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Ron Eldard, Kate Beahan re-team with Neil LaBute on play

July 23, 2009 |  2:14 pm

Eldard Playwrights are known to cultivate their own informal repertory of most-favored actors, and Neil LaBute is certainly no exception. His stable of reliable thesps includes Aaron Eckhart, Paul Rudd, Fred Weller and Ron Eldard.

Next month, Eldard will take one of the lead roles in LaBute's "Helter Skelter," a one-act play about a married couple that is set to run Aug. 21 to Sept. 12 at Hollywood's Open Fist Theatre.

The play follows the deteriorating relationship between a husband and wife when a cellphone call interrupts their conversation. Eldard plays the husband opposite actress Kate Beahan, who worked with LaBute on his movie "The Wicker Man."

"Helter Skelter," which LaBute is also directing, will play alongside a new LaBute one-act drama, "The New Testament." The plays are part of Open Fist's First Look Festival. "The New Testament" will star Tim Banning, Benjamin Burdick (who was featured in LaBute's "Autobahn" at the Open Fist in 2006) and Peter James Smith.

Eldard's relationship with LaBute goes back to at least 1999, when the actor was cast in "Bash: Latter Day Plays." Eldard performed in the one-act "Iphigenia in Orem," a monologue about a young man's emotional breakdown following the death of his daughter.

A version of the trio of one-acts, featuring Eldard, aired on Showtime in 2000.

-- David Ng

Photo: Ron Eldard. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

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