A trip to Venice and a Jewish Ghetto tourist attraction set off the family Green in Eric Bagen's Family Practice, the latest in South Coast Repertory's NewSCRipts series. The Feb. 5 staged reading stars Stacie Chaiken and "Ellen"'s Arye Gross as sister-in-law Deb and brother Phil who find themselves at war with their relations in Italy.
The catch to the Green family's problems is that they're all doctors— all except their son Robin. He's the only one reluctant to visit the Ghetto, a 16th Century historical site, and it's he who begins the Green's dissection of each member's identity problems. Bagen's other plays include 1997's Lump Sum and 2000's Goods & Services.
Chaiken returns to California from New York where she was performing her one-woman search for her grandfather in Looking for Louie. She also appeared in Abe Lincoln in Illinois at Lincoln Center and Edith Stein at Jewish Repertory.
As the photographer Adam, Gross was one of Ellen DeGeneres' failed romances before her character came out in a much ballyhooed move for the prime time sitcom. Gross' films include "Soul Man," "Hexed," "For the Boys" and "House 2 - The Second Story." He has performed often on Los Angeles' stages with his most recent Stages stint in Georges Feydeau's Sleep, I Want You to Sleep!. He recently took the over the reins of Los Angeles' Stages Theatre Company in Hollywood.
Also in the cast are George Coe (original companies of Mame, Company) as Dr. Jim Green, Kathleen Denney (The Real Thing, The Good Times Are Killing Me) as Tina Foster, Actor's Gang regular Daniel T. Parker as Robin Green and Barbara Tarbuck (The Water Engine, Broadway Bound) as Esther Green. Beth Milles directs. She directed Julia Sweeney's God Said Ha, Carroll O'Connor's A Certain Labor Day and the world premiere of Woyzeck's Private Battle.
Tickets are $8. SCR is located at 655 Town Center Drive. For tickets and information, call (714) 708-5555.
— By Christine Ehren