‘Awake and Sing!’ Chases the American Dream at Odyssey Theatre

Clifford Odets’ classic play about immigrants chasing the American dream in New York is coming to Los Angeles. “Awake and Sing!” will be at the Odyssey Theatre.

“Awake and Sing!” was written in 1933 and set in the NYC borough of the Bronx.  It centers around the impoverished Berger family, father Myron (Robert Lesser), mother Bessie (Marilyn Fox), daughter Hennie (Melissa Paladino), son Ralph (James Morosini), uncle Morty (Richard Fancy) and grandfather Jacob (Allan Miller). Both Hennie and Ralph strive to fulfill their dreams, but their own parents stand in their way. Elina de Santos will direct.

The Odyssey Theatre states that “Odets’ masterpiece beautifully recalls that this country has been perceived as a source of opportunity for immigrants who re-root themselves in its cities and towns with an enduring belief in the American dream.”

“Awake and Sing!” first premiered on Broadway in 1935.  Famous acting teachers Stella Adler and Sanford Meisner were in the original cast.

Clifford Odets was born in Philadelphia in 1906.  Other notable plays of his include “Clash by Night” and “The Country Girl.”  He eventually moved to Hollywood to write for the screen.  He adapted a novelette into the noir film “The Sweet Smell of Success.”  Odets died in Los Angeles in 1963.

Audience members at this Odyssey Theatre Ensemble Production can look forward to complimentary wine with the cast after the shows on Oct. 16 and Nov. 20.

Awake and Sing!” will be at the Odyssey Theatre Sept. 26 – Nov. 29.