"Remodeling Plans" a world premiere comedy at El Portal

Ever wake up wondering, "Whose life is this, and how did I get here?"  Flahoola Productions, in association with Oasis Theater Company, presents the world premiere of an absurdist domestic comedy, Remodeling Plans by Los Angeles-based playwright Jennie Webb.  Randee Trabitz directs Shirley Anderson, Joy Claussen, Dayle Kerry, Daniele O'Loughlin, Tony Maggio, Harry Redlich, Maria Spassoff, and Jeff Sugarman in a six-week run March 11 through April 18 at North Hollywood's historic El Portal Theatre in the NoHo Arts District.

A woman remodeling her kitchen suddenly finds herself trapped in a life that's not hers, with a family she doesn't recognize.  Will her world , and her major appliances , spin completely out of control?  Perhaps she'd better commit to some choices of her own...

"I moved into my house four years ago intending to remodel the kitchen, but still haven't," laughs Trabitz.  "Our environment defines us.  If you own a Thermidor, you must be someone who entertains and has kids and makes lunches.  Can you be a woman who drinks cheap Charles Shaw wine if you have a wine refrigerator?  It's all about commitment.  Remodeling would mean I'd have to answer questions about who I am and how I entertain , and that's who I'd have to become."

"So many people, especially women, allow others to make choices for them," notes Webb on a more serious note. "It's amazing to me that we're willing to do 'Trading Spaces' not only with our homes, but with our lives.  We invite people in and accept their decisions, giving up all responsibility.  But I don't think it's ever too late for us to take our lives back again."

Jennie Webb is an independent playwright whose works include The Complete Story of the War, Men & Boxes, Buying a House, Unclaimed Assets, GreenHouse, Killing Miss America (coauthor), and Tilting. Her plays have been presented on stages and in alternative venues throughout the U.S. and internationally, including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and her work will be published in the upcoming "New Monologues for Women by Women."  The Complete Story of the War, Men & Boxes and Buying a House were chosen as winners in the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP) new play competitions and staged in ALAP's Annual Playreading Festivals by Pilgrimage Theatre, New Works Company and Moving Arts, respectively.  The Complete Story of the War was selected by The Playwrights' Center in Minneapolis for development in their 2001 PlayLabs.  Jennie is also Playwright-in-Residence at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga.

Randee Trabitz is an award-winning director whose production of Duel is currently running at the Hollywood Court Theatre.  Other Los Angeles credits: Mondo Solo (Tiffany Theatre); The Mystery of Irma Vep (Tiffany Theater - L.A. Weekly and Garland Awards); wrote and directed Jack and the Magic Songbird (Los Angeles Opera); Happy End by Weill and Brecht (MOCA); Mr. X-Mas by Bridget Carpenter (A.S.K. Theater Projects); On The Verge (Oasis Theater at Pacific Design Center); North by Donald Kreiger (The Cast).  With John Fleck: Nothin' Beats Pussy; Dirt; The End Of Me; "me"; A Snowball's Chance in Hell & Blessed Are All The Little Fishes, performed in theaters, museums, bars and parks.  Atlanta: Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The Mystery of Irma Vep (Actor's Express).  New York: Velvetville with Paul Zaloom (Puppetry Center, P.S. 122 and National Tour); Nothin' Beats Pussy  (La Mama); Mighty Nice with Paul Zaloom (PS 122); The Sibyl by Trabitz (Dak). Trabitz is a recent recipient of an L.A. Cultural Affairs Artist-in-Residence grant and has recently completed a residency program for The Los Angeles Philharmonic. Upcoming: Sophocles' Electra to open in Delphi, Greece this summer.  She is artistic director of Oasis Theater Company.

Shirley Anderson (The Homeowner) With Sacred Fools: Strange Beliefs, Overheard, Cirque Picnique, dumbshOw, The Brides, and her solo show, Dorothy Parker's Big Blond, which she also performed in Chicago and Edinburgh.  Other credits: Dorothy Parker in Gatsby in Hollywood (The MET) and The Bloody Chamber (Zoo District).  With Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago: 29: Pictures of Life in a Hi-Tech World; Up Against It; The Scarlet Letter; All Souls Day.
Joy Claussen (The Mother) Broadway: The Happiest Girl in the World (with Cyril Ritchard) and Hedy LaRue in the original production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (with Rudy Vallee and Robert Morse).  Recent L.A. theater: Jerry and Steve Mayer's You Haven't Changed a Bit and Other Lies; David Rambo's No Place Like House and The Sentence Finisher; Lanford Wilson's Brontosaurus (Drama-Logue Award); multiple productions of 42nd Street.

Dayle Kerry (The Friend Who Knows) In L.A.: Jennie Webb's Buying a House (Stella Adler Theatre); Ourselves Alone (Tiffany Theatre - Drama-Logue Award); two years as Claire Contrary with the ongoing improv show Soap Scum.

Daniele O'Loughlin (The Wide-Eyed Woman) Circle X Theatre Company: An American Book of the Dead: The Game Show and The Mother of Modern Censorship. Theatricum Botanicum:  Harold and Maude.

Tony Maggio (The Husband - Alternate) Awards: six Drama-Logue; three LA Weekly; a Garland; an Ovation; three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle nominations; and one LADCC Award.  Theater in L.A.: Mark Taper Forum; LATC; Pasadena Playhouse; Odyssey Theatre; Plaza de la Raza; Stages; John Anson Ford Theatre; LA Theatre Works.  In New York: Playwrights Horizons; Cherry Lane Theatre.  Los Angeles: Credits: the Ovation Award-winning The Laramie Project (Laguna Playhouse); Billy the Kid in The Collected Works of Billy the Kid; John Merrick in The Elephant Man; Quentin in After the Fall; Horst in Bent; Prince Conti in La Bete; and Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath.

Harry Redlich (The Contractor) has performed at The Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory, Stand-Up New York, and many other venues. He wrote and directed the play Bench, Boat, Bed, which had a six-week run in Los Angeles, and also wrote In Transition, a short film which garnered awards at the AFI Festival.

Maria Spassoff (The First Friend) Theatre 40: Escape From Happiness; Nicholas Nickleby (Ovation Award nominee); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.  Other theaters: Inspecting Carol, Rimers of Eldritch, Taking Steps and Female Transport (Drama-Logue Award), all with Singular Productions; Asphalt (dir. Jack Klugman) at the Jewel Box Theatre; King Lear, Henry V, Pericles with FreightTrain Shakespeare; Neva's Tale at LATC; Freak of Nature at the Road Theatre.  Regionally: Noises Off, Twelfth Night, What the Butler Saw, Taming of the Shrew, State of the Art, etc. at Sacramento Theatre Company, roles at PCPA Theatrefest, Fantasy Theatre.

Jeff Sugarman (The Husband - Alternate) In L.A.: Sir Larry in Austin Pendleton's Orson's Shadow (L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award); John Ruskin in The Countess (South Coast Rep). In New York: Two Noble Brothers (Cornerstone/The Public Theatre); Eric Bogosian's Scenes From the New World; Chuck Mee's Orestes (En Garde Arts); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Lincoln Center/Theatre For a New Audience); Eduardo Machado's Why to Refuse. Regional theater: The Sea Plays (Eugene O'Neill's Barn); How I Learned to Drive (Hartford Theatreworks); Far East (Florida Studio Theatre); As You Like It (La Jolla Playhouse); The Heidi Chronicles (National Tour). 

Remodeling Plans is produced by Flahoola Productions; additional support is provided by Oasis Theater Company; assistant director is Melissa Craib; set design is by Victoria Profitt; lighting is designed by Bosco Flanagan; costumes are by Paul Spadone; and sound is by Mark Wheaton and Weba Garretson of Catasonic Studios.

The El Portal Theatre is a historic landmark in the San Fernando Valley located in the heart of North Hollywood.  Since its opening in 1926 , first for Vaudeville, then for silent movies, and then for Academy Award-winning films , the theater has weathered the Jazz Age, the Depression, four wars, and finally the great earthquake of 1994.  The lobbies boast luscious carpeting secured from Century City's Shubert Theatre and an art gallery featuring 13 Los Angeles Visual Artists.  Rebuilt in the late 90's and opened in January of 2000, the once 1400-seat movie palace now houses two theaters, the new Judith Kaufman Art Gallery, and sumptuous lobbies.

Performances of Remodeling Plans are scheduled Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 7:00 pm from March 11 through April 18.  Preview performances take place Tuesday, March 9 and Wednesday, March 10 at 8:00 pm.  General admission is $20.00; tickets to previews are $10.00.  Call for student, senior, and group discounts.  The El Portal Theatre is located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood, one block north of Magnolia at Weddington.  There is wheelchair access and free parking.  For reservations and information, the public should call (310) 451-0511 or e-mail [email protected]. For further information,
visit www.remodelingplansonstage.com.
Remodeling Plans , In this absurdist domestic comedy, a woman remodeling her kitchen suddenly finds her world spinning dangerously out of control. Trapped in a life that's not hers, with a family she doesn't recognize… well, perhaps she'd better take another look at her relationship with major appliances. And commit to some choices of her own.

WHO:    Written by Jennie Webb
Directed by Randee Trabitz
Featuring Shirley Anderson, Joy Claussen, Dayle Kerry, Daniele O'Loughlin, Tony Maggio, Harry Redlich, Maria Spassoff, and Jeff Sugarman.
Presented by Flahoola Productions

previews Tuesday, March 9 & Wednesday, March 10 at 8:00 pm
opens Thursday, March 11 at 8:00 pm
continues through Sunday, April 18:
Thursday, March 11 (opening), 18, 25 & April 1, 8, 15 at 8 pm
Friday, March 12, 19, 26 & April 2, 9, 16 at 8 pm
Saturday March 13, 20, 27 & April 3, 10, 17 at 8 pm
Sunday March 14, 21, 28 & April 4, 11, 18 at 7 pm

El Portal Theatre
5269 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA
(at Weddington, one block north of Magnolia)

General admission:  $20.00
Previews:  $10.00
Call for student, senior, and group discounts.

(310) 451-0511 or [email protected]



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