‘Just 45 Minutes From Broadway’ opens October at Edgemar Center

Writer/ Director Henry Jaglom’s latest screenplay,“Just 45 Minutes From Broadway,” opens at the Edgemar Center in Santa Monica on October 1.

Presented by The Rainbow Theatre Company and produced by Alexandra Guarnieri; the play is directed by Gary Imhoff and stars Julie Davis, Tanna Frederick, David Garver, Jack Heller, David Proval, Diane Louise Salinger, and Harriet Schock.

The venue is the Edgemar Center For the Arts, on the Main Stage, 2437 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405.

The premise:

The Isaacs are a mostly Jewish extended family of actors. George Isaacs (AKA Grisha), the patriarch, had been a third-generation star of the Yiddish theatre in his youth, before “crossing over” into English-speaking theatre as he grew up. His wife, Vivien Cooper, had also been a successful stage actress, but now mostly stays at home and looks after George. Vivien’s brother, Larry Cooper, is in a nearby dinner-theatre production of “Guys and Dolls” and therefore staying at the Isaacs’ house as well. Times are tough and theatre jobs are few, so they’ve also taken in a boarder, Sally Brooks, a fading character actress.

George and Vivien have two grown daughters. Pandora (Panda), the younger, is happy she was born in a trunk and has gotten to live the actor’s life. But she has moved back into her parents’ crumbling home, just 45 minutes from Broadway, after a long-term romance collapses, the latest of several failed love affairs. Betsy hates showbiz and is uncomfortable with its inhabitants, and moved away to become successful as a “civilian.”

She brings home her fiancé, Jimmy Halkin, to meet the family. Also a successful businessman (“mostly in real estate”), Jimmy is as seemingly normal as her family members are “weird.” That’s how Betsy sees them. She’s in for a surprise.

They are all in for surprises. Betsy has been making plans that will affect all their lives, and not with their consent. Jimmy is not who he seems to be. He is surprised to find himself drawn to Panda’s beauty, genuineness and her determination to live life on her own terms.

Previews begin October 1, 2009. Opens Friday, October 16 at 8 p.m. The Gala  performance on October 17 is followed by a reception with hors d’oeuvres, libations and music.  Closes Sunday, December 20. Show times:  Thursdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 5 p.m. Dark Thanksgiving Weekend, November 26-29.

All proceeds from the Gala October 17 performance will be donated to support the children’s outreach programs at the non-profit Edgemar Center For The Arts.