Theater Opening: it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE! (Odyssey Theatre)

Post image for Theater Opening: it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE! (Odyssey Theatre)

by Tony Frankel on September 6, 2021

in Theater-Los Angeles

Odyssey Theatre presents 4 performances of John Fleck’s it’s
IT’S ALIVE! a musical cabaret special event-in-progress

We’re deconstructing again. Odyssey Theatre Ensemble presents an entertaining and provoking musical cabaret-style special event, conceived and performed by legendary performance artist John Fleck (Blacktop Highway, Mad Women, NEA Four). it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE! gets four work-in-progress performances on Sept. 18Sept. 25Oct. 2 and Oct. 9 in advance of a full-fledged opening later in the Odyssey season.

Developed with and directed by longtime Fleck collaborator David Schweizerit’s alive, ITS ALIVE! is an outrageous satire that reflects on our national panic in the face of the pandemic. Joined onstage by a band and two singer/dancers, Fleck uses musical numbers, dance sequences and broad characters to create a hilarious and uniquely ribald theatrical rollercoaster that skewers our fears and assumptions about everything from COVID-19 to our identity as earth dwellers at this precarious moment.

“The piece will give the impression of improvisation, with frequent audience interaction, but the text is carefully scripted,” explains Schweizer. “John writes characters who might seem like clowns, but they possess an undercurrent of real danger. It’s alive, IT’S ALIVE invites audiences to examine their own tension and apprehension around the pandemic, as well as its political effects, and to laugh at those same fears, aiming for a kind of theatrical transcendence.”

John Fleck is an actor and performance artist most recently seen at the Odyssey in Blacktop Highway, “a gothic horror screenplay’d on one man’s body.” With an established acting career in theater, film and TV (he is one of only 13 actors to have starred in all incarnations of the modern Star Trek TV series in a variety of roles), Fleck is best known for creating larger, experimental pieces in performance spaces and museums. Fleck’s resistance to being pigeon-holed began in 1990 when he and three other performance artists — Karen Finley, Tim Miller and Holly Hughes — were labeled “obscene” by the likes of Senator Jesse Helms and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who put pressure on the National Endowment for the Arts to rescind funding to the four artists, thus forever branding them the “NEA Four.” Their case went to the Supreme Court — and they won. Fleck’s award-winning and sometimes controversial self-scripted shows include: Mad WomenSide EFFlecks May Include, Nothin’ Beats Pussy, A Snowball’s Chance in Hell, Dirt, Blessed are all the Little Fishes, ‘ME’ Psycho Opera and I got the He-Be-She-Be’s.

Four performances of it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE! take place at 8 p.m. on SaturdaySept. 18SaturdaySept. 25SaturdayOct. 2; and SaturdaySaturdayOct. 9. All tickets are $25.The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 SSepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. For reservations and information, call (310477-2055 or go to

photos by Randy LaBorde

Proof of vaccination will be required of all patrons, and admittance is limited to ages 12+. All current CDC and local guidelines regarding seating and masks will be followed at each performance.

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