Performing arts

'A Parallelogram' opens at the Mark Taper

marin-ireland-parallelogram8.jpgThis is the actor whose face you are seeing around town on posters for "A Parallelogram" — Marin Ireland, a Tony nominee in 2009 in her first role on Broadway in Neil LaBute's play reasons to be pretty, and an actor who pops in pretty much everything she is in. On Homeland, she played the American terrorist Aileen Morgan who kills herself in prison after twisting the grizzled Saul Berenson like a master manipulator. As "woman" in 28 Hotel Rooms, she was naked with Chris Messina for much of the movie. In "A Parallelogram," a comic domestic drama which opened Sunday night, she is a complicated woman who may or may not be clued into the future of the world by a supernatural vision — and thus questions her romantic relationships accordingly — or she might just be losing her mind. The cast sparkles — Marylouise Burke and Tom Irwin came with the play from the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, plus Carlo Alban — and the writing and production clearly delighted the theater and Hollywood crowd in the audience for opening night. At the intermission, James Franco (in scuffed work boots and a cap) and Kyra Sedgwick hunkered together in the main aisle, near Kevin Bacon, Jeff Goldblum and Jimmy Smits. Actor Marg Helgenberger on Twitter:

Norris, the playwright, is the author of the 2012 Tony Award Best Play, "Clybourne Park," and the 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner for drama. The play's director is Anna D. Shapiro, the 2008 Tony winner for directing "August: Osage County."

"Parallelogram at @CTGLA has one of the most satisfying first act endings I have seen in years. Can't wait for act 2," Los Angeles Magazine editor in chief Mary Melton tweeted at intermission. Afterward: "Rod Serling's spirit was somewhere in the Taper tonite at @CTGLA's Parallelogram. 2nd act as good as the 1st."

Ireland grew up in Camarillo in Ventura County, based on interviews she has given, and attended the Idyllwild Arts Academy and the Hartt School at the University of Hartford. She has been acting off-Broadway a lot and doing a fair amount of TV, including in "Mildred Pierce" and in three flavors of "Law and Order." Here are Shapiro and the cast talking about the play during rehearsals in a video from the Center Theatre Group. "A Parallelogram" runs through August 18 at the Mark Taper Forum at the Music Center.

Photo: Center Theatre Group/Craig Schwartz

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