by Herbie J Pilato
Sam Bobrick is a miracle of a man, and most certainly as a writer.
The legendary literati, bard, and musical and comedic genius, is responsible for everything from songs for Elvis, to classic TV hits like Bewitched and The Andy Griffith Show, to over forty stage plays, including “Norman, Is That You” (co-authored with Ron Clark), which was adapted for the big-screen in 1976.
With his newest stage presentation, “New York Water” (now playing at the Pico Playhouse in Los Angeles through December 17th), Bobrick’s flair for the written word and ear for the funny bone, shines on.
Starring Bridget Flanery as the strong-willed Linda Shoup and Ross Benjamin as the subdued Albert Hives, New York Water resounds and rebounds the ups and downs of a modern day relationship with expert handling across the board, and coast-to-coast. As played by Flanery and Benjamin, Linda and Ross are hapless romantic souls who find one another, and much more along the way as they peruse the geography from the Big Apple to L.A.
Directed with likable and realistic skill by Howard Teichman (who produced along with Bill Froggatt, who also designed sound and video projection), Flanery and Benjamin deliver the goods and the bads of their association with the perfect balance of energy, humor, and poignancy that never gets lost in the hustle and bustle of what they try to hold together against all odds.
“New York Water” hits all the right chords, as it takes the lucky theatre-goer on a journey of the heart and mind with a spirited production that lives up to Bobrick’s unique stand-alone style. Bobrick is funny and he’s got heart. It’s that simple, and it’s that evident in “New York Water.”
The laughs, tears, struggles, victories, and stamina that each of us require for a full life are wonderfully embodied in the twin souls definitively interpreted by Flannery and Benjamin who are spot-on with Bobrick’s always-witty and insightful lines.
Along with Froggatt, additional tech skills are top-notch, too, including stage manager Henry Lide, set and video designer Kurtis Bedford, and lighting designer Ellen Monocroussos.
After watching “New York Water,” the live-theatre watcher is left breathless for more of what Sam Bobrick brings to his table of delight for all of us to heartily ingest with what it means to be alive.
“New York Water,” a world premiere of the West Coast Jewish Theatre, is now playing at the Pico Playhouse located at 10508 W. Pico Blvd in Los Angeles. For tickets or more information, call: (323) 821-2449. [Publicity by Phil Sokoloff; photography by Michael Lamont.]
Herbie J Pilato is the Founder and Executive Director of The Classic TV Preservation Society, and the author of several classic TV companion books. He is practically a founding father of TVWriter™ and is a Contributing Editor Emeritus. This article first appeared on Herbie J’s blog. Learn more about Herbie J Pilato HERE.