There are friends and then there are friends. Of the several premises in Turnaround, one level explores how friends can influence each other, and like it or not, make a difference that can sometimes be life changing.

Another premise is a bit more subtle. What drives people to succeed? What will a person do to achieve success? What compromises is one willing to make and at what price?

Faced with all these layers proposed by writer-director Roger Kumble, the excellent cast of John Di Maggio, Jaime Ray Newman, David Schwimmer, Tom Everett Scott and Jonathan Silverman tackles this comedy drama head on and crashes through to score a winner.

The main characters work in the film business, gravitating around the fringes and desperately trying to break into the big time, much like sperm charging towards the ova, but knowing that of the thousands that attempt it, only one will make it through.  At the moment, producer Richie seems the closest, (Jonathan Silverman) having five projects in various stages of development and dropping names faster than "Girls Gone Wild" drop their bras.

Jeff has just directed a flop (David Schwimmer) and is like Sylvester the Cat when he hangs from the ceiling by his claws.

Drugs and booze have taken over Gary's life (Tom E. Scott) and his girl friend just dumped him, so his writing is at a standstill.

Still, by stealing and combining plot lines from previous Academy winners, he has managed to put together a story that deals with a retarded Jewish kid during the holocaust and when Jeff sees it he knows there's a winner.

Meantime, Richie and other friends have set up a secret meeting where Gary will be forced to enter "intervention" (read Betty Ford).  Gary "knows" he doesn't have a problem and is adamant about it, but his friends literally force him to go, and two months later he returns, clean and ready to make a complete turnaround in his life.

Meantime, Jeff is this close to selling Gary's script, with some slight fabrications. He has told everyone it's a true story. Big money is talked about, and Gary is elated, but suddenly realizes that he will have to lie to sell it. His turnaround demands no booze, no drugs, no girls and no lies. What to do?

Again, his friends come into the picture, with Jeff insisting that this could be his last shot, and Richie, unsure as he vacillates under pressure from Jeff who theatres to tell his wife of his sexual escapades with beautiful sexy Sahara, (Jamie Ray Newman).  
She had been a sort of sexual relief relief for Gary in the past but while he was away, Richie found his own relief with fantasy role playing in his gorilla suit, getting into a proverbial "hairy situation."
The dilemma of having come from a small town to make it in Hollywood, of having struggled so hard for years and now being so close to making a major deal creates a powerful struggle in Gary's mind. He knows that the precipice is but a step away, but fame and riches are also one step in the opposite direction. His coach and sponsor, Seth, (John Di Maggio) tries to help him make the right choice, but realizes that final decision is Gary's alone to make. With Sahara cooing on his lap, Gary now has to make a decision that will rule the rest of his life.

Writer Kumble has given the actors an excellent platform where they can bring their considerable talents to the fore. They manage to make the characters sympathetic and real, from the tormented Gary to the arrogant Richie. Jeff runs the gamut from understanding friend to borderline neurotic and Sahara will forever redefine the term "teaser".

In spite of the slowing in the second act, the actors have enough energy to keep it going and ends exactly the way a good story should. Excellent sets and lighting enhance the authenticity providing a total package that makes it easy to buy the story.

(all photos by Stephanie Howard)





February 13th‚€¶Los Angeles‚€¶Dark Harbor Stories announces that the critically acclaimed, smash-hit production of turnaround, a world premiere play written and directed by Roger Kumble will extend for four weeks only with two new cast members.  Film and television stars Mark Feuerstein (GOOD MORNING, MIAMI; WHAT WOMEN WANT) and Gabriel Macht (THE RECRUIT; BAD COMPANY) will step into the roles of Jeff Pelzman and Gary Siegal, respectively created by David Schwimmer and Tom Everett Scott.    

will extend beginning Friday, March 7th and run for four weeks only through Sunday, March 30th at the Coast Playhouse, 8325 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood.  The performance schedule will be as follows: Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 8:00pm and Saturdays at 6:00pm and 9:00pm.  Tickets will go on sale Thursday, February 13th exclusively at www.ticketweb.com  or by calling 866/468-3399.

turnaround is Roger Kumble's third play in a Hollywood trilogy that he began in 1993 with PAY OR PLAY, which starred Jonathan Silverman as Jeff Pelzman, a soulless writer/director.  PAY OR PLAY went on to receive an LA Weekly Award for "Best Comic Writing."  Kumble returned to the theatre in l997 with the critically-acclaimed d-girl, which starred David Schwimmer in the role of Jeff.  Now, comes the most biting, funny and visceral of the three, turnaround.  The Los Angeles Times raves that turnaround is "‚€¶witty and uncompromising stuff, a riotously funny package that builds in dramatic intensity - tear gas leaking out of a whoopee cushion."  Entertainment Weekly calls turnaound "‚€¶Hysterical" and the L.A. Weekly says "Hilarious‚€¶a beautifully performed and produced fable‚€¶extremely funny!"

Roger Kumble once again bites the industry hand that feeds him in turnaround.  turnaround finds Jeff Pelzman and his friends, now in their mid-thirties, dealing with such Hollywood issues as success, envy, back-stabbing, gratuitous name-dropping, blackberries, coke-whores and "go" movies.   turnaround begs the question how gross does someone need to be to be a "gross" player?  More importantly, will their lives ever get put into turnaround?

Roger Kumble was the writer/director of l999's CRUEL INTENTIONS.  In 2002, he directed THE SWEETEST THING starring Cameron Diaz.

The world premiere is being produced by Tom Hodges.  The Set Design is by Greg Grande.  The Costume Design is by Julie Heath.  The Lighting Design is by Christie Wright.  The casting is by Bonnie Zane.

The extension performances will be Wednesdays, Fridays & Sundays at 8:00pm and two performances on Saturdays at 6:00pm and 9:00pm.  There will be no performance on Sunday, March 23rd.  Ticket prices are $30.00.  Ticket reservations will be handled exclusively through TicketWeb, please visit www.ticketweb.com
or call 866/468-3399.   

Dark Harbor Stories presents TURNAROUND,  written and directed by Roger Kumble.  

Ticket reservations through TicketWeb, please visit www.ticketweb.com   or call  (866)468-3399.
Preview on Saturday, January 18th and Sunday, January 19th at 8:00pm.  Opens Wednesday, January 22nd  through Sunday, March 2nd.

Coast Playhouse, 8325 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood.

Performances will be Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays at 8:00pm: Two performances on Saturdays at 6:00pm and 9:00pm.  

Ticket prices are $30.00.  

For further information or for press comps, please contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818/508-1754 or at ELZERD@aol.com .