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Padua Playwrights presents world premiere of
‘Three Tables’, newest work by Murray Mednick
LOS ANGELES (March 24, 2022) — Padua Playwrights presents the world premiere of the newest work from legendary poet/playwright Murray Mednick. Mednick directs his darkly comic Three Tables for a five-week run, April 23 through May 22, at the Zephyr Theatre on Melrose Avenue.
Mednick’s trademark use of quick repartee, dark Borscht Belt humor, and metatheatrical references are the underpinnings of a more serious, existential meditation on the advent of tyranny.
“It’s about the knock on the door,” Mednick says.
Three overlapping conversations take place at three separate tables, the first occupied by a threesome of actors (Laura Liguori, Corey Rieger, Michael Uribes); the second by a trio of friends, also “theater people” (Eric Stanton Betts, Raquel Cain, Dennis Renard); and the third by a pair of waiters (Steve Apostolina, Matt Gottlieb), who are probably descendants of Holocaust survivors.
Like all of Mednick’s work, Three Tables is driven by poetic impulse rather than by linear story-telling. The topics of conversation range from petty animosities to sex, to expressions of isolation and loneliness, to reflections on Jewish history and anti-Semitism.
Mednick, a pioneer of the off- and off-off-Broadway movements in the ’60s and ’70s when he was playwright-in-residence for New York City’s Theater Genesis, wrote such ground-breaking works as The Hawk, The Hunter, Sand, Are You Lookin’, and The Deer Kill (1970 OBIE Award for Outstanding Play). Relocating to Los Angeles, he founded and was artistic director of the Padua Hills Playwrights Festival from 1978 to 1995. The annual, site-specific, outdoor festival had a powerful impact on American theater through the work of celebrated playwrights such as Sam Shepard, Maria Irene Fornes, John Steppling, John O’Keefe, Kelly Stuart, David Henry Hwang, Martin Epstein, Marlane Meyer, Julie Hebert, Susan Mossakowski, Susan Champagne, Jon Robin Baitz and Neena Beber. A full-length documentary film about Mednick’s “The Coyote Cycle,” a play in seven parts that incorporated Native American folklore and was watched by festival-goers in a single sitting from twilight to dawn, is currently being completed. Mednick is the recipient of a Career Achievement Award from the LA Weekly, an Ovation Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Contributions to Los Angeles Theater from the L.A. Stage Alliance, a Local Hero Award from Back Stage West, and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle’s Margaret Harford Award for Sustained Excellence in Theater. He was honored by the American Theatre Critics Association with a Best New Play citation for his play Joe & Betty. L.A.’s Open Fist Theatre Company recently produced six plays from Mednick’s “Gary Plays” cycle in repertory, to audience and critical acclaim. Mednick’s play Mayakovsky and Stalin, a dramatic character study exploring the distantly connected relationships of Soviet poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and his married “muse,” and of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and his wife, premiered at the Lounge Theatre in L.A. before transferring to off-Broadway’s Cherry Lane Theatre. Theater critic Bob Verini wrote in Variety, “Murray Mednick experiments with language… he is emblematic of a Los Angeles dramatic tradition in much the same way that Clifford Odets is identifiable with Gotham or David Mamet with Chicago.”
The creative team for Three Tables includes scenic designer Joel Daavid; costume designer Shon LeBlanc; lighting designer Azra King-Abadi; composer and sound designer John Zalewski; graphic designer George McWilliams; and casting directors Michael Donovan, CSA and Richie Fe4rris, CSA. The stage manager is Jenine MacDonald, and Racquel Lehrman, Theatre Planners produces for Padua Playwrights.
Three Tables opens for press on Saturday, April 23, with performances thereafter on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. through May 22. There will be one preview performance on Friday, April 22 at 8 p.m. All performances are $25, except the preview which is $20. The Zephyr Theatre is located at 7456 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046. For reservations and information, go to onstage411.com/tables.
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