rockford Files, Ghost Whisperer, Day One, Lie to Me, Natalee Holloway, The Shield, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Without A Trace, Numbers, Grey’s Anatomy, Seattle Serial Killer, Law and Order, Judging Amy, CSI, Taken, The Sopranos, Dharma and Greg, Third Watch, The X-Files, Frasier, L.A. Doctors, Chicago Hope, New York Under Cover. Film: Duress, 21 Grams, Auto Focus, The Majestic, Someone Like You, The Replicant, March 29 1997, Nobody’s Fool, Jaded.

John Earl Jelks Photo by Lia Chang

John Earl Jelks Photo by Lia Chang

JOHN EARL JELKS (Lawyer, Detective)
John was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance as “Sterling” in August Wilson’s Radio Golf, which he also toured to the McCarter, Goodman, Center Stage, Seattle Rep., Mark Taper and Yale Repertory theaters. Jelks also appeared with Phylicia Rashad on Broadway in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean as “Citizen” (after runs at the Goodman, Huntington, and Mark Taper theaters, where he won an NAACP Theater Award and an L.A. Ovation Award). In 2008, Jelks won an AUDELCO Award for his work in the Off-Broadway revival of The First Breeze of Summer. Regional theater credits include Fetch Clay, Make Man at the McCarter Theatre, the world stage premiere of The Shawshank Redemption at the Gaiety Theatre in Ireland, Magnolia at the Goodman Theater, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Penumbra Theatre Company and the Missouri Repertory Theatre, The Piano Lesson at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre and Diary of a Black Man at the Union Square Theatre and the Shaw Theatre in London, England. Recently, Jelks appeared in Spike Lee’s film Miracle at St. Anna.

NEIL LaBUTE (Playwright)
Neil LaBute received his Master of Fine Arts degree in dramatic writing from New York University and was the recipient of a literary fellowship to study at the Royal Court Theatre, London and also attended the Sundance Institute’s Playwrights Lab. His films include In the Company of Men (New York Critics’ Circle Award for Best First Feature and the Filmmaker Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival), Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, Possession, The Shape of Things (a film adaptation of his play by the same title), The Wicker Man, Lakeview Terrace and Death at a Funeral. LaBute’s plays include bash: latter-day plays, The Shape of Things, The Mercy Seat, The Distance From Here, Autobahn, Fat Pig (Olivier nomination for Best Comedy), Some Girls, This Is How It Goes, Wrecks, Filthy Talk for Troubled Times, In a Dark Dark House and reasons to be pretty (Tony Award nomination for Best Play). LaBute is also the author of Seconds of Pleasure, a collection of short fiction which was published by Grove Atlantic. His new play, In a Forest Dark and Deep, will open on London’s West End in 2011.

The Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and musicals, the Geffen Playhouse continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company is helmed by Producing Director and President of the Board Gilbert Cates, Artistic Director Randall Arney, Managing Director Ken Novice and Chairman of the Board Frank Mancuso. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen Playhouse welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts. For more information, visit

Other Articles by Lia Chang
Photos: David Duchovny, John Earl Jelks, Amanda Peet,Tracee Chimo opening night of Neil LaBute’s The Break of Noon
John Earl Jelks is featured in MCC Theater’s world premiere of Neil LaBute’s The Break of Noon at the Lucille Lortel
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Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art photographer and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer, an award-winning multimedia journalist.

As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.

This year, selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space will become part of newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.

Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, VIBE, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre,, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle,,,,,, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

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