On September 21, 2003, the Galileo spacecraft will plunge into Jupiter, ending a remarkable voyage of discovery.  The Planetary Society will celebrate the mission with a special benefit performance and presentation, “An Evening with Galileo and His Daughter,” September 22, at the historic Pasadena Playhouse.

Based on Dava Sobel’s best-selling book, Galileo’s Daughter, the event will include a short program on the 14-year mission’s highlights, followed by a dramatic reading by John Rhys-Davies as Galileo Galilei with Linda Purl as his daughter, Sister Maria Celeste.

Rhys-Davies is best known to audiences for his roles as Gimli, the dwarf in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy of films, and as Indiana Jones’ friend Salla in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”  Linda Purl is a well known actor of stage, screen and film, whose roles run the gamut from Fonzie’s girlfriend in “Happy Days” to stints on Broadway.

Robert Picardo, an actor and member of The Planetary Society’s Advisory Council, directs “An Evening with Galileo and his Daughter.”  Picardo played the holographic Doctor on “Star Trek: Voyager” for seven years.

Claudia Alexander, Galileo’s Project Manager; John Casani, Galileo’s First Project Manager; and Torrence Johnson, Galileo’s Project Scientist will accept a special tribute from The Planetary Society on behalf of all the men and women on the Galileo team.

Dava Sobel based the script for “An Evening with Galileo and His Daughter” on the actual writings of these two fascinating figures from Renaissance history.  The dramatic reading will highlight Galileo’s impassioned tale of his discovery of the Jovian moons and his daughter’s pride in and concern for her father during a tumultuous era.

Proceeds from the performance will benefit the programs of The Planetary Society.  Tickets — $60 and $75 – may be purchased online at http://planetary.org/html/society/Events/galileo_daughter.html or by phone at 626-793-5100.  Tickets are also available for a reception with cast and crew following the performance.



Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980 to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the search for extraterrestrial life.  With members in over 125 countries, the Society is the largest space interest group in the world.  For more information, contact Susan Lendroth at (626) 793-5100 ext. 237 or by e-mail at susan.lendroth@planetary.org. (http://planetary.org).