Walking along the Brighton promenade, playwright Stephen Berkoff heard the words that would be the impetus for his play, Brighton Beach Scumbags: "What d'ya want on your bleedin' hamburgers?" From that cry, he created two working class British couples whose fury and dissappointment at their own dreams and the interracial gay couple they meet fuels this modern comedy about racism, homophobia, misogyny and ignorance.
Brighton Beach Scumbags, making its U.S. premiere, runs March 15-April 23, officially opening March 17 at the new Elephant Space at the Lillian Theatre in Hollywood. Paul Quinn directs.
Berkoff, a writer, director and actor, is the author of West, Decadence, Greek, Kvetch, Acapulco, Harry's Christmas, Lunch, Sink the Belgrano, Massage and Sturm und Drang. In 1997, he was nominated for Best Actor in the L.A. Weekly Theatre Awards for his performance in Massage.
Quinn won the 1999 National Film Review Award for Excellence in Independent Filmmaking for his writing and directing effort, "This Is My Father," starring James Caan, Aidan Quinn and Stephen Rea. Theatre credits include Brandon Cole's The Asbestos Bribe, Jim McDonalds' Slim and the anti-war musical, No More Peace.
Along with Scumbags, Adam Ozturk will perform a one-man skit as charming, challenging kebob vendor. A different "guest busker" will also perform live music nightly. Tickets are $15. The Lillian Theatre is located at 6322 Santa Monica Boulevard between Vine and Lillian Way. For reservations and information, call (323) 692-7185.
-- By Christine Ehren