Jason Reitman’s monthly staged readings at LACMA (part of the screening series curated by Elvis Mitchell) have quickly become one of the hottest tickets in Los Angeles. (Tomorrow’s performance is sold out.)
In October it was John Hughes’ shooting script for “The Breakfast Club” (with Patton Oswalt giving a standout performance as nerd Brian Johnson — don’t know if he was auditioning back then, but the Anthony Michael Hall role went to the wrong guy); this time it’s Billy WIlder’s “The Apartment.”
The reason these performances generate such heat is a combination of warm nostalgia and the slow burn that comes with Reitman’s Twitter-feed reveal of who’s playing what. This time we have return performances from “Breakfast Club” cast members JK Simmons (he’s going to make an awesome Jeff D. Sheldrake) and Mindy Kaling (Miss Olsen) as well as Ken Jeong (the slimy Joe Dobsich) — and Natalie Portman as Fran Kubelik, the role that got Shirley MacLaine her second Oscar nomination.
Still to come: Who’s taking the Jack Lemmon role of ambitious-schnook-turned-romantic-hero C.C. Baxter. Personally, I’d love to see Oswalt get the shot.