While much of the United States rushes to raise money for New York City's injured and killed firefighters, police officers and EMT workers from the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Los Angeles is remembering its own with the Nov. 2 performance of the Ray Bradbury comedy, Falling Upward! or To Eire Is Human, To Forbid Divine. Ticket sales that night will benefit the Tourism Relief Workers Fund and specifically Hotel Employees, Restaurant Employees, Local 11, 40 percent of whose members lost their jobs after the attacks on New York and Washington, DC.
Bradbury is, of course, known as the best-selling author of the science fiction classics, "Fahrenheit 451,""The Martian Chronicles" and "The Illustrated Man." But in 1953 director John Huston sent him to Ireland to pen the script to a film version of "Moby Dick" and inspired the stage play. Falling Upward! is the story of Kilcock, County Kildare and the denizens of the local pub, Heeber Finn's. The men there live life in the little things - bicycle accidents on the country roads, the inheritance of a family treasure and the last beer before closing.
Falling Upward! first premiered in L.A. as The Anthem Sprinters in 1969. In 1988, it was rewritten and reworked as Falling Upward! and produced at the Melrose Theatre. Although not thought of as a theatrical writer, Bradbury is scheduled for an Off-Broadway stage production of his "Farenheit 451" in February, 2002.
David Bryant stars as Garrity. Also in the cast are Abbott Alexander, Walter Beery (Mark Van Doren in 2000's hit L.A. revival of Night and Her Stars), Tim Owen, William Brunold, Flynn Falcone, Doug Haverty, Matthew Hoffman, Jack Kutcher, Barry Lynch, Peter Maloney, Steve Nevil, Philip Sokoloff and Christopher Thomas.
Performed under the auspices of the Pandemonium Theatre Company, Falling Upward! is produced by Bradbury himself and Thomas Petitpas. Tickets are $25. Theatre West is located at 3333 Cahuenga Boulevard. For reservations, call (323) 851-7977. Theatre West is on the web at http://www.theatrewest.org. — By Christine Ehren