Tooth And Nail

South Bay playwright Gena Acosta's new play, Tooth and Nail, invites you to spend Labor Day weekend with the Laneys, a typical New Jersey family with a few extraordinary features: all three daughters were adopted, the parents are keeping a big, bad secret, and Dad is experiencing a temporary personality disorder.  Add the exotic new neighbors to the mix, and you have a Sunday dinner you'll never forget.

Ms. Acosta's play blends the comic and tragic absurdities of family life to hilarious and moving effect.  Her first full-length play, Tooth and Nail was inspired by watching The Lion in Winter and wondering "what if?"...what if someone suddenly became Peter O'Toole with all his infectious dynamism - someone who wasn't like that at all?  Mix that image with Ms. Acosta's affinity for the musicality of New Jersey-speak and her personal determination to face life's horrors with redemptive humor, and you have the recipe for this gutsy comedy that "combines the screwball and the heartrending to stunning effect" (StageSceneLA).

Director Matt Gourley is a seasoned improv performer and actor, and co-creator of the popular iTunes-featured podcast, Superego.  His long-standing acquaintance with Ms. Acosta brought him to this project, his first at LFT.  But Fate may have set him up long ago: his first role ever was as Prince John in The Lion in Winter.  The rich parallels between the bloody-minded Plantagenets and the battling Laney family fascinate him.

Reprising his role as Gerald, father and king of the Laney household, Gregory Mortensen returns to LFT where he directed the acclaimed 2009 production of Hay Fever.  Melanie Jones, Artistic Director of LFT, appears as his wife, Ellie; other cast members who are returning to the LFT stage include Kalie Quinones, Scott Hartman and Catie Doyle.

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