The Studio Theatre’s production Death Defying Acts begins a two-week run this evening.
The long-running Off Broadway hit features the work of three gifted playwrights creating three scenarios with adult language and content.
“The first thing that attracted me to this script were the playwrights: David Mamet, Elaine May and Woody Allen,” says director Shane Tollefson.
“With multiple Academy and Writers Guild awards, a Pulitzer Prize and a National Medal of Arts between the three of them, I knew the dialogue would be smart, layered, witty and sharp.”
David Mamet’s An Interview is an oblique, mystifying interrogation. A sleazy lawyer, played by Jay Goddard, is forced to answer difficult questions and to admit the truth about his life and career to an attendant played by Chris Armstrong.
In Hotline by Elaine May, a neurotic woman with enough urban angst to fill a neighbourhood calls a suicide crisis hotline late one night. The counsellor who gets the call is overwhelmed. It is his first night on the job.
This scenario features Chris Armstrong as Ken; Jay Goddard as Dr. Russell; Laura Masini Pieralli as Marty Laura; Veronica Abel as Dorothy; and Haley Tazelaar as the delivery person.
In Woody Allen’s wildly comic Central Park West, a well to do psychiatrist has just discovered that her best friend is having an affair with her husband.
She has invited the friend over for a confrontation after getting thoroughly soused. Meanwhile, the husband is about to run off with a college student. This scenario features Veronica Abel as Carol; Laura Masini Pieralli as Phyllis Laura; Chris Armstrong as Howard; Jay Goddard as Sam; and Haley Tazelaar as Juliet.
“I have an amazing cast and crew,” Tollefson says. “Five actors playing 12 different roles in the three plays, all on one stage. It’s quite the juggling act but everyone is up to the challenge and passing with flying colours.”
Death Defying Acts runs at the Studio Theatre May 4-7 and 11-14.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at About Face Photography, Kit and Kaboodle and The Open Book.