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Brad Pitt joins cast of '8' play reading in L.A.

March 1, 2012 | 11:14 am

Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt will wield a gavel in the gay-marriage battle, playing a federal judge in the play "8," which will have its L.A. premiere in a one-night reading Saturday at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre. Pitt joins his pal George Clooney and several other celebrities for the benefit event that also will be streamed live on YouTube.

The play "8," by Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, is based on the court case Perry vs. Schwarzenegger, which sought to overturn Prop. 8, the ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage in California. (The case is now known as Perry vs. Brown.)

Pitt is set to play U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who presided over the 12-day case in 2010. Clooney will play David Boies, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in the case.

The performers both were nominated for Academy Awards in the lead actor category on Sunday, but the award went to Jean Dujardin for "The Artist."

The reading of "8" will serve as a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which was instrumental in launching the court case. Rob Reiner, one of the founders of the group, is directing. The cast also will include Matthew Morrison, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Matt Bomer, Christine Lahti, Yeardley Smith and more.

The play had a reading in New York last year at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.

The YouTube broadcast is scheduled to start at 7:45 p.m. Pacific Time on Saturday and can be viewed at www.youtube.com/AmericanEqualRights.

Pitt's casting raises one other pressing question -- will Angie be there too?

RELATED:

George Clooney joins L.A. cast of Prop. 8 play

'8,' a play about Proposition 8, debuts March 3 in L.A.

Matthew Morrison, Jesse Tyler Ferguson join '8' reading

-- David Ng

Photo: Brad Pitt at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times.

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