OFFBEAT: St. John stage honors from LA play to LC's award

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-11-24T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: St. John stage honors from LA play to LC's awardBy Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

St. John native Paul Storiale is premiering another full-length play in Los Angeles just in time for the holidays.

I'm told the fast-paced farce "Dysfunctional Family Christmas," opening at Brickhouse Theatre, is set in a small Indiana town where Joanne and Dean Logan must hide the death of Grandpa Logan from their children in order to have a final farewell Christmas before retiring to Florida. Their daughter, Christine arrives home with her Jewish fiancé but is afraid to tell her mother she is converting. Adam, the middle child brings a girl Katie home with him only to seek revenge, and their youngest son arrives with what Storiale calls "a big bag of grudge," with all of the events resulting in chaos when the parents attempt to hide Grandpa's death. FYI:

In 2009, Storiale's "The Columbine Project" premiered in Los Angeles shortly before moving to an off-Broadway venue. Filming of a docudrama version is scheduled to begin in 2014 set to the true story of the tragic high school massacre in Littleton, Colo. in 1999.

Storiale began his theater career at Lake Central High School with Paul and Angie Lowe. After graduating, Paul toured for three years, including performing a play about manners for elementary schools throughout the Midwest. He then moved to Chicago to perform in the long-running dinner theater production at Piper's Alley "Tony n' Tina's Wedding," which kept him busy for the next four years.

Since living in Los Angeles, he has produced, written and directed more than 50 plays and musicals. And "One Night Stands," his sketch comedy show has been running for eight years in L.A. He also created the very popular all-female comedy group "Duchess Riot." In addition, Storiale's popular web series "Gossip Boy" is currently in its second season.

More stage accolades

Lake Central High School English Faculty/Thespian Director Ray Palasz, who is also vice president of the Lake Central Teachers' Association, wrote me with some great news from "behind the curtain."

"I am writing to inform you that Lake Central's theater won third place at last weekend's Regional Thespian Conference, and is advancing to the State Conference with our contest show," Palasz said.

"The show is called 'Drum Taps,' and is a reader's theater adaptation of Walt Whitman's wartime poetry. With a cast of four and crew of five, we went up against some of the best schools in Indiana to be one of three to advance with our show. Other schools that were there included Penn, Carmel, East Noble, Greenfield Central, and Merrillville."

Palasz said Lake Central High School has public performances of the show scheduled for Dec. 3 and 4 and tickets are just $7 a person. He said the show is being presented in conjunction with the Advanced Drama class's scripted shows.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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