Ellen Travolta, Jack Bannon and Christina Pickles all have strong Hollywood credentials.
Yet they are willing to forgo show biz spectacle in favor of a simple theatrical reading. In fact, they positively crave the idea.
“I really like readings because people listen rather than just look,” said Travolta. “People are so television-oriented, visually-oriented. In a reading, they concentrate on the words.”
All three will perform “Bits and Pieces - A Potpourri of Plays, Poetry and Prose” as a benefit for Interplayers in two performances on Sunday. They have gathered a collection of scenes from plays, articles and stories, which they will present on a bare stage, script in hand.
Funny that Travolta should mention television, because television is the medium which brought all three to prominence. Travolta was a regular on “Happy Days” and “Charles in Charge,” and is presently appearing in a recurring role on “General Hospital.” She has also been on “All in the Family,” “The Love Boat,” and “Murder, She Wrote.”
Bannon was a regular on “Lou Grant,” and has appeared in “Moonlighting,” “Matlock,” “Murder, She Wrote,” “Dynasty” and “St. Elsewhere.” He recently completed a role in “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”
Pickles is known for her role in “St. Elsewhere,” and is presently appearing in “Cybill” and “Friends.” She is featured as the mother in the hit film, “Legends of the Fall.”
Travolta and Bannon, who are married to each other, have since moved to Coeur d’Alene (they maintain homes both here and in L.A.). When they were casting around for an idea for an Interplayers benefit, “Bits and Pieces” seemed like a natural. So they called up old pal Pickles, who is flying up from L.A. for the event.
If Travolta had her way, she would like to see a series of five readings a year at Interplayers.
“I think there’s a future in reader’s theater, and I’d love to see that be up here,” said Travolta.
She and Bannon are pleased with their new life in Coeur d’Alene, even though she has to commute back and forth to L.A. to do her “General Hospital” job.
“We feel like we have one foot here and one foot there,” she said. “But it works out for me. It’s fun for me, because I can go down there (L.A.), see my family, touch base.”
xxxx “Bits and Pieces - A Potpourri of Plays, Poetry and Prose” Location and time: Interplayers Ensemble, S174 Howard, Sunday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $14 and $12, available by calling 455-PLAY