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My Brilliant Divorce

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Tross5My Brilliant Divorce opens at the Laboratory Theater of Florida on November 7, with an opening night reception starting at 7:15 p.m. Additional performances will be at 8 p.m. on November 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 and at 2 p.m. on November 16. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for evening performances. Tickets are $12 for students and $22 for adults at the door. The theater also Laboratory Theater Exterior 2 (3)offers Thursday night discounts to seniors and military, at $18.50 per ticket. Tickets are  available from the theater’s website, www.LaboratoryTheaterFlorida.com, or by calling 239.218.0481. The theater is located at 1634 Woodford Avenue and Second Street in the downtown Fort Myers River District.

In this section, you will find articles about the play, playwright, director and upcoming production of the show at the Laboratory Theater of Florida (posted in reverse date order).

 

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‘Shakespeare in Paradise’s John McKerrow directs ‘My Brilliant Divorce at Lab Theater (11-18-14)

My Brilliant Divorce 15The final three performances of My Brilliant Divorce take place at the Laboratory Theater of Florida on November 20, 21 and 22.

The show is directed by John McKerrow, who studied theatre at Southern CT State University and HB Studio in Manhattan. He has recently directed Black Tie, Leading Ladies, Doubt, Always, Patsy Cline, Rabbit Hole and Mauritius for the Naples Players.

John is founder and Producing Artistic Director of “Shakespeare in Paradise,” for whom he has directed A My Brilliant Divorce 08Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth, A Love Story. As an actor, he has worked Off-Broadway, on tour, in regional theatre, on television and in commercials. Fort Myers audiences may remember John from the first theatrical performance at the renovated Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in 2009, in which he played Macbeth in a production conceived and directed by the multifaceted star of My Brilliant Divorce, Annette Trossbach.

All three performances open at 7:30 p.m. Please see above for ticket information and location

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Lab Theater’s ‘My Brilliant Divorce’ filled with versatile acting and sidesplitting belly laughs (11-12-14)

My Brilliant Divorce 04One of the chief benefits of attending a really good stand-up comedy act is the catharsis that comes from two-hours of nonstop, sidesplitting laughter. That’s what Annette Trossbach delivers in My Brilliant Divorce, but you won’t find her at Belushi’s, Off the Hook or the Laugh-in Comedy Café. My Brilliant Divorce is the latest offering at the Laboratory Theater of Florida.

Written by Geraldine Aron, My Brilliant Divorce introduces us to Angela Kennedy Lipsky, who was “My Brilliant Divorce 06Sonce half of the happy couple Angela and Matt.” But as Angela tells us from the jump, she and Matt weren’t as happy or as much of a couple as she’d thought. Her husband, it seems, has just left her for a 25-year-old Argentine, with whom Old Round Head has been philandering for quite some time – much to the shock and dismay of the unsuspecting former window dresser.

Trossbach is convincing as the hesitant, conflicted, lonely soon-to-be divorcee. One minute, she seems overjoyed to be free of her button-down, uptight, controlling husband. The next, she confesses to harboring unjustifiable hope that he’ll come back to her and his furry best friend, Dexter (a white, curly-haired stuffed Maltese on wheels that My Brilliant Divorce 15Trossbach pulls across the stage and spins in circles like an 8-year-old who doesn’t have a care in the world).

Angela charms the audience with her self-deprecating, rueful descriptions of the challenges she faces being thrust into the world of the middle-aged single after years of isolated marriage. Arons provides situational comedy and one-liners that Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman and Cameron Esposito would kill for, but what distinguishes My Brilliant Divorce from a comedy routine is Trossbach’s vulnerable, highly personal portrayal of her hypochondriac My Brilliant Divorce 17scharacter. Her genius is the ability to make each member of the audience feel as though she is speaking to them and to them alone. This intimacy serves to heighten the comedic effect of the witticisms, snarky observations and sharp-tongued ridicule she heaps upon the unfortunate heads of the equally quirky people she enlists to help her negotiate the uncharted, shark-infested waters of divorce. After all, a stranger wouldn’t mimic, parody or pantomime their doctor, therapist or lawyer. But your best friend, sister or crazy aunt would. And over the course of the tw0-act play, you come to relate to Trossbach’s Angels as if she were a long-lost friend or close relative.

My Brilliant Divorce 19Trossbach’s delivery is so engaging and disarming that it’s easy to overlook just how versatile she is as an actress. Throughout the course of the two-hour performance, Trossbach subtly transforms her voice, facial expressions, posture and body language with the seemingly natural dexterity of a Frank Caliendo or Jimmy Fallon. British, Argentine, Oriental and German, no accent or affectation seems too big, too remote, too implausible for Trossbach to pull off. It’s worth going to My Brilliant Divorce just to see how Trossbach brings to life the odd and sundry characters she encounters in her strained, stressed existence as Matt Lipsky’s ex.

Mysogianistic Lawyer 03Trossbach’s performance is so compelling and consuming, it’s also easy to miss just how sharp and playful Arons’ script really is. For example, Angela periodically calls a suicide prevention hotline by the name of Persons Experiencing Suicidal Thoughts, whose acronym is PEST, for short. And just as every man dreads the cashier at CVS or Walgreens calling for a price check on condoms or Kotex, the women in the audience squirm uncomfortably as Angela recounts how the clerk at the sex shop completely humiliated her by letting everyone in the store know that she was there to buy a vibrator (and that’s not the half of it, but you will just have to catch the show to find out how it can get worse – much worse – than that.)

Whether your shtick is great acting, good writing or just two hours of belly laughs, go see this play. Scroll to the top of this page for the remaining dates, times and place of this performance.

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‘My Brilliant Divorce’ director guilted Annette Trossbach into doing the play (11-07-14)

Annette AAccording to the old adage, turnabout is fair play. And that explains how it came to pass that director John McKerrow cast Annette Trossbach as Angela in My Brilliant Divorce, which opens tonight at Lab Theater in the downtown Fort Myers River District.

“Seven years ago, Annette was directing a Tross1production of Macbeth at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, and she lost the actor who was playing the lead two weeks before the opening,” McKerrow recounts, wincing at the very thought of Trossbach’s dire plight. Sixty percent of the lines in the Shakespeare standard belong to Macbeth and there was really no time to recast the part. I had just directed Macbeth at Lely High School and Tross2knew all the lines, so Annette asked me to do the play. I begged off and we hung up, but she called back twenty minutes later and really wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

When McKerrow began working on My Brilliant Divorce, he drew up a short list of actresses to audition, but none were available. Then it dawned on him that Trossbach would be perfect for the Tross3role, but she declined when he asked her to do the play. “Besides her time-consuming duties as Lab Theater’s Artistic Director, a theater instructor and busy wife and mom, Annette insisted that Lab Theater is not a vehicle for her own ego.” But McKerrow would not take no for an answer either.

Reprising Danny Kaye’s character Phil Davis in the holiday classic White Christmas, who would Tross5massage the right arm he injured during a battle at Monte Casino during World War II saving the life of Bing Crosby’s character, Bob Wallace, whenever he wanted to guilt Wallace into doing something, McKerrow reminded Trossbach how he’d once bailed her out and, well, the rest is history.

The truth is that Trossbach is the ideal choice for the one-woman show.

Tross4“All one person shows are terribly difficult,” McKerrow explains. “But in this one, Annette portrays 20 different people. The challenge is for her to make each one different for the audience through facial expressions and ticks, posture, body language and accents. Annette was born in Germany and educated in England and her international background has proven invaluable. Plus, she’s someone the audience will enjoy watching for two hours.”

In addition, My Brilliant Divorce is guaranteed to resonate. Everyone has either been divorced, contemplated divorce or had a close friend or family member who has gone through Annetteone. In this production, Angela must find a way to recover her self-esteem and joie de vivre after being thrown over for a saucy, sultry much younger woman. “Although the life she knew has ended, life itself continues to go on all around – with or without her,” observes McKerrow.

Like all divorcees, among the myriad challenges facing Angela is having to find a way to deal with her ex and all the new people who populate her post-divorce new world. But for Trossbach, the challenge is to find a way to get into all their heads and give voice to all their thoughts, concerns and agendas – which are often antithetical to Angela’s.

As you might surmise, humor is a huge ingredient in Angela’s brilliant cure for her commonly uncommon divorce.

See above for dates, times and ticket information.

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Lab Theater to perform Geraldine Aron hit ‘My Brilliant Divorce’ (11-03-14)

Tross5My Brilliant Divorce opens at the Laboratory Theater of Florida on November 7. It’s a delightful comedy about a woman named Angela who has been jilted by her husband for a sultry 25-year-0ld woman from Buenos Aires. In the aftermath of her break up, Angela shares her humor, loneliness, and insight into the absurdities of her post-divorce life.  There are laughs and tears, and ups and downs, as Angela adjusts to her new life and arondiscovers wonderful things about herself, emerging stronger than ever! This charming piece resonates with humor, sarcasm, poignancy and kindness – even if you’ve never been divorced yourself.

The play was written by Geraldine Aron, who was born in Galway but spent most of her adult life in Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. She now divides her time between Cape Town and London. Laboratory TheaterAron is the author of 12 plays produced for television and radio, and Toscanini, a screenplay directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Plays not listed in the Irish Playography include Mr. McConkey’s Suitcase, Zombie, Mickey Kannis Caught My Eye and Joggers. Her hugely acclaimed one-woman show, My Brilliant Divorce, has been performed all over the world and was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2004. She is also the past winner of two Edinburgh Fringe Firsts, for Bar and Ger and A Galway Girl, respectively.

Sensational Season 6The play stars Lab Theater Artistic Director Annette Trossbach and is directed by John McKerrow, of Shakespeare In Paradise. The show opens this Friday night (November 7).

 

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‘My Brilliant Divorce’ opens at Lab Theater on November 7 (10-27-14)

Tross1My Brilliant Divorce opens at the Laboratory Theater of Florida on November 7. It’s a delightful comedy about a woman named Angela who has been jilted by her husband for a sultry 25-year-0ld woman from Buenos Aires. In the aftermath of her break up, Angela shares her humor, loneliness, and insight into the absurdities of her post-divorce life.  There are laughs and tears, and ups and Tross2downs, as Angela adjusts to her new life and discovers wonderful things about herself, emerging stronger than ever! This charming piece resonates with humor, sarcasm, poignancy and kindness – even if you’ve never been divorced yourself.

Nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award, My Brilliant Divorce is “devastatingly honest … hugely empathetic and amusing … packed with detail,” Tross3asserts the Sunday Express (London).

My Brilliant Divorce is a fast-moving play with many subtle layers and nuances of emotion, sarcasm, and humor,” states Hamptons.com. “The truly wonderful dialogue is heartwarming, funny, and filled with relatable touches that bring each point home whether you’ve been through a divorce or not.”

Tross4Artistic director Annette Trossbach stars in this fast-moving one-woman production, in which she plays 20 other characters in addition to Angela, including Angela’s posh friend Sylvie, sleazy boss Mr. Glute, and ex-Army trainer Jake. A teacher of physical theater, Trossbach is delighted to play the role. “There is a wealth of characters with various physical ticks,” Annette shares. “It is so much fun to be flamboyantly flouncing one minute and small and twitchy the next. As an audience member, you never know what crazy person is going to appear next.”

Trossbach was trained at East 15 Acting School in London, Annette Awhere she double-majored in acting and directing. Some of her favorite roles have been Lady Anne in Richard III, Yelena in Chekhov’s The Wood Demon, Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Netta in Cavalcade. She founded The Laboratory Theater of Florida in 2008.

The production is directed by John McKerrow, of Shakespeare In Paradise.

Annette CBAThe Laboratory Theater of Florida is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to the promotion of the performing arts through live performance, education, community outreach, experimentation and the development of ensemble work. The company features ensemble productions, produces classic works, takes artistic risks and features and challenges local performers of various skill levels. Stay up to date with its news and events on Facebook and Twitter @LabTheaterFL.  For more information, please call 239-218-0481

 

 

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Lab Theater’s own Annette Trossbach to star in ‘My Brilliant Divorce’ opening November 7 (10-11-14)

dNext up at the Laboratory Theater of Florida is Geraldine Aron’s My Brilliant Divorce, which is appropriately sponsored by The Association of Family Law Professionals. Lab Theater founder and Artistic Director Annette Trossbach will star in this delightful one-woman comedy about the humor, loneliness, and absurdities of life after divorce. The humor, sarcasm, poignancy and kindness that ripples through this one-woman show is sure to resonate with anyone who’s ever divorced, contemplated divorce or known anyone who’s divorced.  Tickets

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About Annette Trossbach (10-11-14)

Annette AAnnette Trossbach is the founder and artistic director of the Laboratory Theater of Florida and the Gulf Coast Shakespeare Festival. Annette was classically trained at the innovative East 15 Drama School in London, U.K. She has worked with Margaret Walker (Oh What a Lovely War), Mike Loades, Alasdair Ramsey and Tony Scannell, and has been teaching theater and acting skills for Rehearsal 08 March 22more than 20 years. At Laboratory Theater of Florida, she and her company continue the East 15 focus to teach core theatrical skills such as character development, stagecraft, combat, textual analysis, voice and physicality to new actors of all ages. Last season, she directed Miss Witherspoon and Glengarry Glen Ross. Some of her favorite acting roles have been Sylvie in Intimate Exchanges, Yelena in The Wood Demon, and Netta in Cavalcade. Annette received the Gulfshore Business “40 Under 40” Award in 2010 for the most innovative and influential business leader in our region.

 

 

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