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Odyssey Theatre Ensemble to Stage West Coast Premiere of GO BACK TO WHERE YOU ARE, 7/9-9/4

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Five-time Obie Award winner David Greenspan's unique brand of gentle wit and exquisite lyricism will be on display when Odyssey Theatre Ensemble presents the West Coast premiere of his meta-theatrical comic romance, Go Back to Where You Are, beginning July 9.

In Greenspan's tender comedy, a forgotten chorus boy from the theater of ancient Greece (John Fleck) is sent back to Earth on a mission from God. When he finds himself summering among a makeshift family of theater artists on Long Island (Bill Brochtrup, Annabelle Gurwitch, Justin Huen, Jeffrey Hutchinson, Maria O'Brien and Andrew Walke) - and able to witness their innermost thoughts and feelings - he is caught off-guard by his re-discovered ability to feel love.

"This is such a playful, adventurous, celebratory summertime comedy," says director Bart DeLorenzo. "I love the way David is able to capture so many layers of experience all at once - what we're saying, but also what we're thinking and remembering and reliving all in the same moment. It's like experiencing a play and a novel simultaneously. That may sound complicated and artistic, but the touch is so light and the theme - love and second chances - so hopeful, that I think the effect is completely refreshing."

Because the play is about theater artists, DeLorenzo wanted to cast "a bunch of real theater people." O'Brien takes on the role of Claire, a Broadway diva who's the host of this summer weekend in Montauk, while Gurwitch plays the not-quite-as-successful friend who has been living in Claire's shadow. Huen is Claire's brother - a playwright who may, or may not, be writing this play. A celebrated director and his set-designer lover are played by Brochtrup and Hutchinson, while Walke portrays Claire's L.A.-based director son, back in Montauk to celebrate his sister's birthday, a day made bittersweet by memories of his late partner. And celebrated performance artist John Fleck takes on the time-traveling, shape-shifting "outsider" role of Passalus, the chorus boy from another era in disguise as an elderly British actress.

When Go Back to Where You Are premiered at Playwrights Horizons, The New York Times called it an "endearingly daffy... compassionate comedy about an extended family of theater people... marked by such sympathetic insight into the complicated lives of striving artists." The Village Voice found it "[a] thickly layered romantic caprice... Seventy-five dense-packed, poetic minutes."

Set design for Go Back to Where You Are is by Nina Caussa; lighting design is by Michael Gend; costume design is by Halei Parker; and Beth Hogan produces for Odyssey Theatre Ensemble.

David Greenspan is a New York-based playwright and actor. He has directed and/or performed in his plays Jack, The Home Show Pieces, 2 Samuel 11, Etc. at Home; Dead Mother, or Shirley Not All in Vain at the Public; She Stoops to Comedy (Obie, published by Samuel French) and Go Back to Where You Are (published by Samuel French) at Playwrights Horizons; The Argument (Obie) with Target Margin; The Myopia with The Foundry; Jonas with Transport Group; and with songwriter Stephin Merritt, Coraline with Manhattan Class Company. He has received two performance Obies: one for Terrence McNally's Some Men and Goethe's Faust, one for Mart Crowley's The Boys in the Band. Other credits include premieres or New York premieres of works by David Adjmi, Sarah Ruhl, Todd Almond, Adam Rapp, Michi Barall, William Hoffman, Linda Chapman and Kate Moira Ryan, David Grimm, Kathleen Tolan, Harry Kondoleon, Paul Zimet and Ellen Maddow, José Rivera, Kirk Lynn, Lee MacDougall, Mac Wellman, Richard Foreman, Elizabeth Egloff, Jefferey M. Jones, and solo renditions of Barry Conners' The Patsy and Gertrude Stein's lecture, Plays. Alumnus New Dramatists, Guggenheim, and Lortel fellowships, Alpert Award and an Obie for Sustained Achievement.

Bart DeLorenzo is the founding artistic director of the Evidence Room Theater. He has previously directed Day Drinkers and A Number for Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, as well as The False Servant, Passion Play, Annapurna, Ivanov, Margo Veil and The Receptionist, which were co-productions between the Odyssey and the Evidence Room. Other recent work: Stage Kiss at the Geffen Playhouse, Women in Jeopardy! at the Ensemble Theater of Santa Barbara, Need to Know at Rogue Machine, I See You Made an Effort at the Skylight Theatre, tokyo fish story and Fast Company at South Coast Rep, Death of the Author and Coney Island Christmas at the Geffen Playhouse, Cymbeline at A Noise Within, and The Night Watcher at Washington's Studio Theatre. He is on the faculty at CalArts. He has received LA Drama Critics Circle awards (including the Milton Katselas Award for career achievement), LA Weekly awards, Backstage Garlands and the Alan Schneider Director Award.

The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble was founded in 1969 when Ron Sossi decided to demonstrate that experiment-oriented theater could have populist appeal and be fiscally solvent while maintaining the highest artistic standards. Wildly successful and innovative productions such as The Serpent and Brecht's The Threepenny Opera immediately gained the Odyssey its reputation for producing dangerous, magical and experimental work. Now celebrating its 47th season, OTE continues to explore, produce and present works on the forefront of contemporary theater art in its three-theater complex in West Los Angeles.

Performances of Go Back to Where You Are take place on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., July 9 through Sept. 4. (On Sunday, July 10 only, the performance will be at 5 p.m. with no 2 p.m. matinee.) Additional weeknight performances are scheduled on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Aug. 3 and Aug. 17; and on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on July 21, Aug. 11 and Aug. 25. Tickets are $34 on Saturdays and Sundays; $30 on Fridays; and $25 on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with discounted tickets available for students and members of SAG/AFTRA/AEA. There will be three "Tix for $10" performances on Thursday, July 21; Friday, Aug. 12; and Wednesday, Aug. 17. Post-performance discussions are scheduled on Friday, July 22 and Sunday, July 31. The third Friday of every month is wine night at the Odyssey: enjoy complimentary wine and snacks and mingle with the cast after the show.

The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. For reservations and information, call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com.


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