The Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble and the Powerhouse Theatre Company are staging the Los Angeles premiere of Adam Rapp’s Stone Cold Dead Serious, which the New York Tiimes called “one of the ten best off-Broadway plays of the 2002-03 season.” It opened February 3 and will run for five weeks through Saturday, March 4 at the Powerhouse in Santa Monica. Pinball wizard Wynne Ledbetter’s father needs an operation, his mother is a double-shift waitress obsessed with the lives of the saints, and his sister is an addict. One of only three players in the country to solve the Tang Dynasty computer game, Wynne is determined to win the championship and the $1 million, so he can rescue his family.Bruce Weber wrote in the Times, “Stone Cold Dead Serious…is the work of a playwright who is forging a real voice…Its rendering of the shared language of loved ones illustrates how families can remain intimate even when they are in shards. Its depiction of a working-class America that is unable to dream of anything beyond enduring is as sincerely sad a commentary on our culture as I’ve seen in recent memory. And its fear for young people is, unfortunately, deeply convincing.”The Powerhouse production was directed by Larry Arrick. In addition to his theater and and TV credits, he has been Artistic Director of the Pittsburgh Public Theatre and has guest-directed at a score of regional theaters. He has also directed several films, including Lay of the Land with Sally Kellerman, Ed Begley Jr. and Tyne Daly; the English language version of Burn with Marlon Brando, and That’s Me with Alan Arkin. He was also one of the original directors of The Second City and Compass Players in Chicago, New York and London. Rapp’s first feature film, Winter Passing, with Ed Harris, Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel, which he wrote and directed for Stratus Films, will be in theaters in September. In addition to plays, he has written a number of young adult novels, and his first novel will be published later this year. He has won numerous prizes and fellowships.Appearing in Stone Cold Dead Serious are Brian Norris, Meredith Hines, Kimberly Patterson, Robert Vertrees, Carrie Bradac, Carole Russo and Myles Nye.The Powerhouse Theater is located at 3116 Second Street in Santa Monica. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and three Sunday performances at 7 pm (February 12, 19 and 26). Ticket prices are $20 for Fridays and Saturdays, $15 for students with IDs; Sundays are Donation Basis Performances. For tickets, please call the Powerhouse Theatre at (310) 396-3680 ex. 3 or visit www.latensemble.org.
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