NEIL SIMON'S LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR Opens 3/3 at Little Fish Theatre
Laughter on the 23rd Floor marks the second production of Little Fish Theatre's exciting 2017 Season. Written by Emmy, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize-winner Neil Simon, this show is a perfect combination of material and talent, and will have audiences rolling in the aisles. Directed by Holly Baker-Kreiswirth, Laughter opens on March 3 and runs for 5 fun-filled weeks.
Playwright Neil Simon got his first big break in the early 1950s as a staff writer on Sid Caesar's celebrated television series "Your Show of Shows." Laughter on the 23rd Floor takes a fictionalized look at the backstage bedlam that went into producing one of the precedent-setting shows of television's golden age. Max Prince is the star of "The Max Prince Show," a hugely popular variety series that is a major hit on the coasts. But the network insists that it's too sophisticated for the Midwest and urges Prince to dumb down his act. Between the tensions of producing and being pestered about his ratings, Prince is beginning to unravel. His last line of defense is his writing staff, which spends its days coming up with sketches for the show while hurling hilarious barbs at each other and anyone else within earshot.
The nine-member cast is comprised of eight Little Fish Theatre Company Members and one newcomer to the LFT stage. Jeff Rolle Jr., who serendipitously takes on the role of rookie writer Lucas Brickman, Simon's alter-ego, has appeared in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo at Long Beach Playhouse, and makes his debut with LFT. Max Prince is played by Groundlings graduate Don Schlossman* who last appeared in LFT's popular short play festival Pick of the Vine. The writing staff roles are filled with some of LFT's favorite actors, including Daniel Tennant (LFT's Domestic Tranquility and Fox's American Idol: Season 12), Bill Wolski (StageSceneLA Award-winner for LFT's Tryst), Melissa Brandzel* (LFT's Looking and numerous commercial voiceover credits), Ryan Knight (Shakespeare by the Sea alum and LFT's Domestic Tranquility), Kathryn Farren (LFT's The Ithaca Ladies Read Medea and ABC's General Hospital), Christopher McNair (LFT's Every Christmas Story Ever Told... and Then Some) and Richard Perloff* (StageSceneLA Award-winner for LFT's Chapter Two and currently seen as a full-time broadcaster with TVG).
Director Baker-Kreiswirth recently helmed the world premiere of Mark Harvey Levine's night of holiday short plays A Very Special Holiday Special and Rich Orloff's 1950s comedy Domestic Tranquility. "I'm excited for the opportunity to bring Neil Simon's words to life and to work with this dream cast," Baker-Kreiswirth notes. "It's not often that you get to see what happened behind the curtain on classic television shows. Laughter gives us a glimpse of a genius writer's room with characters inspired by Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Larry Gelbart, Selma Diamond, Woody Allen, and Mel Brooks. The material is rich, raucous, and side-splittingly funny, and I can't wait for audiences to see it."
Laughter on the 23rd Floor runs from March 3 through April 1 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, with one Sunday matinee on March 26 at 2:00pm which features a special Talkback session where the actors and creative team will be available for a post-show discussion with the audience. The opening night performance offers a special "First Look" price of only $23 per ticket. Regular priced tickets are $27/$25 for seniors for the remainder of the run. Tickets can be purchased online at www.littlefishtheatre.org, or reserved by phone at 310-512-6030, or by text at 424-226-6030. Popular subscription packages of Anytime Tickets are available now and can be used at any of Little Fish Theatre's regular season productions, at any time.
Founded in 2002 as an artists' ensemble, Little Fish Theatre presents classic and contemporary plays in an intimate setting on Centre Street in downtown San Pedro.
*This production is presented under the auspices of the Actors' Equity Los Angeles Membership Company Rule.