LOS ANGELES -- Last chance to get on Life Support, George Tricker's play about a man and woman who meet in a hospital waiting room while their respective spouses are being treated. The comedy/drama finishes up its world premiere at CA's Actor's Alley (at the El Portal) Mar. 15, after opening Jan. 16.
Interestingly enough, this is the second play of the same title to be produced within the past year -- in the summer of '97 Simon Gray's Life Support, starring Alan Bates as a man whose wife is dying in an intensive care unit of a hospital, was seen at the Aldwych Theatre in London's West End.
Tricker, a top television writer before ageism -- he's 61 -- cost him his career, got the idea for his play when he took his daughter to the hospital for emergency treatment of a broken arm.
"There was an old man in the waiting room who kept saying over and over, 'I should have gone in the ambulance with mama,' Tricker said. "A little while later a doctor entered and took him aside and told him that his wife had died en route to the hospital. Even though those of us in the room hardly knew the old man, we all started crying. It occurred to me later that this was a wonderful place to set a play."
A two-character drama with comedy, Life Support investigates the need that people suffering a deep trauma have for each other. "An affair follows," Tricker said, "but in act two the couple must confront the guilt and pain the affair causes them."
Last year Tricker's comedy Marvin and Mel had a long, prize winning run at Actors Alley. That play, co-written with Neil Rosen, dealt with two aging TV writers who, when they can't get work, decide to hire a young Latina to front for them, only to rue the day when she starts to become successful.
"Neil and I wrote the play ten years ago but couldn't sell it until time caught up with us," Tricker said.
For tickets to Life Support, call (818) 508-4200.
Next up at Actors Alley, Jeremiah Morris directs the classic farce, Room Service, beginning previews Apr. 9 and opening Apr. 17.
Desire, at the theatre's cabaret space, ends its run Mar. 14.