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David Selby

The City of Conversation

David Selby performed in the West Coast premiere of Anthony Giordana's The City of Conversation at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on May 17 through June 4, 2016.

The play was directed by Michael Wilson, with whom David has worked previously in Long Day's Journey into Night, St. Nicholas, and Divine Rivalry. (See David's stage credits for more details.)

The cast of The City of Conversation included Christine Lahti, Jason Ritter, Steven Culp, Michael Learned, Deborah Offner, Nicholas Oteri, Johnny Ramey, and Georgia King.

Preview performances were Tuesday through Thursday, May 17-19, with opening night on Friday, May 20. The final performance was on Saturday, June 4.

From the press release for the play:

In 1979, Washington D.C. was a place where people actually talked to each other—where adversaries fought it out on the Senate floor and smoothed it out over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. But it was all about to change.

In The City of Conversation, spanning 30 years and six presidential administrations, Hester Ferris throws high-powered Georgetown dinner parties that can change the course of Washington’s politics. But, when her beloved son suddenly turns up with an ambitious Reaganite girlfriend and a shocking new conservative world view, Hester must choose between preserving her family and defending the causes she's spent her whole life fighting for.

From the prolific pen of novelist, essayist and playwright Anthony Giardina, The City of Conversation was nominated for Best Play by the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards when it premiered at Lincoln Center in 2015. It received its Washington D.C. premiere at the Arena Stage earlier this year.

David portrayed Republican Kentucky Senator George Mallonee. Michael Learned played his wife, Carolyn. The two previously appeared opposite one another in an episode of The Waltons titled "The Romance." David portrayed Joshua Williams, Olivia Walton's art instructor. He has the dubious distinction of being the only man, other than her husband, to have kissed Olivia during the series. Click here to see screen grabs from the episode. David stated that he was "delighted" to be working with Michael Learned again.

Photos and videos related to the play appear in the slideshow below. All material courtesy of The Wallis Annenberg Center.

On mobile devices, double tap the slideshow for fullscreen view.