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Performance artist John Fleck’s satirical theatrical cabaret event
‘it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!’ set for 5-week world premiere at Odyssey
LOS ANGELES (January 11, 2022) — We’re deconstructing — yet again. Following a four-week workshop production last September, legendary performance artist John Fleck’s latest work will get a full, world premiere production in 2022. it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE, an outrageous musical satire that reflects on our national panic in the face of the pandemic, opens at the Odyssey Theatre on February 19, with performances continuing through March 20.
Developed with and directed by longtime Fleck collaborator David Schweizer, it’s alive, ITS ALIVE! is a rambunctious and provocative cabaret-style theatrical “performance event.” Joined onstage by music director John Snow on upright bass, Scott Roberts on piano, and singer/dancers Kyle G. Fuller and Tomoko Karina, Fleck uses musical numbers, dance sequences and broad characters-in-conflict 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.
“As this pandemic continues to evolve and hold us hostage, the show’s title feels ever more spot on,” says Schweizer. “We are taking a poor theater style open bare stage and launching an attack! Rather than letting whatever variant is rampaging at the moment get the better of us, we hope audiences will want to join us in making relentless fun of it, no matter what new contagious aspects emerge or new terrors await. We need to challenge where we are in our lives right now, and maybe the best challenge is a good laugh!”
Conceived, written and performed by Fleck and directed by Schweizer, the creative team also includes costume designer Ann Closs-Farley, lighting designer Katelan Braymer, sound designer Christopher Moscatiello and scenic consultant Chris Bell.
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 three 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 Women, Side 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.
At the Odyssey, David Schweizer most recently directed the Los Angeles Times “Critic’s Choice” production of In Circles by Gertrude Stein. Schweizer has worked with John Fleck for decades — all the way back to Blessed Are All the Little Fishes, the 1990 work that established Fleck as one of the NEA Four. He has also directed and developed original theater and performance work by such crucial local artists as Sandra Tsing Loh, Ann Magnuson, Michael Sargent and Justin Tanner. More traditional directing credits include, in L.A., The Waiting Room (Mark Taper Forum); He Hunts, Sugar Plum Fairy (Geffen Playhouse); Marlane Meyer’s Kingfish and his own-devised Joni Mitchell Project (The LATC); Peer Gynt, Salome and Broadway (The Actor’s Gang); and Plato’s Symposium with his own Modern Artists Company. Directing credits in NYC include the OBIE award-winning And God Created Great Whales by Rinde Eckert; Wintertime by Charles Mee, Jr.; and The Fat Lady Sings by Jean-Claude van Itallie. His many opera world premieres include The Mines of Sulphur at New York City Opera; Elizabeth Cree at Philadelphia Opera; and Emperor Of Atlantis (The New York Times “10 Best” list) at Boston Lyric Opera. He has maintained a creative presence in the Southland by directing often at Long Beach Opera, including, most recently, As One, Hydrogen Jukebox and Leonard Bernstein’s Candide.
Performances of it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE! take place on Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. from February 19 through March 20. All tickets are $25. The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. For reservations and information, call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com.
Proof of vaccination is required for admission. Masks, covering both mouth and nose, must be worn throughout the performance.
Details for Calendar Listings
‘it’s alive, It’s Alive!’
The world premiere of it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!, an outrageous musical satire that reflects on our national panic in the face of the pandemic, conceived and performed by legendary performance artist John Fleck (Blacktop Highway, Mad Women, NEA Four) and directed by Fleck’s longtime collaborator, David Schweizer. Joined onstage by music director John Snow on upright bass; Scott Roberts on piano; and singer/dancers Kyle G. Fuller and Tomoko Karina, 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.
• Conceived, Written and Performed by John Fleck
• Directed by David Schweizer
• Music Direction by John Snow
• Also featuring Kyle G. Fuller and Tomoko Karina
• Musicians: John Snow on upright bass and Scott Roberts on piano
February 19 – March 20:
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: February 19 (Opening Night), February 26, March 5, March 12, March 19
• Sundays at 5 p.m.: February 20, February 27, March 6, March 13, March 20
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90025
• (310) 477-2055 ext. 2 or www.OdysseyTheatre.com
• Visit us on facebook: www.facebook.com/OdysseyTheatre
• Follow us on twitter: @OdysseyTheatre_ and instagram: @odysseytheatre
• Proof of vaccination required for admission.
• Masks, covering both mouth and nose, must be worn throughout the performance.
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This production is being presented under the auspices of the Actors’ Equity Association Los Angeles Self-Produced Project Code.