FOR PIANO AND HARPO
Written by and Starring Dan Castellaneta
Directed by Stefan Novinski
Oscar Levant, the quick witted, often times sarcastic pianist, actor and composer wakes up in the psychiatric ward of Mt Sinai Hospital after a night of drugs and partying. The drugs and the partying are not new to Oscar, but this time it has gone too far when paranoia, numerous phobias and neuroses push him to attack his wife, June. This is the world premiere of FOR PIANO AND HARPO at the Falcon Theatre.
Oscar was an extremely talented composer, leaving school at a young age, moving to New York with his mother, and studying under some of the most renowned composers of the era. His movie career included “Rhapsody in Blue” in 1945 (George Gershwin’s biography), “The Barkleys of Broadway” in 1949, and “An American in Paris” in 1951 with Gene Kelly. Amazing.
JD Cullum, Deb Lacusta, Jonathan Stark, Dan Castellaneta, and Gail Matthius Photo by Sasha A Venola
Dan Castellaneta as Oscar Levant, has written a piece of theatre which grabs his audience both with comedy, as well as the tragic life that many times besets brilliance and genius. He cleverly moves between eras of his youth and family issues, his friendship to loyal friend Harpo Marx (The Marx Brothers) played by the extremely talented JD Cullum, relationships with Hollywood celebrities, and his stay in the psych ward where he comes to terms with his illness. Numerous friends of his become a part of his journey, Jack Paar, Fanny Brice, Dorothy Parker, to name only a few.
Stefan Novinski’s direction keeps us moving through each part of Oscar’s life effortlessly, back and forth, forth and back to give us the full spectrum of what must have been joyful and painful all in the same breath. The excellent cast is right there along side Dan Castellaneta and JD Cullum. Playing multiple parts are Deb Lacusta as June and Barbara, Gail Matthius as Shirley, Fanny Brice, and Oscar’s mother, Phil Proctor as Sidney, Butler, and Oscar’s father, and Jonathan Stark as Jack Paar, Dr. Greenleigh and George Gershwin. Let’s add to all this wonderful music from pianist, David O, and harpist Jillian Risigari-Gai.
FOR PIANO AND HARPO is moving, touching and thought-provoking, giving us a look into the life of a genius. A MUST SEE, and a wonderful evening of theatre.
Cast: Dan Castellaneta, JD Cullum, Deb Lacusta, Gail Matthius, Phil Proctor, and Jonathan Stark
Director: Stefan Novinski
Music Supervisor: David O
Pianist: David O
Harpist: Jillian Risigari-Gai
Scenic Designer: Stephen Gifford
Costume Designer: Kate Bergh
Lighting Designer: Jean-Yves Tessier
Sound Designer: Drew Dalzell
Props Master: Mallory Birkrem
Stage Manager: Leia Crawford
Production Supervisor: Lee Costello
4252 Riverside Dr
Burbank, CA 91505
Tickets: 818-955-8101 or www.falcontheatre.com
February 1 through March 5, 2017
Wednesday through Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 4pm
Box Office Hours:
Tues – Fri, 12-6pm; Sat-Sun, 10am-4pm
$30 - $45