Laughter on the 23rd Floor

Posted: July 1, 2019

San Jose, CA The adage “laughter is good medicine” is a prescription for fun, and that is what Bellarmine Alumni Theatre hopes to accomplish with its staging of Laughter on the 23rd Floor, the comedy written by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning Neil Simon that is his tribute to his early career as a 1950s television writer working alongside the legendary Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks.

The story centers around The Max Prince Show, a popular comedy-variety hour that is a major hit along the East Coast, but one that network executives insist is too sophisticated for the Midwest, so they urge its star to dumb down his act. Tensions cause Prince to unravel, and his last line of defense against both the network and the ratings is his writing staff, which spends its days coming up with business for the show while hurling humorous invectives at each other and anyone else within earshot.

Bellarmine Alumni Theatre consists of alumni from the school and women alumnae from other schools who have performed in Bellarmine productions over the years. This summer’s participants are on a tight rehearsal schedule of less than three weeks.

The cast of Laughter on the 23rd Floor spans graduation years 1986 through 2019 and includes Dana Lanier, Bill Olson, Dan Findrick, David Yick, Arash Shabany, Chris Ereneta, Kenny Franks, Mary Carroll, Michelle Hair, and Karim Moussally. The play is directed by Maren Alessandri Lane, and Tristan Foster is assistant director. The crew includes stage manager Christopher Negrete, assistant stage manager Ben Walker, costume designer Anna Tarasova, props designer Ben Walker, lighting designer Austin Paige, sound designer Alex Johnson, set designer Keo Lacebal, and poster designer Connor Reames.

Performances are July 11 through 13 at 7:30 p.m. and July 14 at 2 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre of the Sobrato Center for Humanities and the Arts on the Bellarmine campus, 960 West Hedding Street, San Jose. Tickets are available online at: www.bcp.org. Note: this show is considered inappropriate for audiences under the age of 17 due to language.

Proceeds will benefit the school’s Direct Financial Aid Fund. All cast and crew on this production are donating their time and talent to maximize the funds that will provide tuition assistance.

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