The Liar Is Out, Chapter Two Is In


We have a new show opening at Little Fish this month.

Well, it’s certainly not a new show; it’s a classic of American theatre. That’s one of the things we do at Little Fish, “New, Classic & Contemporary Works.” For those of you who have now pulled out your season brochures to see exactly what play I’m talking about, we apologize.

The second show in our 2013 season will not be The Liar. Some of you may be disappointed, and we’re sorry. It’s one of those, “Play titles subject to change based upon licensing availability” moments. Instead, we’re doing Chapter Two by Neil Simon. Some of you will be ecstatically happy because you love Neil Simon, and we haven’t produced any of his plays since 2003.

Why don’t we do more Neil Simon shows, you ask? After all, he is the world’s most successful playwright (Google it). And, really, that’s the reason right there. We feel his plays get a lot of stage time in the Los Angeles market, and we try to provide something different here in San Pedro. But we can’t always do the lesser-known and unknown shows. Our goal is to present a variety of pieces representing the spectrum of work that’s out there, including what we consider to be modern classics. Sometimes it’s easier to sell tickets to a show that people recognize. Our regulars may trust us when we produce those unknown titles, but it may be easier for them to convince friends who have never been to Little Fish to come see a show they recognize.

We’re hoping Chapter Two will bring in some new faces as well as all our regular folks. It’s a touching story about a second chance at romance. Who wouldn’t want to see that? We selected Chapter Two for the lovely story, and also because it has a small cast, an important consideration for us because even with the expanded stage area we gained with our latest renovation. We just don’t have room for 12 or more actors (our dressing room is tiny!). But we did take on the challenge of conveying multiple locations in this play, another difficulty in our limited space. You’ll have to come see the show to find out how we do it.

But in case you aren’t in the mood for Neil Simon and would prefer to see a lesser-known work, our first Series B (the series formerly known as Mid-week) show of the 2013 season also opens in March. See Rock City is the sequel to Last Train to Nibroc, our hit mid-week show from the fall of 2012. This year, you can also see Series B shows on the weekend (hence the name change from Mid-week Series) including one Sunday matinee performance. So no excuses not to see this charming love story.

And in the spirit of both “Classic” and “Lesser-Known,” did I mention we’re doing King John at Point Fermin this summer? You’re going to love it! spt

The Play’s The Thing

While the citizens of this country are pondering who will get their vote in the Big Election of 2012, here at Little Fish we’re pondering what plays will win a place on our 2013 schedule.

Just as in politics, the selection process is not an easy one. Will it be the popular choice or the nominee who can change the world (even if no one wants the world changed)? Ultimately, the buck stops at the desk of Lisa Coffi, Producing Artistic Director of Little Fish. She makes the final decisions. And she would like you to know it’s not easy.

It starts with, well, nothing. Lisa has to come up with a list of candidates. Some comedies. Some dramas. It’s always good to have some familiar titles, including a classic piece with instant name recognition. (In 2013, you’ll recognize one whose initials are S.M., and that’s all I’m gonna say.) It’s also good to include some shows that no one has ever heard of to bring some new ideas into the mix.

She has to find plays that are well written, and that she thinks our patrons will enjoy. She doesn’t have professional pollsters to help; she has to try to read the minds of her constituency to know what they will vote for with their theater-going dollars. Are they tired of Southern accents yet? Do they want to see plays with aliens in them? But she also has to pick plays that spark the creativity of our company members so they don’t defect and change their affiliation. And no one wants to hear the same old thing over and over again, so she has to consider if the work as been done recently in the Los Angeles area.

Our political parties have primaries and conventions to give folks a chance to express their opinions. Lisa gets suggestions and comments and a whole lot of opinions from other Little Fish company members. Sometimes the only solution is to get everyone in the same room and fight it out.

Then there’s what you would expect to be the boring part of securing the rights to produce the plays. Let’s just say it’s a bit more complicated than “pay to play.” Some handlers just don’t want their candidate on our slate. We usually need to publish our season before we get the rights to everything on our schedule, and that’s why sometimes there are changes after the season starts (think of them as broken campaign promises “beyond our control”).

If you want to find out which candidates made the cut and won a place in our 2013 season, you’ll need to come to our Annual Season Unveiling and Fundraising Party. This year’s party will be held at Little Fish Theatre on Saturday, November 3 from 5-9 p.m. In the past, we’ve held the party offsite, but by inviting folks to our special little space, we can offer treats like backstage tours.

And, of course, you’ll have a chance to give us your vote of confidence and purchase season tickets for our 2013 season! It’s going to be great – we would never lie to you. And if you’re reading this after November 3, you can just go to our website at littlefishtheatre.org to read about our 2013 season and buy tickets. spt

Bach is Back at Little Fish

The cast of Bach at Leipzig

For your theater-going pleasure this month, we are running three shows in our little space. We have two mid-week shows in October because it’s time for Twisted, Spooky, Creepy (one-acts in the spirit of Halloween). Only $20, there are only six performances (including Saturday 10/20 at 11 p.m. for some late night heebie-jeebies) that start the week after our other mid-week show, Last Train to Nibroc(a love story for all you lovers out there), closes. I’m sure we’ll have no trouble convincing you to go see those two shows.

To all of you who think Bach at Leipzig, our mainstage show, sounds like something you can miss, let’s talk about that. First of all, it’s a comedy, and you know you need a laugh. Second, it’s an all-male cast, and who doesn’t love to see a bunch of good-looking guys dressed in velvet (let’s hope for cooler weather). And third, it’s got Dave Graham! And you know Dave! He’s been acting and directing for Shakespeare by the Sea since 2003, and he’s been seen earlier this year at Little Fish in The Love List with Bert Pigg (who is also in Bach at Leipzig) and in several other Little Fish shows. We count on Dave for a lot of things besides his creative talents; he maintains our computer network and fixes the little things that break around the theater. He’s not exactly a San Pedro native (he’s from Georgia) and he doesn’t live in San Pedro, but he should probably move here considering how much time he puts in at SBTS and LFT (he’s a Little Fish company member, volunteers as house manager, and is on the Board of Directors for SBTS).

Why does he keep doing it? He says it’s all about the personal relationships he’s formed with the people. When you find a bunch of people who are committed to producing quality work and, besides that, are just fun to be with, you go out of your way to work with them. Plus, he likes the pieces we choose to produce at Little Fish. He comes to all the shows, even if he’s not involved in the production, not only to show support, but because he wants to see them. Bach at Leipzig, he assures us, is not mindless entertainment but will really engage the audience. That doesn’t mean it’s serious. It’s a comedy. It just means that your brain will be as tickled as your funny bone. You don’t need to be a fan of Bach. You don’t even need to know who Bach is. You just need to come down to the theater and let Dave entertain you for a couple of hours.

The rest of the cast members may be recognizable to you, too. Drew Shirley, Garrett Replogle and Cylan Brown have done SBTS shows, and Drew just finished directing No Exit at LFT. Don Schlossman has acted and directed at Little Fish, most recently directing Beyond Therapy. Bert Pigg has done a couple of shows with Dave at LFT. What’s it like working with this cast of big personalities and testosterone? According to director Stephanie Coltrin, “Chaos in the best possible way.” Their personalities work onstage and off, and the show really zings with their great rapport.

By the way, Stephanie recently won a Scenie award (www.stagescenela.com) for directing Panache earlier this year, and Bert won a Scenie for directing Loot in 2011. Both of the casts won Scenies, too. What, you say you didn’t see those shows? Well, now, those were missed opportunities, weren’t they? Here at Little Fish, we’re doing award-winning work, and if Bach at Leipzig wins an award and you miss it, too, you’ll be thinking, “There’s another award-winning show at Little Fish that I could have seen but didn’t.” Don’t let that happen to you. spt

Complete schedule and tickets available at www.littlefishtheatre.org.