LOS ANGELES -- Nancy Levine's Leaving Scarsdale will have its Los Angeles premiere May 20 at the Masquer's Cabaret in W. Hollywood, playing Wednesdays only through June 24. The production is directed by Catherine Woodman.
Subtitled Coming of Age in a Family Going Mad, Levine's one-person show is based on her own experiences. First mining her wealth of stories while performing as a stand-up comic, Levine then developed Scarsdale into a full-length theatre piece after studying with the dean of autobiographical monologues, Spalding Gray.
"I know a play dealing with mental illness in a family doesn't seem like a funny situation," Levine said, "but I remember something Garry Marshall told me, about how pain plus time equals humor. And there is humor in this. Spalding says everyone has at least one good story to tell and the best story is the one that had the greatest impact in your life. That's usually where the most juice is."
Levine was a 1995 finalist in HBO's New Writers and Performers Project and a principal player with the Berkeley Improvisors.
The Masquer's Cabaret is at 8334 W. Third. St. Tickets are $10 with a one-drink minimum. Call (213) 653-4848. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent