Jack Benny (A Ménage En Train)

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May 30, 2018
Contact (for media only): Gabrieal Griego
(919) 949-8587 [email protected]

JACK BENNY (A Ménage En Train)
Padua Playwrights presents a new theatre piece, directed by Juli Crockett
at The Hollywood Fringe Festival

Limited run at The 3 Clubs: June 5th, 15th, 16th, 17th & 19th.

LOS ANGELES, CA – PaduaLab kicks off the 2018-2019 season with a series of performances in June of Jack Benny (A Ménage En Train), written collaboratively by Guy Zimmerman, Juli Crockett and Gray Palmer, directed by Juli Crockett, produced by Gabrieal Griego, with a sound design by John Zalewski, and lighting design by Bri Pattillo.

PaduaLab Producing Director Juli Crockett directs Shaughn Buchholtz, Jenny Greer, Brian Tichnell and Gray Palmer. Buchholtz, Greer and Tichnell, are all graduates, of the theatre program at CalArts where Crockett also received her MFA. “We were attracted to the rhythm and poetic imagery of this text,” says Crockett, “and the possibilities for staging and fleshing out some very juicy characters.”

Reviewers are encouraged to come to the preview performance on Tuesday, June 5, at 6:30 pm, but press passes are available to any performance.

Four scheming spies on a train! Interrupted by a philosophical magic act that fails — or does it?

“A surreal Brechtian vaudeville street-fight between Jack Benny and Raymond Roussel.” We’d better explain.

From the double-ghetto of poet’s theater, we present this cabaret as, partly, an homage to the procedures of proto-surrealist Raymond Roussel — mashed-up with American Pop’s Manifest Destiny. What does it have to do with Jack Benny? The only certain thing is that it’s called Jack Benny.

The three playwrights created the text by playing a baroque game in two sittings. Using an episode of Jack Benny’s TV show as a prompt, the writers invented dialogue simultaneously (in a series of ten-minute sessions), then read the results interleaved “at random” with a tape recorder running. As they proceeded, a phantom narrative evolved. That phantom had a strong will of its own — to which the writers abandoned themselves as to a daimon.

The resulting text was staged verbatim — well, one word was added somewhere, but the writers can’t remember where.

Director Juli Crockett and company decided — it seemed obvious at the time — that these were the speeches of four spies on a train — or a ship or a zeppelin — and the action of the show was devised accordingly.

The intrepid, charming company of Padua performers, supported by the brilliant sound design of John Zalewski and lighting by Bri Pattillo, have developed, they modestly claim, a style never-seen-before!

Juli Crockett joined PaduaLab in 2013, and has mounted and performed in a series of productions, co-productions and workshops of new work, including Some Cars (MorYork Gallery), Saint Simone (CalArts), Clearwater (Bootleg) and Mr. Job (Bootleg).

Under the artistic direction of Guy Zimmerman since 2001, Padua Playwrights is committed to the exploration of the spoken word and its myriad connections to the possibility of cultural transformation. Steven Leigh Morris, editor of the LA Weekly, wrote, “The Padua playwrights embody a true voice of L.A. The group’s shared aesthetic is comprised of elliptical structures, lean poetical repartee, and comical Beckettian juxtapositions that speak to the soul of the place: the hubris of wealth and celebrity against the desert’s belittling grandeur.”

Jack Benny (A Ménage En Train) Runs June 5th @ 6:30p, 15th @ 7:00p, 16th @ 7:00p, 17th @ 3:00p, 19th @ 9:30p

Single tickets to each event are $15, except the preview performance June 5th, which is Pay What You Can.
The 3 Clubs is located at 1123 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038.
For reservations and information, the public should visit:

Details for Calendar Listings
JACK BENNY (A Ménage En Train) at The Hollywood Fringe Festival from PADUA LAB

Written by Guy Zimmerman, Juli Crockett, and Gray Palmer
Presented by Padua Lab

Jack Benny (A Ménage En Train)
Directed by Juli Crockett
With Shaughn Buchholtz, Jenny Greer, Juli Crockett, Gray Palmer, and Brian Tichnell
Produced by Gabrieal Griego
Sound Design by John Zalewski
Lighting Dedign by Bri Pattillo

The 3 Clubs
1123 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Tuesday, June 5th @ 6:30p – Jack Benny (Preview)
Friday, June 15th @ 7:00p – Jack Benny (Performance)
Saturday, June 16th @ 7:00p – Jack Benny (Performance)
Sunday, June 17th @ 3:00p – Jack Benny (Performance)
Tuesday, June 19th @ 9:30p – Jack Benny (Performance)

TICKETS: Single admission: $15; Preview: Pay What You Can

HOW: http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/5069

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