Deep Dish Theater Company Kicks Off Its 10th Season with “Mi Vida Loca” by Eric Overmyer


Helen Hagan

Deep Dish Theater Company will kick off its 10th anniversary season with MI VIDA LOCA, a smart and sexy 1990 comic drama penned by TV writer and producer and dramatist and staged by Deep Dish artistic director Paul Frellick, on Aug. 27-29; Sept. 1-5, 8-12, and 15-18 in the space beside Branching Out at the Dillard’s end of University Mall in Chapel Hill, NC.

According to Deep Dish Theater Company:

“MI VIDA LOCA [which is Spanish for “My Crazy Life”] is set in 1985 at a beach house in the Pacific Northwest. ‘This is a play I’ve wanted to do ever since reading it 20 years ago,’ said [director Paul] Frellick. ‘Eric’s writing is so rich, and the play affords us so much opportunity to make full theatrical use of our space. I think it’s the perfect way to launch this anniversary season.’

“The family of misfits gathering to send Ajay (John Murphy) off to detox includes son Paco (John Allore), the operator of a vintage movie theater in California; Lulu (Helen Hagan), the hard-living, unemployed daughter; son Bubba (Aaron Dunlap), a mall security guard; and Maggie (Jane Underhill), whose divorce from Ajay has been delayed indefinitely by the prospect of insurance settlements. Also at the house is Diana (Jeri Lynn Schulke), Ajay’s caretaker and a woman with a mysterious past.

“Playwright Eric Overmyer is the author of a number of acclaimed plays, including ON THE VERGE, OR THE GEOGRAPHY OF YEARNING about three Victorian explorers who end up traveling through time. He also boasts a wealth of writing and producing credits in television, including work on such series as ‘Law and Order,’ ‘Homicide,’ and ‘The Wire.’ Most recently, he co-created the HBO series ‘Treme,’ a drama about post-Katrina New Orleans, and is currently a writer for the third season of the Gabriel Byrne series ‘In Treatment.’ He will visit Chapel Hill on Sept. 11th, and there will be a reception before the show in his honor.

Rob Hamilton is designing the environmental set, with lighting by Scott Marlow. Annika Pfaender contributes costumes, Devra Thomas properties, and Marc Maximov is the sound designer. The stage managers are Lauren Tannenbaum and Jen Bauer….

“The Deep Dish Theater Company is committed to presenting compelling, human-centered dramatic work that contributes to the cultural richness of the Triangle area and challenges audiences to explore concerns of the community and the world-at-large.”

Deep Dish Theater Company presents MI VIDA LOCA at 8 p.m. Aug. 27 and 28; 2 p.m. Aug. 29; 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, and 16; 8 p.m. Sept. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, and 18; and 2 p.m. Sept. 5 and 12 in the space beside Branching Out at the Dillard’s end of University Mall, at the intersection of Estes Drive and U.S. 15-501, in Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

TICKETS: $19 ($12 students and $17 seniors and educators), except all tickets $9 on “Cheap Dish Night” on Sept. 1st and a $2 discount for Wednesday and Thursday shows. BOX OFFICE: 919/968-1515 or



NOTE 1: Dramaturg Karen Blansfield will give a pre-show talk at 7 p.m. on Sept. 3rd, and there will be post-performance discussions on Sept. 5th and Sept. 9th (“Meet the Designers”).

NOTE 2: On Sept. 11th, there will be a preshow reception to honor visiting playwright Eric Overmyer.

NOTE 3: The Deep Dish Book Selection, THE CORRECTIONS by Jonathan Franzen, will be discussed after the Sept. 12 performance. (For more information about this national book Award winner, see For more information about the author, see

OTHER LINKS: The Play: (Internet Off-Broadway Database). The Playwright: (Internet Off-Broadway Database) and (Internet Movie Database).

Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review. To start your FREE subscription to this newsletter, e-mail and type SUBSCRIBE TTR in the Subject: line.

By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at] and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at] and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).