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WRITTEN BY JOSHUA HARMON
DIRECTED BY MATT SHAKMAN
OPENS TONIGHT (JUNE 17, 2015)
IN THE GIL CATES THEATER AT THE GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
LOS ANGELES (June 17, 2015) – The Geffen Playhouse production of Bad Jews by Joshua Harmon, directed by Matt Shakman who is the artistic director of the Black Dahlia Theatre, a Geffen playhouse alumni (Good People, Wait Until Dark) and a noted television director (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Mad Men) opens tonight in the Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse and runs through July 19, 2015.
The production features Ari Brand (Broadway The Neil Simon Plays; Off-Broadway My Name is Asher Lev), Molly Ephraim (ABC’s Last Man Standing, Broadway Into the Woods, Fiddler on the Roof; film Paranormal Activity), Lili Fuller (Hulu’s Complete Works) and Raviv Ullman (Off-Broadway Sticks and Bones, title character in Disney’s Phil of the Future).
In Bad Jews, Daphna Feygenbaum swears she is the most devout Jew in her family. When her less observant cousin arrives to claim a treasured family heirloom and religious symbol from their late Grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, a devastating and devastatingly funny battle of Old Testament proportions ignites.
The Washington Post said, “’Bad Jews is, for lovers of dramatic organisms truly alive on a stage, great fun: red-meat theater, marinated in fearlessness.” The New York Post called Bad Jews, “Delicious, nasty fun.”
The New York Times said Bad Jews is, “The best comedy of the season … crackles with energy. On paper, the flagrantly devout Daphna would seem to be the clear victor, but I suspect the question of who’s the good Jew and who’s the bad Jew — can a better Jew be a worse person? — might well be a question that a dozen Talmudic scholars could argue over for a good long time.”
Harmon said, “I grew up hearing survivors speak, and it’s a profound experience. You hear people for whom English is not a first language, they’re older, and it just feels like this otherworldly thing. When you hear someone who sounds like me talk about it to other people who sound like me, it feels minimized. Figuring out how to grapple with that is complicated. When I sat down to write the play, I think I had questions, and now I have more questions. They’re big questions, but I don’t have answers. And I’d rather write from that place.”
In addition to the opening night, the run of Bad Jews will feature over a dozen pre-show and post-show Signature Series events. Ranging from the cerebral to the celebratory these include TGIF at the Geffen, Talk Back Tuesdays (Audience Q+A with artists), Lounge Fridays, Girls Night Out and Wine Down Sundays. Thanks to the support of Geffen Playhouse partners and sponsors, all elements of Signature Series evenings are complimentary as part of the ticket price. Signature Series events include:
• Talk Back Tuesdays give theater lovers a chance for a deeper conversation to discuss plot, character, themes or any other questions directly with the artists with a post-show Q+A from the stage.
• Happy hour Lounge Fridays turns the Geffen Playhouse into a haven to help fast-paced Angelenos ease into their weekend and unwind at this cultural happy hour. Complimentary sparkling joins other enticing refreshments starting at 7:00 pm.
• Wine Down Sundays provides the perfect pairing – pre-performance wine sampling provided by Veramonte Wines – Something remarkable awaits.
• Geared towards ladies, with enticements for guys, Girls Night Out at the Geffen is the ultimate night out in LA. For this summer after-party, fashion is on display and for sale with J.D. Luxe and Wear on Wheels offering both pre show and post show shopping with a Le Fashion Truck Pop Up for more post show shopping. Plus eclectic jams from DJ Mike, signature Deep Eddy vodka cocktails, delectable buffets, delicious Malibu Family Wines, the always popular Girls Night Out photo booth and Pixi Beauty and Reka Lena take-away gift.
• TGIF at the Geffen takes place on Friday of preview week and is the ideal cultural meet up and hot-spot on the west side. Enjoy classic to contemporary tunes from DJ Mike pre-show on the Simms Courtyard patio plus drink specials at the concessions bar.
For Signature Series dates associated with the run of Bad Jews, visit www.geffenplayhouse.org/BadEvents
Tickets currently range from $39 – $79 and can be purchased in-person, online at www.geffenplayhouse.org or by phone at 310.208.5454. Fees may apply.BAD JEWS
Written by Joshua Harmon
Directed by Matt ShakmanOpening Night: Wednesday, June 17, 2015Closing Night: Sunday, July 19, 2015
CASTAri Brand as LiamMolly Ephraim as DaphnaLili Fuller as MelodyRaviv Ullman as Jonah
Scenic Design by John Arnone
Costume Design by E.B. Brooks
Lighting Design by Elizabeth Harper
Sound Design by Jonathan Snipes
Production Stage Manager Elizabeth A. Brohm
Assistant Stage Manager Amy Ramsdell
Monday No performance
Tuesday – Friday 8:00pm
Saturday 3:00pm and 8:00pm
Sunday 2:00pm and 7:00pm
Ticket prices are currently $39 - $79 and are available in-person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, via phone at 310.208.5454 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org. Fees may apply.
Gil Cates Theater at the Geffen Playhouse
10886 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90024
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
JOSHUA HARMON (Playwright) Joshua Harmon’s play Bad Jews received its world premiere at Roundabout Underground and was the first production to transfer to the Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre (Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Award nominations, Best Play). It has since become the third most-produced play in the United States this season and transferred to London’s West End after sell-out runs at Theatre Royal Bath and the St. James Theatre. His newest play Significant Other opens at Roundabout this summer. His work has been produced and developed by Manhattan Theatre Club, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Hangar Theatre, Ars Nova, and Actor's Express, where he was the 2010-2011 National New Play Network Playwright-in-Residence. He has received fellowships from MacDowell, Atlantic Center for the Arts, SPACE at Ryder Farm, and the Eudora Welty Foundation. Joshua is a recent graduate of Juilliard and at work on commissions for Roundabout Theatre Company and Lincoln Center Theater.
MATT SHAKMAN (Director) At the Geffen, Matt directed the world premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of Wait Until Dark and the West Coast premiere of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People (Ovation nomination, Production & Direction). His feature film debut--Cut Bank--starring John Malkovich, Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Dern, was released by A24 in the spring of this year. Matt’s television directing résumé includes the upcoming pilot for NBC’s Heroes Reborn and the final two parts of FX’s Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning Fargo, Mad Men and The Good Wife. He is also a director and executive producer of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Matt is the founder and artistic director of the Black Dahlia Theatre in Los Angeles, which was named “one of a dozen young American companies you need to know” by American Theatre Magazine and “Best Small Theatre” by Los Angeles Magazine. The Dahlia’s new home--The Circle Theatre--will open this fall in Hollywood.
ARI BRAND (Liam) is an actor, musician and writer, thrilled to be making his Geffen Playhouse debut. His previous credits include: Broadway: The Neil Simon Plays (Nederlander Theatre, dir. David Cromer). Off-Broadway: My Name is Asher Lev (Westside Theater); Romeo and Juliet (The Public Theatre/NYSF, dir. Michael Greif); Black Tie (Primary Stages). Other: My Name Is Asher Lev (Long Wharf) The Arabian Nights (Berkeley Rep, Kansas City Rep, dir. Mary Zimmerman); The Diary of Anne Frank (Westport Country Playhouse); The Claw of the Schwa (Midtown International Theatre Festival Award); Much Ado About Nothing (New York Classical Theatre). TV/Film: White Collar; To The Flame; Blood Magic; Life, Death, Afterlife, Etc. Ari is a proud alum of both Wesleyan University, where he received a B.A. in Theater and Psychology, and BADA in London. He was born and raised in New York City, and lives in Brooklyn with his partner, Caitlin.
MOLLY EPHRAIM (Daphna) Molly Ephraim is seriously kvelling to be making her Geffen debut in this terrific play. Best known as Mandy in ABC's Last Man Standing and Ali Rey in the Paranormal Activity franchise. Other film/TV credits include College Road Trip, Gravy, Law & Order, Royal Pains. Broadway: Into The Woods (Drama League Award Nom), Fiddler on the Roof. Off-Broadway/Regional include: Rachel in End Days at EST, Anne in The Diary of Anne Frank at Westport Country Playhouse. A Philadelphia native, Molly grew up acting at the local Bucks County Playhouse and performed professionally at the Prince Music Theatre and Arden Theater Company (Barrymore Nom). She earned her BA in Religion from Princeton University. Special thanks to Phyllis and Matt, Josh and Peri at UTA, and Sean at Authentic. For my Big Al.
LILI FULLER (Melody) is thrilled to be making her Geffen Playhouse debut. Regional: Come Back Little Sheba (Marie) and The Grapes of Wrath (Rose of Sharon) at A Noise Within; Into The Woods (Little Red) at Starlight Theatre; You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Sally Brown) and The Wild Party (Mae) at Musical Theatre Repertory; Revolutions, The Jungle Book, NeverWonderLand, and Stations (Ovation Award-winning) with Boom Kat Dance Theatre. TV: Whitney (NBC), recurring on Video Game High School, and a series regular on BitTorrent’s upcoming sci-fi series, Children of the Machine. Most recently, Lili created, produced, and starred in Hulu’s Complete Works, an award-winning comedy series set in the world of a collegiate Shakespeare competition. Lili is a YoungArts winner in Theatre and a proud graduate of the USC School of Dramatic Arts. www.lilifuller.com
RAVIV ULLMAN (Jonah) Raviv was last seen onstage in New York alongside Holly Hunter, Bill Pullman and Richard Chamberlain in The New Group’s revival of Sticks and Bones. Theater credits include Russian Transport (The New Group), The Bad Guys (Second Stage), Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner (Atlantic Theater Company), Dead End (Center Theater Group, dir. Nicky Martin), The King & I (National Tour) and A Rosen By Any Other Name (Connecticut Critics Circle nomination). He has worked regionally at Long Wharf Theater and last summer at Bucks County Playhouse. Raviv played lead characters on the television series Phil of the Future and Rita Rocks, as well as guest spots on House, Cold Case, Law & Order SVU/CI, Criminal Minds: SB and others. He has also been seen in several indie films, MOWs and pilots, and is excited to be making his Geffen debut.
ABOUT GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the not-for-profit organization continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates, and is currently helmed by Artistic Director Randall Arney, Executive Director Gil Cates Jr., and Co-Chairs of the Board Martha Henderson and Pamela Robinson Hollander. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen welcomes an audience of more than 130,000 each year, and maintains an extensive education and outreach program, designed to engage young people and the community at large in the arts.