L.A. Theatre Works returns with Cold War-era radio drama featuring all-star cast

October 12, 2010

An H-Bomb image taken in 1952. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy)

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – L.A.Theatre Works returns to Purdue University next month with the gripping Cold War-era staged radio play "The Real Dr. Strangelove: Edward Teller and the Battle for the H-bomb."

The performances, presented by Purdue Convocations, will be at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4 and 5 in Loeb Playhouse. The presentation includes a postshow discussion with the actors after both performances.

It's the dawn of the Cold War, a time fraught with suspicion and fear as the nuclear arms race escalates and a war in Korea looms, and two of the world's most brilliant scientists and collaborators turn against each other in a battle over the future of nuclear weapons.

While Edward Teller pushes for the creation of the H-bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, turns pacifist and lobbies for control of international nuclear power. Now the government will stop at nothing to neutralize Oppenheimer, and Teller is its star witness. Presented in radio play format, this riveting docudrama examines the gripping events that set the United States on the path to becoming the strongest military power on the planet -- as well as the dramatic consequences.

John Getz

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The cast of "The Real Dr. Strangelove" will be led by television and film actor John Getz as J. Robert Oppenheimer. He is featured in the new film "The Social Network" and is a veteran of dozens of television shows, including "NCIS," "Prison Break," "Mad Men" and "Trust Me." 

Stage actor and L.A. Theatre Works regular John Vickery will play Edward Teller. Vickery was the original Scar in "The Lion King" on Broadway and is well known to TV audiences from his work on "Star Trek" and "Babylon 5." He is also the voice of Lucifer in the popular video game "Dante's Inferno."

Also in the cast are film and TV actor Michael Canaan ("Murder by Numbers," "Flags of Our Fathers," "Mad Men," "Bones," "Big Love," "7th Heaven" and others) and Geoffrey Wade ("Law & Order," The Bold and the Beautiful" and others). The rest of the cast includes film and television actors Kyle Colerider-Krugh, Diane Adair and Peter McDonald. Obie Award winner Shannon Cochran (Steppenwolf) is directing.

The original recording of "The Real Dr. Strangelove" by L.A. Theatre Works was produced in 2006 and featured Joe Spano, John de Lancie, Simon Templeman and Raphael Sbarge.

Tickets are $34 for adults and $24 for those 18 years and younger, Purdue students and Ivy Tech Lafayette students. Tickets are available at the Elliott Hall and Stewart Center box offices at 765-494-3933 or 800-914-SHOW. Tickets also are available through Ticketmaster outlets. Discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more can be ordered at 765-496-1977.

Initiated in 1902, Purdue Convocations is among the oldest collegiate professional performing arts presenters in the United States. Each year Convocations offers the region 20-30 performances of widely varying genres: Broadway-style shows, theater, dance, children's theater, world music, jazz and chamber music, along with rock, pop, country and comedy attractions. With a vision for connecting artists and audiences in artistic dialogue and for drawing in academic discourse, Purdue Convocations aims to promote frequent exposure to, and familiarity with, human cultural expression in a multitude of forms and media.

Media contact: Abby Eddy, 765-494-5045, aeeddy@purdue.edu