At the Pasadena Playhouse: Anna Camp and Thomas Sadoski in a New Stage Thriller ‘Belleville’ by Amy Herzog

(L-R): Anna Camp, Sharon Pierre-Louis, Jenna Worsham, Danny Feldman, Moe Jeudy-Lamour and Thomas Sadoski at Opening Night of Belleville at Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Nick AgroMatthew Lillard at Opening Night of Belleville at Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Nick AgroMayor Terry Tornek and Marie Tornek at Opening Night of Belleville at Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Nick AgroKris & Becky Lythgoe at Opening Night of Belleville at Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Nick AgroMichael Nouri at Opening Night of Belleville at Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Nick AgroAmanda Seyfried at Opening Night of Belleville at Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Nick AgroTony Hale at Opening Night of Belleville at Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Nick AgroAdina Porter at Opening Night of Belleville at Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Nick AgroArt Alexakis & Vanessa Crawford at Opening Night of Belleville at Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Nick AgroElan Gale & Molly Quinn at Opening Night of Belleville at Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Nick AgroAnna Camp & Skylar Astin at Opening Night of Belleville at Pasadena Playhouse. Photo by Nick Agro

From STAFF REPORTS | Photography by Nick Agro

4:43 pm | April 23, 2018


Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theater of California, presents a new Hitchcock-style drama, Belleville by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie Award winner Amy Herzog. The production runs now through May 13.

The cast features Drama Desk Nominee Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect, Café Society, “True Blood,” “Mad Men,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and Equus on Broadway, opposite Daniel Radcliffe), Tony Award Nominee Thomas Sadoski (“Life In Pieces,” “The Newsroom,” and reasons to be pretty and Other Desert Cities on Broadway), Moe Jeudy-Lamour (“X-Men: Days of Future Past,” “Incorporated,” ”King Dave”), and Sharon Pierre-Louis (Our Town at Pasadena Playhouse, “Lincoln Heights,” “Switched at Birth”).

Belleville features scenic design by David Meyer; costumes by Sara Ryung Clement; lighting design by Zach Blane; and John Zalewski serving as composer and sound designer.

Belleville, in its Los Angeles premiere, is the fourth production of the 2017/18 Centennial Season of Pasadena Playhouse, which also serves as Producing Artistic Director Danny Feldman’s inaugural season. It will be followed by Culture Clash’s Bordertown Now (May 29 – June 24, 2018).

The play concerns young Americans Zack and Abby: they appear to be a perfect couple, with the perfect expatriate life in Paris – a funky bohemian apartment in up-and-coming Belleville, a stable marriage, and Zack’s noble mission at Doctors Without Borders to fight pediatric AIDS. But when Abby finds Zack at home one afternoon when he’s supposed to be at work, their marriage begins to show cracks as an ordinary night unravels into a modern-day thriller. Herzog’s new play is a Hitchcock-style drama, and a captivating evening of intrigue and suspense.

“Belleville continues a rich history of the Playhouse by connecting great actors and great plays,” said Danny Feldman, producing artistic director of Pasadena Playhouse. He continues, “We are thrilled to be bringing one of the brightest new voices in theater to LA for the first time being performed by two actors at the top of their game. “

Amy Herzog’s work has been produced at Yale Rep, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center, Steppenwolf, and Donmar Warehouse in London, among others. She is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Drama Desk nominee, and has received the Best New American Play Obie Award (2012) for 4000 Miles, the Outer Critics Award for After the Revolution and The New York Times Outstanding Playwright award.

Belleville is directed by Jenna Worsham. Worsham’s Broadway credits include associate director to Pam McKinnon on The Parisian Woman with Uma Thurman at Hudson Theatre, The Heidi Chronicles with Elisabeth Moss, and an SCD Fellowship to director Sam Gold on Picnic with Ellen Burstyn and Mare Winningam for Roundabout Theatre Company.

Director Jenna Worsham adds, “The play reveals Amy’s skill with constructing subtle devastations. It begins like a Monet painting – but by the end we’re in the world of Francis Bacon. The audience is asking, ‘How did I get here? What do I do now?’ And it’s the seemingly small secrets between intimate partners that have accumulated and brought us to this point. I love this about the play- that it makes us question if we can ever really know someone, given the rich and complex interior that is the human mind.”

Charles Isherwood, in The New York Times, said, “Tragedy slips into the room quickly and quietly in Belleville, the extraordinarily fine new play by Amy Herzog. Every detail … has been precisely calibrated to keep us aware of two things at once: that this couple is in some sense no different from many others in their intelligence and humor, their mutual love frayed by individual disappointments; but also that the possibility of violence of one kind or another is perhaps just a whisper away … it’s born of the sense that the person on the bed or the couch beside us has suddenly become a stranger, whose motives, needs, deepest desires are as unreadable as a map of a city we’ve never visited.”

Chris Jones in the Chicago Tribune said, “Amy Herzog’s play Belleville begins with a young American arriving home in the middle of the day to find her husband sitting at his computer, consuming pornography…or is this a telling clue that her seemingly charming husband, also an American adrift from the familiarity of home and trying to find himself in a snooty country, is not what he seems in all kinds of ways? This inciting incident has another advantage: It’s just shocking enough for schadenfreude and just ubiquitous enough that a good portion of the audience either is remembering when something like this happened to them or contemplating what the fallout will be when it does.

“You know that something is up with this somewhat empathetic, somewhat terrifying couple, yet precisely what is up is metered out by Herzog only in very careful bites of information … the narrative tension of a Hitchcockian thriller.”

Belleville was first commissioned and produced by Yale Repertory Theater, under artistic director James Bundy and managing director Victoria Nolan, in New Haven, Connecticut, opening October 21, 2011.

About The Pasadena Playhouse

The Pasadena Playhouse is a place where people have gathered for 100 years to experience bold and important theater. It is one of the most prolific theaters in American history with a legacy of profound theatrical impact and courageous new work. In 1937, the Playhouse was officially recognized as the State Theater of California for its contribution and commitment to the dramatic arts. Today it continues that tradition of excellence under the helm of producing artistic director Danny Feldman. Dedicated to enriching lives through theater, community programs and learning initiatives, Pasadena Playhouse is a living force in the community.