Matthew Broderick, center, with the cast of La Jolla Playhouse’s world premiere play “Babbitt,” from left, Francis Jue, Chris Myers, Julie Halston, Genevieve Angelson and Anna Chlumsky. (Courtesy of Jenna Selby)

By Joe DiPietro
Originally produced at La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego, CA
November 7 – December 10, 2023

Synopsis: Multi-award-winning star of stage and screen Matthew Broderick and Tony Award-winning playwright Joe DiPietro (Diana, Memphis) join forces with our own Christopher Ashley and a stellar cast for this remarkable theatrical event. Babbitt entered the zeitgeist in 1922 as a novel by white-hot satirist Sinclair Lewis, the first American Nobel Laureate. An instant literary classic, Babbitt has been a stalwart on ‘best ever’ lists for over 100 years, and is now adapted for the stage.

George F. Babbitt is a middle-aged real estate broker in the Midwestern city of Zenith. By day, he has a prosperous, respectable middle-class existence. By night, he’s plagued by the thought that he has amounted to nothing. Searching for more to life than his top-of-the-line toaster and hickory golf club ― more meaning ― Babbitt leaps with abandon into the most spectacular rebellion of his life ― one that could end up costing him everything.

Led by Matthew Broderick in the title role, the cast bringing this world premiere to life features Emmy Award nominee Anna Chlumsky (Veep), Ann Harada (Broadway’s Avenue Q) and Julie Halston (Sex and the City).

Artistic Statement: La Jolla Playhouse and the Edgerton Foundation share a deep commitment to the development of new work. We are truly grateful for their support that provided crucial additional rehearsal time for Babbitt by Joe DiPietro. The funding for an extra week of rehearsal allowed the performers and technical team to practice and perfect the use of a round turntable inside of a donut turntable that was invaluable in coordinating the technical elements and choreography which help tell the story. - Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse

Grant Statement: La Jolla Playhouse’s 2023/24 Season of six productions featured all world premieres. It is through the support of the Edgerton Foundation that the Playhouse is able to consistently provide the extra time, care, and intentionality required to develop each of these new works in preparation of its first foray in front of an audience. We are grateful for the Edgerton Foundation’s dedication to expanding the American theatre canon. - Debby Buchholz, Managing Director of La Jolla Playhouse

Creative team:

Director: Christopher Ashley
Choreographer: Stephen Buescher
Scenic Designer: Walt Spangler
Costume Designer: Linda Cho
Lighting Designer: Cha See
Sound Designer: Leon Rothenberg
Hair and Wig Designer: Charles G. LaPointe
Original Music: Mark Bennett
Original Music: Wayne Barker
Dramaturg: Gabriel Greene
Casting: TBD Casting Co.; Stephanie Yankwitt
Stage Manager: Martha Donaldson
Assistant Stage Manager: Kelly A. Martindale


Tanis Judique/Zilla Riesling/Eunice Littlefield/Storyteller 5: Genevieve Angelson
George Babbitt: Matthew Broderick
Seneca Doane/Tinka Babbitt/Lucille McKelvey/Storyteller 4: Anna Chlumsky
Understudy - Ted Babbitt/Stanley Graf/Fabio/Storyteller 7: Jalen Davidson
Understudy - Tanis Judique/Zilla Riesling/Eunice Littlefield/Storyteller 5: Iris (Liting) Feng
Understudy - Paul Riesling/Doc Littlefield/Charles McKelvey/Storyteller 2 & 3: Victor Flores
Mrs. Frink/Mrs. Bumbleworth/Opal Mudge/Miss McGoun/Storyteller 6: Julie Halston
Myra Babbitt/Storyteller 1: Ann Harada
Paul Riesling/Doc Littlefield/Storyteller 2: Francis Jue
Understudy - Seneca Doane/Tinka Babbitt/Lucille McKelvey/Storyteller 4: Kyá Lee
Understudy - Mrs. Frink/Mrs. Bumbleworth/Opal Mudge/Miss McGoun/Myra Babbitt/Storyteller 1 & 6: Linda Libby
Charles McKelvey/PJ Maxwell/Storyteller 3: Matt McGrath
Ted Babbitt/Stanley Graf/Fabio/Storyteller 7: Chris Myers

Additional funders:

Production Sponsors:
Laurie Gore and Julie Osman – Mission Valley Community Foundation
Kay and Bill Gurtin
Sheri L. Jamieson
Karen and Jeff Silberman