Archived entries for Alana Dietze

Review: “God’s Ear”

LA Weekly

“God’s Ear”

God's Ear - publicity photo

Pictured: Jeremy Shranko, Amanda Saunders,Alana Dietze, and Tara Karsian

GO! “He’s in a coma, hooked to a respirator.” With these simple words, Mel (Amanda Saunders) informs her husband, Ted (Paul Caramagno), via telephone, about their brain-dead son, a victim of an accidental drowning. It is one of the rare instances in Jenny Schwartz’s eccentric drama where words and meaning coalesce into sensibility. For the remainder of the play, Mel and Ted become immersed in the seductive discord of a surreal world where language is increasingly divorced from context and reality, time and place contract, and the weight of loss is, literally, spoken out of existence. It’s a bizarre mise-en-scene, compounded by the appearance of a tooth fairy (Tara Karsian), a transvestite flight attendant (Jeremy Shranko) and a curvaceous b-girl (Andrea Grano). With a nod to the absurdist canon, and perhaps Lewis Carroll, Schwartz’s use of clichés, idiom and chatter is at times brilliant and funny, though the verbal effusion obscures the searing emotional and psychological pain at the heart of the piece. There is an appropriately other-worldly resonance about director Rory Kozoll’s staging, nicely accented by Kristie Roldan’s lighting. Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Ave., Hlywd.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m., through Feb. 19. (877) 369-9112.

(Lovell Estell III)

Announcing: “God’s Ear” Begins Performances January 12, 2012



God's Ear posterThe Los Angeles premiere of God’s Ear, a play by Jenny Schwartz, directed by Rory Kozoll, is set to begin preview performances on January 12 at the Zephyr Theatre. The Echo Theater Company’s production of God’s Ear will play an additional preview performance on January 13, and will open on Saturday, January 14 at 8:00pm. The engagement runs through Sunday, February 19.

In God’s Ear, a couple suffers a tragic accident, and their grief propels them into a fantastical world where the Tooth Fairy sings, their flight attendant is a cross dresser, and GI Joe offers family counseling. It’s a lyrically absurd journey of love, loss, and laughter. Playwright Jenny Schwartz is a New York-based playwright and a graduate of Juilliard, where she received a fellowship in the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwrighting Program. God’s Ear premiered at New Georges in 2007, was subsequently produced by the Vineyard Theatre in 2008, and was a finalist for the 2007 Susan Smith Blackburn Award.

The cast will feature (in alphabetical order) Troy Blendell, Paul Caramagno, Alana Dietze, Andrea Grano, Tara Karsian, Amanda Saunders, Jeremy Shranko, and Jarrett Worley. The design team includes set by Melissa Ficociello, lighting by Kristie Roldan, costumes by Jordan Bass, and sound by Drew Dalzell. Music direction is by Alex Mackyol, and Leia Crawford is the production stage manager. God’s Ear is produced for the Echo Theater Company by Lauren Bass and Chris Fields.

The multiple award-winning Echo Theater Company has presented 47 Los Angeles premiere productions, 37 world premieres, and 22 commissions. These productions introduced Los Angeles to the work of David Lindsay-Abaire, Sarah Ruhl, Adam Rapp, Adam Bock, Cusi Cram, Gary Sunshine, Ron Fitzgerald, Tanya Barfield, and Mike Batistick, among many others. Most recently, the Echo was nominated for three Ovation Awards including Best Ensemble and Best Play for its West Coast premiere of Mark Schultz’s Everything Will Be Different. The company also received seven LA Weekly Award nominations for its world premiere production of Matt Benjamin and Logan Brown’s Wirehead. The West Coast premiere of Jessica Goldberg’s Body Politic garnered Ovation nominations for Best Play and Best Ensemble. The Echo also engages in community outreach programs including a free public reading series, ActOut, an educational outreach program dedicated to helping at-risk youth, and PlayTime, an outreach program in which Echo members perform fairy tales, nursery rhymes and theater pieces for sick children of all ages in a number of facilities and hospitals in Los Angeles.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 7:00pm. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased by visiting or by calling (877) 369-9112. The Zephyr Theatre is located at 7456 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, 90046. Street parking is available.

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