Spotlight >> THE BRIDGE CLUB


the bridge club nohoWest Coast Premiere

Presented by Simon Productions
Writer: Richard Raskind
Director: Mike Sabatino

Opening Weekend Shows:
Friday, April 20 at 8pm (Talkback after show)
Saturday, April 21 at 2:30pm (Talkback after show)
Saturday, April 21 at 8pm (Talkback after show)
Sunday, April 22, at 2:30pm (Talkback after show)

Friday, April 20 – Sunday, May 13
Friday & Saturday at 8pm
Sunday at 2:30pm
Sunday at 7pm (except opening weekend)

Show Tickets:
Opening Night April 20 – $34
General Admission all other performances – $25

Gala Package Opening Weekend: $25 ticket add-on includes pre-play dinner reception & mingle with the playwright 1hr. prior to curtain

Buy Tickets/Information: or (323) 960-7711

Where: Deaf West Theatre 5112 Lankershim Boulevard North Hollywood 91601
Parking: Metered parking on Lankershim & on Magnolia until 6pm; best free parking on sidestreets west of Lankershim Blvd. (please read all parking signage)
Running Time: 120 minutes (plus one intermission)

THE BRIDGE CLUB West Coast Premiere at Deaf West Theatre
Richard Raskind’s “The Bridge Club” directed by Mike Sabatino, produced by Simon Productions, will have its West Coast Premiere Friday, April 20 through Sunday, May 13 at the Deaf West Theatre in the NoHo Arts District of North Hollywood.

Set on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a despairing man parks his car and considers the waters below, only to find a mouthy, opinionated young woman already on the edge. These two discover what, if anything, is worth living for. This art imitates life story offers suspense, mystery, and a surprising touch of humor.

Cast features Christopher Franciosa, Shelly Kurtz, Nancy Dobbs Owen, Vesna Tolomanoska, and Andrew Villarreal.


RICHARD RASKIND (Playwright) hails from the Boston area, which makes him a diehard Red Sox fan. He attended but did not graduate from Tufts University. Richard got his start in radio comedy, where a Tufts man – Tommy Hadges – donated studio time at WBCN in Boston for Richard to put together a network of eight radio stations for his comedy sketches. Three live cabaret style shows followed – the “Nothin” show, the long-running “Nothin Special,” and “Portland’s a Piece a Cake.” Later, Richard wrote for many television shows, both comedies and dramas, and contributed famous episodes for such shows as “Family Ties,” “Coach,” “Hart to Hart,” “Hunter,” “Scarecrow & Mrs. King,” “Webster,” “Fantasy Island,” “Roc,” “Crazy Like a Fox,” and “E.R.” Richard’s play “Newtonville Weekly” was staged at the Court Theater in Los Angeles, where it captured three DramaLogue Awards. He has since created a new body of work, beginning with the “The Bridge Club” which premiered on the main stage of the Society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia, May 2011, where it was a ‘Critics Choice’ of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

MIKE SABATINO (Director) started his career in front of the camera as an actor and stuntman. His years of film and TV acting credits include numerous Guest Star and Co-Star roles. Mike is perhaps best known for his 11 year recurring role as Officer Martelli on the hit TV series NYPD -BLUE. After directing a series of short films, Mike came back to the stage with his original play “Honor The Badge” which recently premiered at The Crown City Theater in North Hollywood. Future projects include his original plays “Heaven Sent” and “Wedding Vows” to be produced late 2012.


CHRISTOPHER FRANCIOSA (Jack) was recently seen at The Odyssey Theatre in Shaw’s Misalliance and Off-Broadway at The Mint Theatre in The Charity That Began at Home. Although being Darth Vader on Chapelle’s Show was pretty fantastic, his favorite Regional theater credits include Antony & Cleopatra with Mercedes Ruehl at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Camino Real with Eli Wallach at The Actor’s Studio, Dan in Closer at The Hippodrome Theatre, Treplev in The Seagull, Tom Joad in Grapes of Wrath, Ellard in The Foreigner, Banquo in Macbeth, Trinculo in The Tempest, and all the male roles in The Trojan Women. A playwright as well, Christopher has had numerous productions of his works all over the U.S. and was a member of the Warner Bros. TV Writing Workshop.

SHELLY KURTZ (Harold) Shelly’s last show was NEW JERUSALEM. Before that he was seen in COUNTER MEN, COME SUNDOWN, BROOKLYN USA, DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER, LAND OF THE TIGERS, WIT, MOLLY SWEENY, TWENTIETH CENTURY, AMY’S VIEW, SIMCHA, A SLIGHT ACHE, and many too numerous to mention. His most recent film work has been major roles in MANDOULA, THE SPHERE, THE LEPIDOCTOR, and the futuristic film/pilot THE GUNRUNNER BILLY KANE. Shelly played Coach Sanderson in the award- winning feature JUMPING FOR JOY and Feliksas in MIRIAM. He has starred and guest-starred on many television shows such as DALLAS, THE NEW LASSIE, HILL STREET BLUES, HUNTER, FREDDY’S NIGHTMARES, THE OLDEST ROOKIE and recurred as Detective Pete Reynolds on KNOT’S LANDING.

NANCY DOBBS OWEN (Sue) Nancy’s credits include National Theater: Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. LA Theater: The Limitations of Genetic Technology at Theatre of Note, Sweeney Todd at the Production Company plus productions at The Alex Theater, The Hudson Theater, The Santa Monica Playhouse and The Met Theatre. Numerous independent films and national commercials. Other regional theater: American Musical Theatre of San Jose, The Magic Theater, 42nd St. Moon and Berkeley Opera. LA choreography: Theatre of Note, Sight Unseen Theatre, the Production Company, Santa Monica Playhouse and the Hudson Theater. She also choreographed the new video “YoSe” for the band Pie. Nancy is a dance faculty member at Gabriella Charter School, The Performing Arts Center, Centre Stage Dance, and Synthesis Dance Center.

VESNA TOLOMANOSKA (Ginny) was recently seen in the role of Vera in Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE at the Lonny Chapman Theatre, and as ‘Vivi’ in LE TIC TOC CABERET at the Edgemar Theatre. She was born in Macedonia and was raised in New Jersey, where as a teen she toured with a Macedonian folk dance company. Vesna studied at the (AMDA) in New York City.

ANDREW VILLARREAL (Sebastian) was recently seen in Carol’s Christmas under the direction of Steven Helgoth at The Underground Theatre. Notable theatre credits include Hal in Nicky Silver’s Three Changes under the direction of Sandy Martin, and El-Fayoumy in Stephen Adley Guirgis’ The Last Days of Judas Iscariot under the direction of Joe Garcia at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Villarreal has also portrayed Nick in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Harold Dobbs in David Auburn’s Proof in his hometown of Laredo, Texas. Villarreal is the proud recipient of the Santa Monica Theatre Guild’s Geoffery Award for Best Actor as Alan Strang in Equus at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre directed by Madeleine Dahm.