John Logan’s Red in Los Angeles (or What Jonathan Groff did next)

Jonathan Groff as Ken and Alfred Molina as Mark Rothko. Photo Craig Schwartz

When I first saw Jonathan Groff in Glee, I didn’t pay much attention to him. There is much young talent in Glee and he didn’t seem much different. But a couple of years later, he showed up in Deathtrap at the West End, and anyone who can go toe to toe with Simon Russell Beale, it’s worth keeping an eye on. In some ways, I was even more impressed when I saw him in the one off performance of the 24 Hour plays at the Old Vic a few weeks later. With uneven material and very little rehearsal (as it’s inevitably the case in occasions like that), he still made a great impression. Since then, he went back to New York to appear in the off Broadway production of The Submission (playing another, if quite different, playwright than the one in the Deathtrap), went back to Glee and also has another recurring role in the political drama series Boss.

His latest role on stage is not quite on british soil (as I would have liked) but the connection with Britain is strong: Michael Grandage goes back to John Logan’s play Red, directing it this time at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, with Alfred Molina reprising his Donmar (and Broadway) role as Mark Rothko and Jonathan Groff playing Rothko’s young assistant Ken (in the original production the role was played by Ed Redmayne). The press night was this past Sunday and the reviews make for interesting reading: Continue reading