LOS ANGELES -- "It's time that Charles Ludlam had a major production of this play in Los Angeles," said Tony Abatemarco, who stars with John Fleck in The Mystery of Irma Vep , which runs Jan. 23-March 22 at the newly refurbished Tiffany Theatre in W. Hollywood.
"There have been a couple of local productions in past years, but in small theatres," Abatemarco said. "We are doing it on a grander scale which is in keeping with the spirit of Ludlam's stuff."
First produced Off-Broadway in 1984, The Mystery of Irma Vep won Drama Desk awards for Ludlam and his co-star Everett Quinton. Ludlam died in 1987 at the age of 44.
Abatemarco is an actor, writer and director who has won numerous awards for his work. He and Fleck have worked together in four previous shows. "About a year and a half ago, John and I were working on a workshop of a new play with director Randee Trabitz," Abatemarco said. "We had such a ball together that Trabitz suggested doing Irma Vep . We took the project to producer Susan Dietz, who got together with Paula Holt, owner of the Tiffany, to secure the play's rights from the Ludlam estate."
Borrowing references from such Gothic and romantic Hollyuwood classics as Rebecca, Gaslight and Frankenstein Ludlam has fashioned a two-man horror tour-de force. Peter Golub, who wrote the music for the original New York production, reprises his work in Los Angeles. The Tiffany Theatre is at 8532 Sunset Blvd. Ticket prices are $24-27. (310) 289-2999.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent