Elite Theatre Company to Stage THE BOYS NEXT DOOR, 2/28-4/6
One year after relocating the company from Oxnard's Heritage Square to Channel Islands Harbor (at 2731 S. Victoria Ave. Oxnard, CA 93035), the Elite Theatre Company is opening its 21st season by presenting a remarkably real look at the lives of four mentally handicapped men and the kind but increasingly burned out social worker who struggles to keep it all together. On Friday, February 28th, the Elite opens its production of THE BOYS NEXT DOOR by Tom Griffin. This will be the first show in the Elite's 2014 season, entitled "Wit." Heart-filled and hilarious, THE BOYS NEXT DOOR runs through April 6th, Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm.
The play takes place in a communal residence in the Boston area where four mentally handicapped men are looked after by their earnest social worker, Jack. The crew consists of the man-child Lucien, who lugs around stacks of books but hasn't the capacity to read them. Arnold is an extremely nervous depressive but he functions as the gregarious ringleader of the group. Barry is a bright but damaged schizophrenic who has convinced himself he is a golf pro. And the overweight romantic with an affinity for keys, Norman is a low-functioning but extremely lovable character who strikes up a romance with a similarly disabled young woman, Sheila.
James Castle Stevens directs his second show at the Elite Theatre Company after sweeping up 8 out of 10 awards presented to the Elite at the Four Star Theatre Alliance Awards for THE DIVINERS. His strong cast includes Austin Robert Miller (nominated for Best Leading Male in a Local Production by BroadwayWorld.com, alongside Nick Offerman) as Barry. Playing Barry's abusive father Mr. Klemper is Ronald Rezac - a pillar in Ventura County theatre - who recently appeared in Cabrillo Music Theatre's KISS ME, KATE. Tosca Minotto, who was named best featured actress at the 2013 Four Star Theatre Alliance Awards, will play Sheila. Justin Radford (Arnold), Shawn Lanz (Norman), Dan Tullis, Jr. (Lucien), Shea Taylor (Jack), Sharon Gibson (Mrs. Fremus, Mrs. Warren, Clara) and Dana Rheaume (Mr. Hedges, Mr. Corbin) make up the rest of the cast.
The production team behind THE BOYS NEXT DOOR includes Mike Carnahan as Set Designer, Steve Grumette as Lighting Designer, Beth Glasner as Costume Designer, with Akira Dann serving as Producer.
THE BOYS NEXT DOOR is a remarkably touching piece of theatre that leaves audiences laughing through the course of the play, but strikes at the heart. The characters have been written such that the audience finds humor along with the characters rather than at their expense.
Prices are $18 general admission and $15 for students and seniors. $10 tickets are available for groups and for audience members who present a program from Elite's second stage production 50/50 at the door.
Photo by Jennifer Ridgway