Get swept away by romance with Cal Rep’s The Poetry of Pizza

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cal rep theatre poetry of pizzaCalifornia Repertory Company celebrates Valentine’s Day with The Poetry of Pizza (a play in four slices), a “cheesy” romantic comedy by Deborah Brevoort. Love will blossom when two unlikely soul mates—an American poetry professor and a Kurdish refugee—find each other in a most unexpected setting—a pizza parlor in Copenhagen.

Director Anne Justine D’Zmura explains that, in fusing romance with weightier themes, the play “speaks to the idea of accepting the other, of opening ourselves up to new experiences, questioning previous judgments and stereotypes, and celebrating our differences. The Kurdish struggle with genocide has been extraordinary, yet most Americans remain unaware. We are so distracted by our own culture, a blanket that often covers our eyes.”

The two unlikely lovers, Sarah and Soran, must cross cultural divides and bridge communication gaps and opposite worldviews.

The Poetry of Pizza combines many cultures, utilizing stylistic influences from Japanese Noh and Bunraku theatre to support its nonrealistic, nontraditional staging. Brevoort’s time spent writing the play in Copenhagen provides quirky Danish characters inspired from reality (an agoraphobic old couple who eventually emerge from their shells, for example). This cultural blend seems fitting to the show’s message; as D’Zmura observes, “we are all in these boxes, closed off from one another, waiting to be reborn.” Mistaken identity, love triangles and playfulness abound in this unapologetically romantic production which promises to be a touching, date-worthy night of theatre.

Anne Justine D’Zmura has directed at South Coast Repertory, A Noise Within, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and The Cricket Theatre. She served as resident director for the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, artistic associate for The Acting Company and the Playwright’s Center, artistic director for Yale Cabaret, guest director/educator at The Juilliard School and USD/Old Globe Theatre, and assistant director to Trevor Nunn for Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia on Broadway. Anne is the recipient of a National Endowment for The Arts/TCG Directing Fellowship.

Cal Rep performances are in the Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary. The production runs Tuesday through Saturday, February 19 – March 13 (with a preview on Thursday, February 18) at 8 pm. There will be two 2 pm matinees on Saturday March 6 and 13. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $16 for students, military, and seniors (55 and older). Parking at the Queen Mary is $8 for patrons of Cal Rep performances, $6 for CSULB students and patrons who have dinner aboard the ship. Long Beach Public Transit also runs directly to the Queen Mary.

For tickets and information call (562) 985-5526 or visit

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