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Burt Young stars as aging mob boss in world
premiere comedy ‘The Last Vig’ at Zephyr Theatre
LOS ANGELES (Dec. 6, 2016) — Academy Award-nominated actor Burt Young (Rocky, Chinatown, The Pope of Greenwich Village) takes on the role of an aging mob boss in a new comedy written and directed by David Varriale. The world premiere of The Last Vig will open Jan. 14 at the Zephyr Theatre on Melrose for a six-week run.
Joined onstage by Ben Adams (West End and national touring productions of Peter Pan), Clint Jung, (Ray Donovan, Prison Break, Music Within), Bruce Nozick (Weeds, All the Way, The Last Ship) and Gareth Williams (Dawson’s Creek, The Shield), Young will play the character of “Big Joe,” a Mafia wiseguy getting along in years who might just be the last of a dying breed.
“I wanted to look at the changing of the guard,” explains Varriale. “For so long the mob was part of our cultural mythology. But there don’t seem to be any superstars left. Gambino, Gotti – they’re all dead. Bulger is incarcerated. Atlantic City is going bankrupt.”
In The Last Vig, times are changing. Big Joe is old. But is he out?. Can he stay in the game with the help of his young, hip-hop loving assistant, Bocce, and his old friend, Jimmy “The Fixer” D? Or will the juice on the $100K he owes be his last vig?
“In my opinion, this play is like a living documentary,” says Young. “These characters are real street fellas.”
Set design for The Last Vig is by Joel Daavid; lighting design is by Kelley Finn; sound design is by Will Mahood; costume design is by Mylette Nora; props design is by Phi Tran; original music is composed and recorded by Jeff Babko; graphic design is by Kiff Scholl, AfK Design; casting is by Russell Boast, CSA; and Racquel Lehrman, Theatre Planners produces.
Burt Young is a burly, talented character actor who has remained consistently busy playing “rough around the edge” types, often on the wrong side of the law. He was born on April 30, 1940 in New York City, where he received his dramatic arts training under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. Young first gathered notice playing tough thugs in such films as The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, Across 110th Street, Chinatown and The Gambler. Fiery director Sam Peckinpah cast Young as the getaway driver/assassin, “Mac,” in The Killer Elite, and Young came to the attention of newcomer Sylvester Stallone, who cast him as future brother-in-law “Paulie” in the 1976 sleeper hit Rocky. Young received an Oscar nomination for the role, which he has gone on to reprise in all five Rocky sequels to date. Peckinpah again cast him, this time as renegade trucker “Pigpen” in Convoy — watch for Pigpen’s Mack truck where the writing on the door states “Paulie Hauling.” Young has appeared in numerous other major productions, including Once Upon a Time in America, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Mickey Blue Eyes, The Adventures of Pluto Nash and Win Win. Recently, Young received critical acclaim for his work in the short film Tom in America, including a Jury Award nomination for Best Actor at the 2016 Queens World Film Festival, a Maverick Movie Award nomination for Best Actor at the 2015 Maverick Movie Awards, and the Festival Prize for Best Actor, Short Drama at the 2015 Atlantic City Cinefest. In 2014, Young was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hoboken International Film Festival.
The Last Vig opens on Saturday, Jan. 14, continuing through Feb. 19 on Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 7 p.m.; Mondays at 7 p.m.; and two Fridays, Feb. 10 and Feb. 17, at 8 p.m. Two low-priced preview performances take place on Thursday, Jan. 12 and Friday, Jan. 13, each at 8 p.m. General admission is $40, except previews which are $20. The Zephyr Theatre is located at 7456 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046 (between Fairfax and La Brea). For reservations and information, call (323) 960-7712 or go to www.TheLastVig.com.
Details for Calendar Listings
‘The Last Vig’
The Last Vig — In this world premiere comedy by David Varriale, Academy Award-nominated actor Burt Young (Rocky, Chinatown, The Pope of Greenwich Village) stars as aging mob boss Big Joe — the last of a dying breed. Times are changing. Can Joe stay in the game with the help of his young, hip-hop loving assistant, Bocce, and his old friend, Jimmy “The Fixer” D? Or will the juice on the $100K he owes be his last vig?
• Written and directed by David Varriale
• Starring Burt Young
• Featuring Ben Adams, Clint Jung, Bruce Nozick, Gareth Williams
• Original music composed and recorded by Jeff Babko
• Produced by Racquel Lehrman, Theatre Planners
• Presented by Chinese Bookie Productions
Previews: Jan. 12 and Jan. 13
Performances: Jan. 14 – Feb. 19
• Thursday at 8 p.m.: Jan.12 ONLY (preview)
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Jan. 13 (preview); Feb 10, 17 ONLY
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Jan. 14 (opening), 21, 28; Feb. 4, 11, 18
• Sundays at 7 p.m.: Jan. 15, 22, 29; Feb. 5, 12, 19
• Mondays at 7 p.m.: Jan. 16, 23, 30; Feb. 6, (dark Feb. 13)
7456 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(between Fairfax and La Brea)
(323) 960-7712 or www.TheLastVig.com
• General Admission: $40
• Previews: $20