The Guthrie's celebration of playwright Christopher Hampton opens this week with a production of 1982's Tales from Hollywood, which examines the American movie-making machine from the perspectives of the German emigrant filmmakers who fled the continent during the rise of the Nazis and found themselves in a brand-new world. The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles produced the work in 1982, but this will be the first major American production since then, notes Guthrie director Joe Dowling. "He explores the balance between American and European culture in a provocative way, with the émigrés in Hollywood coming to this crass place," he says. The playwright — who has considerable film experience, such as the scripts for Dangerous Liaisons and Atonement — says the play is one of his favorites, Dowling adds. Ethan McSweeny, whose Guthrie credits include Arms and the Man and A View From the Bridge, directs. The company includes Guthrie veterans Stephen Yoakam, Bob Davis, and Laura Esping; along with first-timers Lee Sellars, Allison Daugherty, and Keir Dullea, most famous as astronaut David Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The show is in previews September 15-20.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: Sept. 15. Continues through Oct. 27, 2012