With a small delay to St. Patrick's Day, March 17, Brighton Beach Scumbags will make its U.S. premiere at the new Elephant Space at the Lillian Theatre in Hollywood. The run was originally set to begin March 10. Paul Quinn directs.
Walking along the Brighton (England) 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 disappointment at their own dreams and the interracial gay couple they meet fuels this modern comedy about racism, homophobia, misogyny and ignorance.
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.
The Scumbags are Emma Stafford, Ron Bottitta, Brye Cooper, Jaque Barnbrook, Field Blauvelt and Nathan Hill. 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