A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Renowned British actor/writer/director Steven Berkoff will direct a rare production of Eugene O’Neill’s 1922 expressionist play The Hairy Ape at West L.A.’s Odyssey Theatre through July 3.

O’Neill’s harrowing critique of class stratification is the story of Robert “Yank” Smith, a brutish ship laborer who searches for a sense of belonging in a world controlled by the wealthy elite. As head coal stoker on an ocean liner, Yank is in his element: he rules his dark, smoky world. But when the pale, spoiled daughter of the ship’s owner visits the engine room for a thrill, she is at once repulsed and terrified by Yank and what she sees there. Half in love with the unattainable and half blinded by rage, the bewildered Yank blunders violently through Manhattan seeking revenge and trying to understand his place on “de oith.”

The Odyssey production stars Hailé D’Alan (upcoming feature film Frozen Peas) as Yank and Irish actress Katy Davis as Mildred, a part she played in the Irish premiere at the Midsummer Festival in Cork. The ensemble features Laurence Olivier Award-winning actor Benjamin Davies as well as Joseph Gilbert, Jeremiah O’Brian, Andres Ramacho, Anthony Rutowicz, Paul Stanko and Jennifer Taub.

Culture Spot LA readers can go for free! Email editor@culturespotla.com for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show on Friday, May 20, at 8 p.m., which is also wine night at the Odyssey: enjoy complimentary wine and snacks and mingle with the cast after the show.

The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West LA 90025. For reservations and information: (310) 477-2055 or www.OdysseyTheatre.com.