LOS ANGELES -- Clifford Odets' Hollywood drama, The Big Knife, is being revived at the Hollywood Court Theatre June 15-July 16, presented by Your Own Sky Theatre Ensemble. The run is for one month and officially opens June 16, with Kate Randolph and Anthony Lee directing.
The play depicts the life of movie star Charlie Castle, who was once a great stage actor but has been corrupted by Hollywood's easy money and now must make trashy films to support his glamorous lifestyle. The compromises he's made are starting to crush him, which is why he's driven to make one last desperate attempt to rescue his lost honor before all chances are gone forever.
Odets was known for his socially conscious plays, such as Waiting for Lefty and Rocket to the Moon. He then gave up the theatre for Hollywood, where he was quite successful until he was blacklisted in the McCarthy era. He salvaged his career by becoming a cooperative witness before the House Un-American Committee hearing and naming names, along with his former Group Theatre associate Elia Kazan.
Your Own Sky Productions is known for its community outreach programs, creating performing arts programs for at-risk youth in Hollywood as an alternative to gang activity. Several performances of The Big Knife have been designated as fundraisers for the Family Assistance Program, which aids the Hollywood homeless.
The cast includes Jeff Denton, Stefani Newman, Terri Matheson, Elaine Cubas, Lori Lematta, David Justin, Jo-Sei Ikeda, John Muntner, Tim Ring, Sarah Schultz, Rob Brownstein, Ric Mancini and Robert Costanzo.Hollywood Court Theatre is located in the United Methodist Church, 6817 Franklin Ave. in Hollywood. For tickets and information call (310) 557- 9323.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent