This Week in Theater
by Rose Desena
Q and A With Allan Miller
The Odyssey Theater Ensemble takes on Neil Simon’s classic tale “Broadway Bound,” a warm and humorous tale about two brothers coming to terms with their father’s infidelity while nurturing their writing careers.
Veteran stage, film and TV actor Allan Miller takes the stage as Grandpa Ben. Allan is well known for over two hundred television shows, including a long term role on One Life to Live. His most-recent work includes the feature film Bad Words with Jason Bateman.
Theater is the heart and soul of acting, but unlike TV or film, it requires a lot of memorization, and every show presents new challenges. It’s raw and in real time, offering no support. Once the lights go up, you’re on your own. The worst part is that there are no retakes; if something goes wrong, you just go with the flow and keep on going. A lot easier said than done.
I was curious how Miller preparers himself and studies for his part. What better way to find out than to ask him.
Rose: Hi Allan, how are you?
Allan: Generally speaking, terrific.
Rose: How does it feel being on the stage as opposed to the set?
Allan: I feel more alive and adventurous.
Rose: Why this play? What do you like about it?
Allan: I think this is Neil Simon’s masterpiece. It’s so incredibly human, so funny and yet so perceptive about family yearnings.
Rose: This is the last week of rehearsals and its better known in the industry as “Hell Week.” How is it going?
Allan: Better than expected. Jason Alexander’s focus has gotten the actors and the crew and the staff all working warmly together. The crew even got ice cream sandwiches for the actors when it got hot onstage.
Rose: Tell us a little about your character.
Allan: A passionate, funny man who decries all the injustices in the world, and who will not leave his troubled daughter to the fates.
Rose: What do you like about him and dislike about him?
Allan: His convictions are great, his avoidance of affection is sometimes hard to take.
Rose: I know the pros have a way of memorizing lines, but for me it was always an issue. What’s your secret?
Allan: The more I believe in what the character is trying to do, the easier it is to absorb the lines.
Rose: Well just to let you know, I developed a cheat sheet system for theater. If you need me to explain it to you just let me know. Just don’t tell the director – they get a little huffy about that kind of thing.
Allan: I think our director would say, if it helps you, use it.
Rose: Thanks so much, it’s been great. I am truly looking forward to this. I happen to be a Neil Simon fan, and it’s been a while since I have seen this particular play.
Allan: All my friends say the same thing.
Ok folks, if you have friends visiting, what better way to show them LA then taking them to a play? Andif you don’t, then grab a friend and check out Broadway Bound at my favorite Westside theater, the Odyssey. Details below.
Written by Neil Simon
Directed by Jason Alexander
Starring Ian Alda, Gina Hecht, Noah James, Michael Mantell, Allan Miller, Betsy Zajko
Produced by Ron Sossi in association with Larry Field
Presented by the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Ron Sossi Artistic Director
Performances: Aug. 1 – Sept. 21
Wednesdays at 8 p.m.: Aug. 20 and Sept. 10 ONLY
Thursdays at 8 p.m.: Aug. 14, Sept. 4 and Sept. 18 ONLY
Fridays at 8 p.m.: Aug. 1 (opening), 8, 15*, 22, 29; Sept. 5, 12, 19*
Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Sept. 6, 13, 20
Sundays at 2 p.m.: Aug. 10, 17, 24, 31; Sept. 7, 14, 21 (no 2 p.m. matinee on Aug. 3 only)
Sundays at 5 p.m.: Aug. 3 ONLY
*The third Friday of every month is wine night at the Odyssey: enjoy complimentary wine and snacks and mingle with the cast after the show.
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90025
(310) 477-2055 ext. 2 or www.OdysseyTheatre.com
Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OdysseyTheatre
Follow us on Twitter: @OdysseyTheatre
All seats: $30
Pay-What-You-Can (minimum $10): Thursday, Aug. 14 and Wednesday, Sept. 10