“Beyond Therapy,” Christopher Durang’s 1981 play, will be Conor O’Farrell’s next production for the benefit of the Idyllwild HELP Center.
The previous productions — “The Odd Couple” and “Murder at the Howard Johnson’s” — were performed on Memorial Weekend, but, this year, late September is when the curtain rises. O’Farrell hopes the season will not affect attendance. The previous effort netted about $15,000 for the HELP Center, he said.
The cast of “Beyond Therapy” is both smaller and different from the earlier productions. Steven Morrison, Christina Nordella, Anne Finch, Justin Holmes, Pete Capparelli and the indefectible Harley Bushwacker.
Zany comedies seem to be what the audience wants, O’Farrell has learned. “Beyond Therapy” is a funny comedy, set in the 1970s, about people who started doing therapy to discover themselves, he said describing the play.
“It’s about two emotionally dysfunctional people looking for love and the therapists who made them that way,” O’Farrell chuckled. “Ideally, in the best comedy you see a little of yourself and get a laugh.”
O’Farrell is very pleased with the cast’s work so far, even though he is out of the state at a television production. “Everyone came along great. And I’m learning to deal with a younger crowd,” he said smiling. “They’re learning their lines much quicker.”
“The audience should look for the fun,” O’Farrell said “Everybody can laugh at the play and laugh at their friends [in the cast] and raise money for a worthy charity.”
“Beyond Therapy” will be performed at 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 28, 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 29, and 7 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30. All performances will be at the Rustic Theatre, which, with its tiered seating, is a better venue for theatrical performances, according to O’Farrell.
In 2010, recognizing the HELP Center’s value to the town, O’Farrell suggested to Kathy Halkin, then president of the board of directors, that he would like to produce a theater event to benefit the HELP Center.
Tickets ($30) can be purchased at the door before each performance or in advance at the BBVA bank, the Fern Valley Emporium or the HELP Center. For more information call (951)659-3000 or Board President Lou Bacher. He can be reached (760) 533-6692.
A dessert reception will follow each performance at the Quiet Creek Gallery, next door to the theater.