A World
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April 22 - May 22, 1999

An isolated time share, a torrential rainstorm, five guests, four rooms and a corpse on the couch.

A spoof of Agatha Christie style mysteries, this farce follows a group of renters as they arrive at their time share to discover the recently deceased body of an apparent suicide.  After reading the corpse's diary it becomes clear that the suicide is in fact a murder and that one of the guests is probably the killer.


Production Staff

Desi Doyen - Laura
J. Haran - Michael
Allen Lulu - Douglas
Graham McCann - Peter
Scott Rabinowitz - Tuba
Alexandria Sage - Cathy
Written by George Larkin
Directed by Adam Bitterman
Produced by George Larkin & Tom Roddy
Set and light design by Aaron Francis
Sound design by Babe Hack
Costume design by Timbre Henning
Props by Piper Henry
Stage Manager - Aaron Francis
Asst. Stage Manager -Timbre Henning
Sound Board Operator - Jessie Marion

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Alexandria Sage & Graham McCann


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Scott Rabinowitz & Desi Doyen


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The Cast and Crew
L - R (seated): Allen Lulu, Adam Bitterman, Sandra Dee, Alexandria Sage, J. Haran, Scott Rabinowitz
(standing): Tom Roddy, Graham McCann, Desi Doyen, George Larkin, Aaron Francis
click to enlarge


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On a dark and stormy night, corporate lawyer Laura (Desi Doyen) admits she's been suicidal for some time, so it's no surprise when the other weekend renters at an isolated Hamptons time-share stumble upon a corpse. With the deceased center stage, rival lawyer Douglas (Allen Lulu) steals Laura's legal briefs while depressed social worker Tuba (Scott Rabinowitz) reads her diary and finds himself smitten with her. Mousy tax lawyer Cathy (Alexandria Sage) revels in the excitement, comforting the deceased's fiancé Peter (Graham McCann) until Michael (J. Haran) arrives claiming to be the real fiancé. Playwright George Larkin cannibalizes various genre conventions with mistaken identities, elevating the whodunit spoof to new levels of hilarity. Director Adam Bitterman keeps the action moving, the jokes zooming and the pratfalls flying at a breathless pace, with the energetic cast delivering uniformly strong comic performances. Dominated by a nautical motif (including a giant taxidermied marlin), Aaron Francis' multi-doored set is nicely suited to the action, particularly to Bitterman's well-choreographed fight scene.

- Sandra Ross

Although George Larkin's script is hardly the Shakespearean bloodfest the title promises (I will admit to nurturing a sweet fantasy wherein an arena of lawyers battle each other until only a few cell phones and a Porsche key chain are left behind), it's still a fun little show based on the Agatha Christie premise of a house, cut off from civilization by a storm, containing a mysterious corpse and a number of terrified occupants.
Lawyers Douglas (Allen Lulu) and Cathy (Alexandria Sage), along with the way-out-of-his-element social worker Tuba (Scott Rabinowitz), all arrive at their Hamptons time-share to find a corpse, head neatly bagged, sitting upright on the couch. A quick perusal of the nearby diary, with its 17 subheadings, reveals what they think to be the truth - until the corpse's fiancé  Peter (Graham McCann) shows up. And then the corpse's fiancé  Michael (J. Haran) shows up. And then things get complicated.
Lulu and Sage are wonderfully reprehensible as lawyers who attempt the occasional human emotion, while Rabinowitz proves a warm and personable foil. McCann and Haran are fun, but I can't tell you why. Desi Doyen has a captivating Grace Kelly quality, but I can't tell you who she is. I may have told you too much already. The delightfully named Adam Bitterman shows an adept directorial hand for farce.
I don't know who to applaud for the lights-I'll guess it's production designer Aaron Francis-but they're wonderful. Much of the play happens by candlelight, and it's not until they all light up at once after a blackout that you even realize they're not real. I don't know how those warm little pools of light were achieved so naturally, but it's quite an effect. The set (the modest Mr. Francis again?) is a lovely bit of seafoam green real estate, although I'd question the necessity of adding a full, visible bathroom (trust me, nothing you need to see happens there). Babe Hack's sound makes for a ripping good storm. Only the addition of deceased IRS auditors could make for a more appealing premise.

- Wenzel Jones
©1999 Backstage West


Question: A lawyer dies, goes to heaven and they throw a parade for her.    Why? Answer: Because she was the first one to get there.  Despite this and dozens of other clich attorney jokes, the play Dead Lawyers is a hysterical send-up of Agatha Christie whodunits and door-slamming farces with more egotistical lawyers than an O.J. trial.
A raging storm, a washed-out bridge and a secluded time-share house in the Hamptons provide the ideal clich setting for this comic mystery.  Renters arrive to find a corpse on the couch, an apparent suicide of a corporate lawyer named Laura. Douglas (Allen Lulu, whom youll recognize from a series of collect phone call ads), a rival of Lauras, reacts to the corpse like its a piece of furniture. Tuba, a suicidal social worker, reads Laura's diary and falls in love with her. Cathy, a reserved tax lawyer cares for the shocked fianc Peter ... until another man also claiming to be the fiance enters and the mystery deepens.
Adam Bitterman directs George Larkins play for The Sacred Fools Theater Company, which has forged its name as one of the citys better troupes. The show continues Thursdays through Saturdays at the Heliotrope Theater, 660 N. Heliotrope Drive, Hollywood. On Thursdays two lawyers get in for the price of one. And on Saturday nights, theater-goers can stay for free and see the late night show Crime Scene, a continuing saga of violence and intrigue. For more information call (310) 281-8337.

- Jeff Farve
©1999 Ventura County Star