Saturday's benefit reading of 8 to benefit American Foundation of Equal Rights
As if having a cast that includes George Clooney, Matt Bomer, Kevin Bacon, Jane Lynch and Matthew Morrison wasn't already star-studded enough, Brad Pitt has been added to the cast of the benefit reading of the play 8 taking place Saturday (3 March) in Los Angeles.
The play based on the transcripts of the trial which led to an appeals court striking down California's Proposition 8 last month. Pitt will play the part of US District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker who found Proposition 8 unconstitutional after presiding over the historic twelve-day public trial.
Pitt's Oceans Eleven buddy and recent fellow Oscar nominee Clooney had previously been announced in the role of plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel David Boies. The other plaintiff's co-counsel, Theodore Olson, is being played by Martin Sheen.
Christine Lahti and Jamie Lee Curtis will star as plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, a lesbian couple together for eleven years and the parents of four boys while Morrison and Bomer will play plaintiffs Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, a gay couple together over ten years.
Other roles: Bacon as Charles J. Cooper, the lead attorney for the anti-marriage proponents of Proposition 8; Lynch as prominent opponent of marriage equality Maggie Gallagher, co-founder and former chairman of the National Organization for Marriage; and John C. Reilly as David Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values.
Also in the cast are journalist Campbell Brown, Glee star Chris Colfer, Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, gay rights activist Cleve Jones, Broadway star Rory O'Malley, and Star Trek icon George Takei.
The play is framed by the trial’s historic closing arguments in June 2010, and features the best arguments and testimony from both sides. Scenes include flashbacks to some of the more memorable moments from trial.
The performance of 8 is being presented by American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER) and Broadway Impact. It was written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and AFER Founding Board Member Dustin Lance Black who based it on the actual words of the trial transcripts, first-hand observations of the courtroom drama and interviews with the plaintiffs and their families.
The one-night only reading is being directed by Rob Reiner, a founding AFER member, and will take place at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.
The play will be livestreamed over the internet and can be viewed beginning at 7:45 p.m. PST at www.youtube.com/AmericanEqualRights.