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O MY GOD, FUGU and More Set for West Coast Jewish Theatre's 2015-16 Season

The much lauded West Coast Jewish Theatre has announced its 2015-2016 season which will kick off April 18 with the American premiere of O My God by Anat Gov, followed in October by Romance.com by Hindi Brooks, and concluding in 2016 with the world premiere of Fugu by Howard Teichman and Steven Simon. All shows will be presented at the Pico Playhouse in West Los Angeles.

O My God is a dark comedy set in the Tel Aviv office of Ella, a psychologist who laments her son's autism. His illness challenges her to the breaking point regarding her beliefs in God, religion, the human condition, and her own existence. One day, she receives a phone call from a new patient who insists on seeing her immediately and when the man arrives and introduces himself, Ella is faced with the challenge of considering what God truly means, how we accept faith, and how these concepts help us navigate each day of our lives. O My God, directed by Howard Teichman, will open on April 18 and run through June 7.

Anat Gov was born in Tiberias and joined the IDF in the 1970s, serving in the Nahal troops entertainment group, where she met her future husband, singer and actor Gidi Gov. She wrote scripts for television shows in which her husband participated, including the long-running entertainment program "Zehu Ze!" In the 1990s, she began writing comedies for the Cameri Theatre. Gov's most successful plays include Best Friends, Lysistrata 2000, Househusband, and Happy End. In 2012, she received the Gottlieb and Hannah Rosenblum Performing Arts Award on behalf of the Tel Aviv Municipality. Gov died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 55.

Up next is Romance.com, a comedy by Hindi Brooks. Can two people find love in a chat room while lying through their teeth about one another? Can a person pretend to be someone else and get away with it? This wonderfully stylized comedy of errors by one of LA's premiere playwrights has been presented to audiences all over Europe and now returns to Los Angeles for the first time in a decade.

Hindi Brooks was a prolific writer for the theatre and for the screen. She wrote over 100 television episodes, several TV movies, and scores of plays. Her dedication to Yiddishkeit and Jewish theatre reflected a commitment to the continuation of the Jewish experience in the Arts. Ms. Brooks' plays have been produced all over the country as well as in Europe. She died in 2011 at the age of 85.

Closing the season will be the world premiere of Fugu, a new historical drama by Howard Teichman and Steven Simon. Prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, there was a group of Japanese ministers that believed Franklin D. Roosevelt was Jewish. Hoping to persuade Roosevelt to revoke the 1935 oil embargo he imposed on the Japanese for attacking China, this group of ministers allowed European Jews safe haven in Kobe, Japan. The hope was to convince the United States that Japan was good to the Jews so that money, exports, and good relations would follow. Unfortunately another group of ministers had a different idea -- the attack on Pearl Harbor. Director and dates will be announced at a later time.

Howard Teichman is the Artistic Director of West Coast Jewish Theatre. Through the years, he has directed I'm Not Rappaport by Herb Gardner, the musical version of Mark Harelik's The Immigrant, the West Coast premiere of New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza at Talmud Torah Congregation: Amsterdam, July 27, 165 by David Ives, The God of Isaac (LA premiere) and Door to Door by James Sherman, Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Rumors, and Lost in Yonkers, Daniel Goldfarb's Sarah, Sarah and Modern Orthodox, Murray Schisgal's Luv, The Value of Names by Jeffrey Sweet, and many others. Last year, Teichman's production of The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez received unanimous acclaim from audiences and critics alike.

Steven Simon studied acting at Syracuse University, during which time he appeared in various stage productions. He worked with Robert Kalfin of the Chelsea Theatre Center and the late Cheryl Crawford of the Actor's Studio. Simon also acted in his play Kindred Spirits off-Broadway at the Amistad World Theatre. In Los Angeles, the Playwright's Group produced Simon's play Back Bar, and his play Wilding received a workshop production at the Road Theatre.

Tickets for the West Coast Jewish Theatre 2015-2016 Season are currently available by subscription only and may be purchased online at www.wcjt.org or via phone at (323) 821-2449. The Pico Playhouse is located at 10508 W. Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, 90064.


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