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Theatre Planners presents world premiere comedy:
‘Drama Queens from Hell’ is rollicking satire of ‘Sunset Boulevard’
LOS ANGELES (REVISED Aug. 25, 2016) — A washed-up TV actress, a former Blaxploitation movie bit player and a pre-op transgender woman compete for the role of Norma Desmond in a remake of Sunset Boulevard in the latest outrageous comedy from Emmy Award-winning TV writer / bestselling novelist / playwright Peter Lefcourt (Café Society). Terri Hanauer directs the world premiere of Drama Queens from Hell, presented by Theatre Planners as a visiting production at the Odyssey Theatre beginning August 20.
A rollicking farce that skewers Hollywood, ageism, political correctness and everything else in its path, Drama Queens is the answer for anyone seeking a laugh-out-loud, escapist night on the town. These three divas will stop at nothing “to get arrested” – absolutely nothing.
“Wild ambition – each of these characters has it to the max,” laughs Hanauer. “These women give new meaning to the phrase “I’d kill for that part.’ “
According to Lefcourt, the call for political correctness and diversity in Hollywood is loud and clear, yet ageism and sexism persist on a daily basis. “The competition among older actresses can be fierce because there are so few good parts. In this play, it’s at the level of an over-the-top feeding frenzy — an affectionately comic vision of the Darwinian universe of the film business.”
Drama Queens from Hell stars (Ms.) Christopher Callen (12 Broadway shows including 1776, Fiddler on the Roof, Lend Me A Tenor) as aging actress Maxine Zabar; Dee Freeman (Pretty the Series; member, Neo Ensemble Theatre) as former Blaxploitation movie star Felicia Brown; and Richard Sabine (world premiere of Doctor Anonymous at the Zephyr) as leading lady wanna-be Brianne McCauley – née Brian. Rick Podell (Sunset Boulevard on Broadway opposite Glenn Close) plays bottom-feeding agent Artie Paramecium, who represents all three of them; Paul Galliano ((Entourage, Veronica Mars, The Young and the Restless) is B-movie director Gerard Manville; and Andrew Diego (DOMA productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Green Day’s American Idiot) is bitchy gay assistant Raphael.
The creative team includes set designer Pete Hickok; lighting designer Donny Jackson; sound designer Dino Herrmann; projection designer Yee Eun Nam; costume designer Mylette Nora; graphic designer Nancy Nimoy; and casting director Michael Donovan. The production stage manager is Rita Cofield, associate producer is Victoria Watson, Theatre Planners; and Racquel Lehrman, Theatre Planners produces.
Peter Lefcourt’s other plays include Café Society, The Way You Look Tonight, La Ronde de Lunch, Mutually Assured Destruction, The Assassination of Leon Trotsky: A Comedy, The Audit, Only the Dead Know Burbank and Sweet Talk, which he adapted into a feature film. A refugee from the trenches of Hollywood, Peter is an Emmy Award-winning writer. Among his credits are Monte Carlo, in which he managed to keep Joan Collins in the same wardrobe for 35 pages; Danielle Steel’s Fine Things; The Women of Windsor, a miniseries about the British Royal Family; the Showtime series Beggars & Choosers, which he created and ran; and ABC’s Desperate Housewives, for which he was a co-executive producer. He has published eight novels: “The Deal” which was adapted into a movie starring William H. Macy, Meg Ryan and LL Cool J; “The Dreyfus Affair,” now in its 15th printing; the best-selling “Di And I”; “Abbreviating Ernie”; “The Woody”; “Eleven Karens”; “The Manhattan Beach Project”; and “Purgatory Gardens,” which was published last August.
This marks Terri Hanauer’s seventh collaboration with Lefcourt. She previously directed last season’s hit production of Café Society, as well as The Way You Look Tonight, Mutually Assured Destruction and The Assassination of Leon Trotsky: A Comedy, all at the Odyssey Theatre; Lefcourt’s La Ronde de Lunch in an Ovation-recommended production for the Katselas Theatre Company (StageSceneLA Award for “Best Direction”); and the feature film adaptation of his play, Sweet Talk, which is currently available on Video on Demand on Amazon and iTunes. Other directing credits include John Posey’s acclaimed Father, Son and Holy Coach and Donald Margulies’ Collected Stories, which was invited to the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, both at the Odyssey; Mitch Hara’s Mutant Olive at the Lounge Theatre, Beverly Hills Playhouse, NY Solo Festival and Whitefire Theatre Solo Festival (“Best Solo Show” award);The Trip Back Down by John Bishop at the Whitefire (BroadwayWorld nomination for “Best Director”); and Thaao Penghlis’ touring solo show, Places. Terri was accepted into AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women. Her short film A Day in the Life was screened at numerous festivals, and Recycling Flo was chosen by AFI to represent it at the Cannes Film Festival International Short Film Corner. Along with being official selection in over 40 film festivals, Recycling Flo won two Best Short Film/Jury Prizes at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival and the Farmington Comedy Film Festival. Terri also co-directed 13 half-hour episodes of Zane’s Sex Chronicles for HBO/Afterdark.
Drama Queens from Hell opens for press on Aug. 20 and continues through Sept. 25. Performances take place Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. There will be two preview performances, on Thursday, Aug. 18 and Friday, Aug. 19, both at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 on Fridays and Sundays and $30 on Saturdays; previews are $15. The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. For reservations and information, (323) 960-7787 or go to www.plays411.com/dramaqueens.
Details for Calendar Listings
‘Drama Queens from Hell’
Drama Queens from Hell — In the newest outrageous comedy from Emmy Award-winning TV writer / bestselling novelist / playwright Peter Lefcourt, a washed up TV actress, a former Blaxploitation bit player and a pre-op transgender woman compete for the role of Norma Desmond in a remake of Sunset Boulevard. A rollicking farce that skewers Hollywood, ageism, political correctness and everything else in its path.
• Written by Peter Lefcourt
• Directed by Terri Hanauer
• Starring (Ms.) Christopher Callen, Andrew Diego, Dee Freeman, Paul Galliano, Rick Podell, Richard Sabine
• Associate producer Victoria Watson
• Produced by Racquel Lehrman, Theatre Planners
Previews: Aug. 18 and Aug. 19
Performances: Aug.20 – Sept. 25:
• Thursday at 8 p.m.: Aug.18 only (preview)
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Aug. 19 (preview), 26; Sept. 2, 9, 16, 23
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Aug. 20 (opening), 27; Sept. 3, 10. 17, 24
• Sundays at 2 p.m.: Aug. 21, 28; Sept. 4, 11, 18, 25
• Sundays at 7 p.m.: Aug. 21, 28; Sept. 4, 11, 18, 25
A visiting production at the
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90025
(323) 960-7787 or www.plays411.com/dramaqueens
• Fridays and Sundays: $25
• Saturdays: $30
• Previews: $15