"A standout ensemble...An unforgettable event!"


A chilling black comedy in which a man takes the wrong flight and lands in the bright glare of the American Media.  Identity and privacy are eliminated, and he must choose between sanity and celebrity.
Who are you, when you're not in the public eye?

In the Dark Night Series...

Tuesdays & Wednesdays @ 8pm
March 25 - April 23, 2003
Additional Performances:
Sundays, April 6 & 13 @ 7pm

Tickets: $10
Reservations: (310) 281-8337
 or Purchase Tickets Online!

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Buy tickets
online to both
and our Mainstage Show,
The Mechanical Rabbit,
 for only $20!

Julie Alexander - Thomas Craig Elliott
Liesel Kopp - Julie A. Lockhart
Dee Nelson - Robert Tobin
John Wuchte

Produced by Meredith Anne Patt
Stage Manager - Karney Hatch
Costume Designer - Mary Hayes
Sound Designer - Jason Tuttle
Production Designer - Majken Larsson
Lighting Design - Douglas Gabrielle
Production Photos - Desi Doyen
Video by Ben Rock


L.A. Weekly (Recommended!)

Don DeLillo’s savage pop fable examines the Icarian celebrity arc of an Everyman who overstays his 15 minutes of fame. A standout ensemble, directed by David L.M. McIntyre, makes this L.A.-premiere production an unforgettable event. See Theater feature next week.

-- Steven Mikulan

L.A. Weekly (Recommended!)

Meet John and Jane Doe
The year of living famously

Michael Majeski has experienced the kind of interrupted journey that is possible only in the age of supersonic flight and evaporating national borders. It seems that on a business trip to Valparaiso, Indiana, Michael (Thomas Craig Elliott) was re-routed from Chicago to Miami; as if this weren't enough, the next, amended leg of his journey, to Valparaiso, Florida, resulted in his enplaning to South America and taking a helicopter ride to Valparaiso, Chile. 

But in Don DeLillo's Valparaiso, now at Sacred Fools Theater, that's only the start: Michael becomes an instant media celebrity who eventually overstays his 15-minute welcome endlessly repeating and refining his answers to the same incessant questions about what led to his fluke odyssey, as though some transcendent, liberating truth will emerge from these banal catechisms. The scary part is that our wayward traveler manfully accepts the grueling schedule of interviews that eventually dominate his existence and that of his wife, Livia (Dee Nelson) as though he's secretly known that his whole life has been a preparation for a media carnival. 

His occasional interrogators (John Wuchte and Julie A. Lockhart) are an indifferent crew who clearly have no genuine interest in Michael's travels, even as they push microphones in front of him. Meanwhile, Michael effortlessly appropriates their cold professionalism and even begins to incorporate their expressions into his answers. When Michael's "fame" places him and Livia together on a high-profile, Oprah-type talk show, he reaches the apogee of his Icarian celebrity arc and now faces disaster. 

At first glance, Valparaiso appears to be a knowing, if somewhat smug, satire on tabloid culture and our insatiable blood lust for revelation and moral implosion. DeLillo shows us a nation obsessed with asking personal questions for the mere sake of asking because, as one character says, "Everything is accessible." Soon, however, his play moves into the great, lonely heart of America, into the dream life of people who have always suspected they were special but needed media validation to prove it to the world. Act 2 is a modern Grand Inquisitor scene, set on a TV show hosted by a woman named Delfina Treadwell (Julie Alexander). The hypernarcissistic Delfina is a celebrity interviewer and a kind of Delphic oracle who, instead of dispensing enigmatic replies to truth seekers, asks nebulous questions of her victim-subjects. 

This harrowing L.A.-premiere production, deftly mounted by director David LM Mcintyre, always has its finger on the pulse of DeLillo's bleak comedy. Mcintyre's eye for physical nuance reveals itself in nearly every moment, as when he has a bored interviewer slyly push away sandwiches Livia has brought into a room, even while inching his microphone toward her. From leads Elliott and Nelson to the show's Chorus (a ghostly trio of flight attendants played by Wuchte, Lockhart and Liesel Kopp), the ensemble leaves behind a first-rate work of acting; Alexander almost walks away with the show as the self-absorbed imp Delfina a role perfectly complemented by Robert Tobin as her cynical sidekick, Teddy, who idly flips through Vanity Fair while Delfina grills Michael about his elliptical journey to Chile. 

"I don't want your candor," she tells Michael. "I want your soul in a silver thimble." These words should be engraved on every TV set.

-- Steven Mikulan

L.A. Weekly (Again!)

The List 2003:
Lewd Mechanics: Stage Highlights
Lewd Mechanics: Stage Highlights
(published Dec. 26, 2003)

Snapshot of the Culture: Valparaiso, Sacred Fools Theater. While many plays take place in the present or presume to examine contemporary “issues,” few show the collective mentality that decides what is and what is not an issue in the first place. Don DeLillo’s unnerving fable surgically laid out the boredom and aggressive narcissism that shape American pop culture. Thomas Craig Elliott, playing a man who commits a series of airplane-boarding mistakes and becomes a disposable celebrity, led a fine ensemble.

-- Steven Mikulan