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‘Casablanca’ live reading makes classic film lesbian love story

Ellen Page, Olivia Wilde, and Kiersey Clemons will star in a live reading that re-images the iconic 1942 movie “Casablanca” with an all-female cast and a lesbian love triangle.

In a story posted online today, Entertainment Weekly announced the casting.

‘CASABLANCA’ READING

In an interview with Q Voice News last week, Page discussed her excitement about working on the “Casablanca” reading.

“ ‘Casablanca is such an iconic film and screenplay with some of the most famous lines in film history,” Page said.

“Live Read of Casablanca (1942)” will be a one-night only performance at the Ace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles December 13. The reading will benefit Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, which funds LGBTQ grassroots activists around the world.

Tickets, from $30 to $150, are on sale.

“Casablanca,” the iconic 1942 film, starred, from left to right, Paul Henreid, Ingrid Bergman, and Humphrey Bogart. The film will be re-imaged in a special one-night only performance December 13 with an all-female cast and a lesbian love triangle. Ellen Page will play the Bogart character.

Page, who was Oscar nominated as best actress for “Juno,” also hinted at the lesbian love triangle and casting, which had not yet been announced.

QUEER, FEMALE CAST

“It’s also one of the most iconic romance movies. We want to show a more inclusive cast. We will have a queer and female cast,” said Page, who identifies as a lesbian and came out in 2014 at an LGBTQ youth conference in Las Vegas.

The “Casablanca” performance is part of a script reading series that writer-director Jason Reitman (“The Front Runner,” “Up in the Air”) has been staging for several years.

Reitman and Page have known each other since she starred in his 2007 film “Juno,” which they re-imaged in April with an all-female cast.

KIERSEY CLEMONS

In “Casablanca,” Page will play Humphrey Bogart’s Rick Blaine, the American expatriate who owns an upscale nightclub and gambling den in Casablanca.

Clemons (“Extant,” “Transparent”), who identifies as queer, will costar as Rick’s former lover, Ilsa Lund, (originally played by Ingrid Bergman) and a Czech resistance fugitive who needs safe passage out of Casablanca with her husband Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid in the classic film), who will be played by Wilde.

Entertainment Weekly has more on the cast.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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