NEPA Scene Staff

Act Out Theatre in Dunmore presents Neil Simon comedy ‘California Suite’ Jan. 4-6

Act Out Theatre in Dunmore presents Neil Simon comedy ‘California Suite’ Jan. 4-6
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From a press release:

Act Out Theatre Group will present its first production of 2019, the 1976 Neil Simon comedy “California Suite,” for one weekend only in Dunmore on Friday, Jan. 4 through Sunday, Jan. 6.

According to Dan Pittman, the play’s director and owner of Act Out Theatre, “California Suite” is presented in four playlets that all take place in the same suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Visitors to the room hail from London, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia.

Benjamin Dugas of Pittston plays Mort Hollender, a visitor from Chicago.

“From the dry, sarcastic humor of the couple from New York fighting over their lives to the slapsticky humor of four friends [from Chicago] trying to survive a vacation together without killing each other, there is such a great dynamic between the four scenes that everyone will get a kick out of it.”

Although Act Out Theatre is mainly a children’s workshop-based theatre, the group puts on several adult productions throughout the year. The cast of “California Suite” primarily includes adults from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties.

When two couples from Chicago go on vacation, hilarity ensues. From left, this playlet stars Stephanie Skiro, Kalen Churcher, Tyler Floryan, and Benjamin Dugas.

The “Visitor from Philadelphia” playlet includes several Lackawanna County teens, including Alana Simrell and Lily Smith, and was directed by Kaitlyn Dolphin, a senior at Scranton High School.

McHale Baden of Taylor stars in two of the playlets – London and Philadelphia. Baden has been working on the production while home on break from college. He believes individuals should come see the show because “Neil Simon’s writing style perfects classical comedy in a way that makes it almost timeless.”

Simon adapted his play for a 1978 feature film directed by Herbert Ross and starring Alan Alda, Jane Fonda, Walter Matthau, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Elaine May, Maggie Smith, and Michael Caine. Smith won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film.

“California Suite” opens on the Act Out stage (150 E. Grove St., Dunmore) on Jan. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Additional shows are at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 5 and 2 p.m. on Jan. 6.

Tickets, which are $10, can be purchased by e-mailing Tickets can also be purchased at the door. Pre-payment is not required. Reservations are recommended but also not required.