Never accuse the Odyssey Theatre of being couple un-friendly.
Opening within a couple of weeks each other on two of the Odyssey stages will be a pair of real life husband-and-wife performers who have some actual name recognition even if the plays they are appearing in are relatively new. Or, in the case of “Assisted Living,” a world premiere.
The two writers of “Assisted Living” are also in the cast: husband and wife Paul Dooley and Winnie Holzman. Dooley’s the one with the beefier acting resume. He’s been the designated dad in films ranging from “Sixteen Candles,” “Breaking Away,” “Runaway Bride,” and the series “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” He still seems to get plenty of work in TV and film, even after having just turned 85 in February.
Holzman, who has also acted, is more known for writing, having penned the book to the musical “Wicked” and created the still cult favorite series from 1994 “My So-Called Life.” Both titles still carry some seriously rabid fans, "Wicked" in particular.
Per the media release, “Assisted Living” fulfills a resolution between Dooley and Holzman to work together on stage. The play "explores the surprising connections between four very different characters – Frank, a beloved soap opera star facing an uncertain future; Emily, his former makeup artist and longtime girlfriend; Edgar, a curmudgeon who feels abandoned in his assisted living facility; and Heather, Edgar’s unfulfilled, unmarried daughter who is Frank’s biggest fan.”
“Assisted Living,” a guest production, opens April 5 and runs through May 12. Fri.-Sat. at 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. $25-$30, (310) 477-2055 www.AssistedLivingThePlay.com.
Bowing nearly concurrently (April 20) on another Odyssey stage is the L.A. premiere (San Francisco’s Magic Theatre got it first) of Sharr White’s “Annapurna.” This one’s a two-hander, a one-act, about a former couple who haven’t seen each other in over two decades before Emma (Mullaly) arrives, unannounced at Ulysses’ Colorado motor home. The director is the accomplished Bart DeLorenzo who ran the Evidence Room for so many years.
The couple are real life spouses Nick Offerman (of “Parks and Recreation”) and Megan Mullaly (“Will and Grace”). The two have worked together several times on screen, and Mullaly is certainly a stage vet with Broadway credits in “Grease,” “How to Succeed in Business…”, and “Young Frankenstein” She even played the Odyssey stage before during a 2009 run of “The Receptionist” directed by DeLorenzo.
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"Annapurna" plays 8 p.m. Wed.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun.; through June 9. (with a few switched or non-show dates, so check listings). $25-$30. (310) 477-2055 x2, www.OdysseyTheatre.
The Odyssey is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.