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 Year Of Difference

Don Schlossman and Rodney Rincon in The Divine Visitation of Joe Pikelsimer, directed by James Rice. (photo by Mickey Elliot)

Looking for something different to do this month? We have just the ticket! Here at Little Fish we’re in the middle of our annual Pick of the Vine frenzy.

This is, by far, our most popular show, because it’s so different. Instead of enjoying one delightful play, when you buy a ticket to Pick of the Vine, you get eight plays. You can laugh, and cry, and ponder the human condition, in 15-minute (or less) vignettes.

Wondering if you would like the short play experience? It was something our Managing Director, Stephanie Coltrin, wondered as well. This is her first year working on Pick of the Vine. She hadn’t directed one-acts since her college days, and she wasn’t quite sure what it would be like. But, guess what? It turned out to be fun. Everything is fun at Little Fish, Stephanie. You shouldn’t have worried.

And why was it fun? Instead of one set of characters, there were many, many different characters in different situations, saying different things in different ways. There was the same rehearsal time, but it was possible to focus more on all the little details, something that our crazy schedule doesn’t always allow.

We’re presenting 11 shows in 2013. That’s unheard of in a theater of our size. We’re crazy, but in a good way.

Having the extra time actually brought on a different danger – the danger of over-rehearsing; the danger of changing things just because you have the time to do it. There was one more difference: there were other directors to collaborate with and bring things back to sanity. Stephanie says it was fun not being the only person in charge.

So this is our year of differences at Little Fish; different seating configurations, different restroom facilities. And we hope to achieve a different temperature in the theatre this summer. And speaking of different, have you heard about Shakespeare by the Sea’s 2013 season? We’re doing two plays that we’ve never done before, and one of them is King John.

I love King John, and so will you. And so does Stephanie, who will be directing the production. Even if you’re a Shakespeare buff, you might not have seen this play, as it’s not performed very often. Why not, you may wonder. I don’t know. It’s a great story. Do not be afraid of the history plays, they are not dry, boring or confusing. They have fantastic characters and soaring language and will make you laugh, cry and ponder the human condition.

King John is often referred to as the least historical of his history plays. See? You’re starting to like it already. You don’t need to know any history to follow the story. It’s a play about power – who has power, who doesn’t have power, and who wants to make sure someone else doesn’t get power.

In February (but only through the 16th), we offer you eight plays you’ve never seen before for the price of one. This summer, we offer you one play you’ve [probably] never seen before, for free.

Mark your calendars and join us at the park this summer. It’s going to be amazing. spt