THE FUNNY MAN, Write Act Repertory at the Brickhouse Theatre

Sam Aaron in The Funny Man. Photo by Audaur Kountz

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

Playwright Will Manus’s one-man homage to humorist and screenwriter S.J. Perelman (Sam Aaron) is a bit of throwback, and that’s a compliment. In a world as lunatic and partisan as ours, when the divide between evidence and superstition has melted across huge swaths of the country (strategically and cynically, some would argue), it’s not a bad idea to spin back to a lecture hall at U.C. Santa Barbara in 1976 and listen to a then-renowned wit describe his travels around the world, his philosophy of writing, and his associations with the Marx Brothers (for whom he wrote screenplays). Perelman was a frequent contributor to The New Yorker in the 1930s and 1940s (that gets short shrift in Manus’s play), and received an Oscar for his screenplay of Around the World in 80 Days (which gets longer shrift). He died three years after the lecture at UCSB that playwright Manus and Aaron fictionalize, under Judith Rose’s direction. Read more…

Now through July 17