The world premiere of DaddyO Dies Well, a darkly lyrical comedy, will be performed at the Electric Lodge in Venice beginning Saturday, April 2 through May 22.
Written and directed by poet-playwright Murray Mednick, DaddyO Dies Well is the fifth installment in Mednick’s eight-play “Gary Plays” cycle. The play is presented by Padua Playwrights.
Performances are scheduled at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays at the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice.
In DaddyO Dies Well, down-on-his-luck Gary takes a psychedelic Ayahuasca trip at the behest of “DaddyO,” his hipster stepfather. DaddyO is dying, and before he goes, he wants to help his stepson get over his problems. He invites Gary over for tea – but this is not just ordinary Earl Grey. It’s Ayahuasca, a powerful hallucinogenic favored by the indigenous peoples of South America.
Under the guidance of DaddyO and Antonio the “Angel of Death,” Gary is brought to understand the pulse and power of organic life on earth. Gary’s trip takes him to the mountains and forests of South America, and the flutes and drums of the Andes complement the musicality of Mednick’s language.
“My writing is driven by a poetic impulse, by the language – which turns out to be at the heart, the essence of theater,” explains Mednick.
Each of Mednick’s eight plays stands alone with no requirement that audiences be familiar with any of the preceding plays. The cast includes recurring characters Gary (Casey Sullivan); DaddyO (Hugh Dane); Dr. Jones (Jack Kehler); ex-wives Gloria (Elizabeth Greer) and Marcia (Melissa Paladino); Mama Bean (Strawn Bovee); and Antonio, the “Angel of Death” (Peggy Ann Blow).
Accompanying Gary in each of the plays is an updated classical chorus that gives voice to his inner thoughts and memories, articulating the fears, grief and aspirations that make up his experience.
The play is directed by Guy Zimmerman, with set design by Matt Aston; lighting design by Dan Reed; costume design by Melody Brocious; projection design by Marc I. Rosenthal; and sound design by John Zalewski.
Tickets are $25. There will be one preview performance at 8 p.m. Friday, April 1 for which tickets are $12.50.
For reservations and information, (323) 960-7724 or www.plays411.com/DaddyO.