Tickets are now on sale for a new play in Los Angeles that features the reunion of a very familiar couple in the Buffyverse.
The Greenway Arts Alliance and Round Swamp Entertainment will present “The Bells of West 87th” at the Greenway Court Theater in Los Angeles. It features Juliet Landau and James Marsters, better known as Spike and Drusilla from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
Landau plays Molly Fein, a building manager and aspiring poet who has problems dealing with her colorful family. She lives with her mom, while her dad (who considers himself the next great magician) lives next door after separating from his wife. Mrs. Fein installed bells around his apartment to know exactly what he’s doing. Molly makes a friend in Chris, played by Marsters, and soon decides to invite him to dinner with her family. What follows is an interesting night that forces the family to face a few facts, but also provides some hope for Molly.
“It’s a very funny set-up that sounds completely out there, but was inspired by true events,” explains director Richard Pierce. “In the end, though, the real comedy comes out of the characters. They’re so well-written and full of heart. Molly’s poetry is hilarious.
“The environment is such an integral part of the play, he adds. “The bells are almost like another character.”
“The characters are heightened… but we all know these people,” says Elin Hampton, who wrote the play. “The grown daughter who’s still not fully independent, her helicopter parents who are trying to redefine themselves and remain vibrant as they age, the boyfriend who struggles to make a living but has big dreams. What drives all of these people is hope. It all comes down to finding our place in the world, and not letting it be foisted upon us.”
Whedonopolis writer Amy Hirschman praised Landau’s performance in a special stage reading of the play last year: “Juliet’s facial expressions were especially entertaining, ranging from shock to disgust to exasperation. She has always had a talent for regional and foreign accents, and her New York accent in this show made her very believable as the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents.” By the way, Chris was played by Chet Grissom in the reading. Here’s a link to the complete review.
Hampton also wrote the stage musical “Who’s Your Mommy?” and the “Go Fish” episode from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She has producing and writing credits for several shows including “Mad About You,” “Dream On” and “Pinky and the Brain.” She’s also married to David Fury, the play’s executive producer.
The cast includes Carol Locatell, who has been in many Broadway productions including “The Rose Tattoo” and “The Shadow Box”, Dagney Kerr, who will be in the Hallmark Channel movie “Strawberry Summer”, and Robert Towers, who was the original Snoopy in the Los Angeles production of “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”.
Performances of The Bells of West 87th take place Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays @ 6 p.m., Sept. 7 through Oct. 13. Tickets are $34.
Two preview performances will take place on September 5th and 6th, where tickets will be $25. On Sept. 15 and Sept. 19, they’ll be a post-performance Q & A with the cast. Tickets for those nights are $50. The Greenway Court Theatre is located at 544 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036. To purchase tickets, call (323) 655-7679 x100 or www.greenwayarts.org
The photos used in this article are provided courtesy of Deverill Weekes.