*(Los Angeles, CA, May 22, 2017) The successful Los Angeles return extends for a second time — ELEVATOR, written and directed by award-winning filmmaker and playwright Michael Leoni, is now performing at The Coast Playhouse (8325 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood) through July 30. The production is An 11:11 Experience.
Imagine your worst urban nightmare — seven strangers are in an elevator when it stops. Now forced together, given nothing but four walls and each other, these seeming archetypes prove to be human after all. It’s only a matter of time (90 minutes for the audience, hours for the characters) before they show their real selves. One by one stereotypes and judgments are shed. Replete with musical sequences and cinematic style, ELEVATOR is a comedic and emotional ride into the human psyche asking the fundamental question: who are you behind closed doors?
The Los Angeles Times named it a Best Bet: “The elevator becomes a de facto confessional where secrets are revealed and unlikely bonds are formed. In good Sartrean style, hell is other people … and the resident misanthropes, like Grinches, develop rapidly expanding hearts. Great lighting and a truly remarkable set, set a high standard for 99-seat theater.”
Stage and Cinema said, “Seven distinct believable characters take a ride — exhilarating, smooth, bumpy and noisy – and win our hearts. With the aid of a wonderful ensemble and inventive stagecraft author and director Leoni succeeds in arousing our empathy and self-examination.”
Tin Pan LA said ELEVATOR “will keep you on the edge of your seat.” Associated Content said that ELEVATOR is “Extraordinary, powerful and compelling. Do not miss! A hit that should run for a year!” And Stage Scene L.A. said “ELEVATOR’s phoenix-like life suggests that this may well not be the last we’ll be seeing of this riveting, emotionally moving, superbly fine-tuned, and highly satisfying thrill ride.”
ELEVATOR comes from a personal experience of author Michael Leoni himself, whose biggest fear was realized when he got stuck in an elevator. “Sitting there with all those different people, I found myself looking at them and thinking I could die with these people. I began to wonder what people were actually thinking – and it struck me that it would be funny to actually hear the thoughts in their heads.”
“After a show one night, a woman told me that she was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor and given a few months to live. She said that our show inspired her to keep living and to live life to the fullest. Those are the kind of reasons that we do what we do.”
Producer Michelle Kaufer said, “We didn’t know what we had when Elevator was first produced. So it is gratifying to extend our run – and at the end of a performance to watch audience members look at one another differently, and to see people hugging strangers. This show has clearly struck a chord — and I think that’s incredibly important right now. Just in the last six months, the world has changed so much and it just seems that now more than ever we all need to connect with each other.”
Written and directed by Michael Leoni, ELEVATOR is based on the original short film Someplace In Between (an Official Selection of the 2009 LA Shorts Film Festival). The play originally premiered at the Hudson Theaters during the first annual Hollywood Fringe Festival. After a wildly successful run, the smash hit expanded to the Hudson Mainstage Theatre and then the Macha Theater, receiving 11 Broadway World nominations including “Best New Work” as well as “Critic’s Choice” and “Best Bet” from the Los Angeles Times.
The cast features: Devon Werkheiser (Nickelodeon’s “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide”), William Stanford Davis (Showtime’s “Ray Donovan”), Deborah Vancelette (FX’s “Terriers”), David Abed (Blue Man Group), Karsen Rigby, Erica Katzin, Kristina St. Peter and Tyler Tanner.
The creative team includes: scenic and lighting designer David Goldstein (Off Broadway Church and State, Soul Doctor, Stalking the Bogeyman) and original music and sound designer Mario Marchetti (who has collaborated with Demi Lovato, JoJo, Black Eyed Peas, and Jennifer Lopez, among many others).
Michelle Kaufer and David Goldstein produce this new engagement.
Other creative team members include: Ovation Award-winning costume designer Michael Mullen (Celebration Theatre’s The Boy from Oz, DOMA Theatre Company’s Dreamgirls), sound designer Paul Seradarian, and makeup designer Linda Michaels.
For information or to purchase tickets, visit plays411.com/elevator or call (323) 960-7787. Please arrive on time as the production has no late seating.