Los Angeles Theater Preview: GO BACK TO WHERE YOU ARE (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble)

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by Frank Arthur on July 1, 2016

in Theater-Los Angeles


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 and running through September 4, 2016.

In Greenspan’s tender comedy, which premiered at Playwrights Horizons, a forgotten chorus boy from the theater of ancient Greece is sent back to Earth on a mission from God. When he finds himself summering on Long Island among a makeshift family of theater artists — 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.” Maria O’Brien takes on the role of Claire, a Broadway diva who’s the host of this summer weekend in Montauk, while Annabelle Gurwitch plays the not-quite-as-successful friend who has been living in Claire’s shadow. Justin 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 Bill Brochtrup and Jeffrey Hutchinson, while Andrew 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.

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.

Go Back to Where You Are
Odyssey Theatre Ensemble
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd in West L.A.
July 9-September 4, 2016
for tickets, call 310.477.2055 or visit Odyssey Theatre

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