One Step Over - A Tale of Greed, Theft and Murder on Wall Street

Playwright D.B. Levin's lastest production is now playing at Theatre East, 6760 Lexington Avenue in Hollywood. 

(l. to r.) Walter Novak, Peter Haskell, Hanley Valentin and George Svoronos in the Theatre East production of "One Step Over." Photo: Alan Naggar.

How low will you go to strike it rich on Wall Street?  That's the premise of the new Theatre East production One Step Over.  Levin's high-energy play chronicles the downfall of Martin Richards, a young, ambitious stock trader who loses all sense of morality in pursuit of wealth.  Martin's colleagues somehow manage to get caught up in the deadly fallout.

Sound familiar?  The feature films Wall Street and Boiler Room appear to be the boiler plate for Levin's script.  The big screen hits and the stage play share intense, rapid fire dialogue and ruthless characters who will allow no man or law to come between them and money.  Executive producer Alan Naggar, who makes his Los Angeles directing debut with One Step Over, needed five shameless actors to pull off the characters.  He didn't have to look very far to find Walter Novak, who deftly channels Martin's machismo and spoiled badness.  The New York raised Novak also doubles as associate producer of the play.

Peter Haskell (top) and Walter Novak in the Theatre East production of "One Step Over." Photo: Alan Naggar.

Providing the backbone and (unintentional) humor to this story is renowned actor-director Peter Haskell (TV's Ryan's Hope and Search for Tomorrow).  The film and stage star brings such life and vigor to the white-haired role of Kelley Carlisle, a fallen stock broker who's trying to reclaim his status among the Wall Street elite.  The chain-smoking money man once spent time in the pokey for masterminding an illegal trading scheme.  Now Kelley spends most of his time counseling his hot shot colleagues who are perilously close to committing career suicide themselves.

New Yorker George Svoronos (TV's One Life To Live) plays the neurotic Jerry Goldstein, a broker struggling for respect and the finances to make ends meet.  Jerry's problems lead him down a path of self-destruction at home and work.  Rounding out the cast are Derek C. Burke and Hanley Valentin who play fellow stock traders in the low level Wall Street firm.

(l. to r.) Peter Haskell, Walter Novak, George Svoronos and Hanley Valentin in the Theatre East production of "One Step Over." Photo: Alan Naggar.

One Step Over draws you in with its fierce dialogue and physical action.  For a stage play, these characters certainly get a workout.  There are several WWF Smackdowns as discussions over betrayal and loyalty get overheated.  Cast members also keep busy as set decorators.  Each actor takes part in the hurried shuffling of furniture between scenes.  Be forewarned:  This production contains excessive chain-smoking that could send non-smokers running for the exits.  (I was even stifling coughs and I'm a smoker!)  Also, this show contains vulgar and explicit language that is not appropriate for children.  Prepare to hear the 'F-word' in all incarnations from beginning to end!

One Step Over is produced by Adele Jones and Amit Kumar Gupta.  The play runs Thursdays though Sundays until March 19 at Theatre East's new Hollywood location at 6760 Lexington Avenue.  Ticket prices vary.  Discounts are available.  Seating is limited.  For reservations and information call 323-960-7774 or visit online at

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