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You’ll Die of Laughter or Tears: Carl Weathers Directs Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

“Danny and the Deep Blue Sea,” directed by Carl Weathers.
Actors are Tanna Frederick and Robert Standley.
Photo credit: Ed Krieger.

By Meg Taylor

Santa Monica, CA (The Hollywood Times) 9/4/17 – “Would you be able to kiss a girl who’d done that? This line was the starting point of the very unusual romance between two of society’s rejects in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, written by John Patrick Shanley. The play takes place in a rundown bar in the Bronx, where two incredibly disturbed people meet, get drunk, share their darkest secrets, fornicate, argue endlessly, and eventually fall in love. These rejects are none other than Roberta, the crazy and seemingly deadbeat mom, and Danny, the man constantly looking for a fight who still lives with his mom. Roberta and Danny were portrayed by Tanna Frederick and Robert Standley.  Tanna Frederick, who produced as well as starred in the production, is well known for her numerous roles in independent films such as “Hollywood Dreams”, “Queen of the Lot”, “Just 45 Minutes from Broadway” and more. Robert Standley has acted in over ninety professional productions across the nation ranging from the National Tour of The Rainmaker to Taming of the Shrew, a performance that awarded him the “The Outer Critics Circle Award” for Best Actor, to regular roles on ABC’s All My Children and FOX’s Melrose Place. Both of these established and indisputably talented actors gave unforgettable, hysterical and heart-rending performances that made this show a must see.

Carl Weathers, best known for his iconic role in the Rocky series and as an NFL player for the Oakland Raiders, was the director of this production. This is not Weather’s first time directing; his television directing credits include Always Night, For the People, Sheena, Strong Medicine and Silk Stalkings. Weathers directed this play with minimal props and sound, having the primary focus be on the individual performances given by the actors. Frederick and Standley have worked together before and it is very clear why; their chemistry on stage is undeniable. The quaintness of the theatre and simplicity of the set undoubtedly strengthened the overall experience of this production. It was refreshing to go to a theatre and see strong performances without all the bells and whistles that some productions tend to add to their shows to make up for a lack in performance quality. This show had the perfect balance of uproarious content as well as moments where you wanted to cry along with the actors. The key to an unforgettable performance is to be able to take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

Make sure to see this show this weekend as it is the last opportunity to see this production. The Rainbow Theatre Company’s production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea is at Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main Street, Santa Monica, 90405. See it this upcoming Saturday, September 9th at 8 p.m. or the closing show on Sunday, September 10th at 4 p.m. Trust me you don’t want to miss it!