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A comedy-drama about the cantankerous friendship of classical-composer Arnold Schönberg and Hollywood funny man Oscar Levant.



2006 San Francisco Production:

“Heady and humorous!” [The Little man is clapping!] (Rob Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle.)

2008 New York Fringe Production:

"This play by John Fisher imaginatively reconstructs meetings between Oscar Levant and Arnold Schoenberg that took place during WWII. It’s an engrossing glimpse at a circumscribed relationship between two very different Jewish musicians. As it opens Levant provides brief information to bring us up to speed on his own and Schoenberg’s backgrounds. Good move. The short series of compelling exchanges that follows reveals much about both men as it contrasts their personalities and approaches to life and art. Oscar Levant, unsure and attempting to be ingratiating, asks Schoenberg to teach him the art of composition. A musical revolutionary and demanding disciplinarian, Schoenberg calls Levant an entertainer, a neurotic and a clown, while admitting to paranoia himself. War film footage, including horrific concentration camp pictures, plays in the moments between meetings. The play shares a basic format with My Dinner with Andre (which, though it prompts questions like, where can I get the action figures, is nevertheless an absorbing film for enthusiasts). At times this comes across as Fisher taking an opportunity to present a collection of Schoenberg aphorisms, and it absolutely depends upon brilliant acting and direction in order to work. Fortunately, John Fisher and Matt Weimer are superb." (Kathryn Osenlund, Curtain Up.)

"As played, respectively, by the play’s author, John Fisher, and Matt Weimer, these uneasy associates come to life in bristling, neurotic parlor chats, sharing a bond of anxious subtext that takes on a touching resonance as the play progresses. (Joshua Rothkopf, TimeOut New York.)

Read the script.