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NEW PIEDMONT & OAKLAND THEATRE COMPANY PLAYS “Other People’s Money” AT KEHILLA

Corporate Raiders on the loose! in the funny, dark, sexy comedy
Ann Higgins (higganzo@hotdamn.org) designer

Piedmont and Oakland has a new theatre company--the Piedmont Oakland Repertory Theatre.

You can find them on the web at PiedmontOaklandRep.ORG

They are now playing “Other People’s Money: The Ultimate Seduction” by Jerry Sterner’s which is described as a “sexy, funny, dark comedy about Corporate Raiders on the loose!” at Kehilla Community Synagogue in Piedmont. Finding a place to play was challenging for the company. They had originally set their sights on a venue on Piedmont Ave—a storefront that would advertise itself by its presence on the popular and well-traveled street. However, there was no one who would or could rent to a non-profit group and the rents were astronomical for a new theatre group. Luckily, the Kehilla Community Synagogue opened their doors to them. Situated almost on the Piedmont-Oakland line, across from the Grand Ave Ace Hardware (a landmark everyone seems to know), they offered space for rehearsals, performances, and theatre classes for a reasonable rent. And so a name change from Piedmont Avenue Rep to Piedmont Oakland Repertory Theatre was made.

“Other People’s Money” plays through April 12 with early show times: Thu 7 pm, Fri & Sat 7:30, Sun 5 pm. (but no performances on Friday March 21 & April 4) at Kehilla Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave., Piedmont (cross street Oakland Ave.).

The play won the Best Off-Broadway Play Award in 1989, and was reviewed by New York Magazine’s uber-critic John Simon as, “Funny, serious, suspenseful, involving, disturbing, and above all, expertly crafted...Epic grandeur and intimate titillation combined. It is the most stimulating kind of entertainment." Carl Icahn, the iconic corporate raider whose photo was on TIME magazine last December, and who is mentioned in the play, was quoted, “Some of the funniest lines I’ve ever heard…some of which I now use myself.”

The cast is John Hale who plays Garfield, the obese, lecherous, gluttonous, avaricious, charming, and funny New Yorker who comes to buy, chop and sell the wire and cable mill that supports a small community which is owned by Jorgenson, played by Keith Jefferds. Karly Shea plays Kate, a sexy lawyer who battles Garfield at the behest of her mother, Jorgenson’s lover, played by Susannah Wood. Brett Mermer plays the company manager Cole, who is caught between the adversaries, and is concerned for his own future. Understudy for Bea is Elizabeth Jane Dunne. All actors, except the new addition of Jefferds, were featured in the group’s inaugural production of THE DINING ROOM at the Piedmont Center for the Arts in November and earl December.

The play derives its title from Louis Brandeis’ famous series of articles in Harper’s Weekly in 1914—two years before he became a Supreme Court Justice—on how the large banking houses were colluding with businessmen to create trusts in America's major industries. “The articles were collected in book form and published under the title ‘Other People's Money--and How the Bankers Use It’” (quoted from Louis Brandeis School of Law).

Tickets are $25 at www.PiedmontOaklandRep.ORG or 1-800-838-3006