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December 16, 2013 / ivytechartspartner

BEAD Artist of the Week: Dan Castellaneta (voice of Homer Simpson) and Deb Lacusta of The Banana Tree

Banana tree

Premiering at Bloomington Playwrights Project through December 21 The Banana Tree is a hilarious new comedy from the minds of The Simpsons stars Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpson) & Deb Lacusta (writer). Dan & Deb spent last week in Bloomington enjoying BEAD and putting the finishing touches on the show. “Seems Bloomington has just the right artistic climate for The Banana Tree. We’re thrilled to be working with Chad and everyone at BPP!” said Deb.

Dan Castellaneta is a four‐time Emmy recipient for his work on The Simpsons (as Homer, Krusty, Grandpa, and others), where he is also Consulting Producer and Writer. A Chicago native, Dan performed with famed comedy troupe The Second City. In Los Angeles, he appeared as the lead in Steve Martin’s adaptation of The Underpants at the Geffen Theater. At The Old Globe in San Diego, he played David O. Selznick in Moonlight and Magnolias, and starred in the premier of Nighthawks at the Kirk Douglas Theater, Los Angeles. Deb Lacusta is a writer, improvisational actress, and video artist. She has performed improvisation as a member of The Spoilin Players, and The Second City Alumni Jam in Los Angeles, as well as co‐written and performed the acclaimed two‐person show, Deb & Dan’s Show, with husband Dan Castellaneta in Los Angeles. Her television writing includes numerous episodes of The Simpsons (including the WGA Award Nominated episode “Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore”), The Tracey Ullman Show, and The Simpsons Comic Books. She directed, wrote, and starred in the independent improvisationally‐based film Starring Marlon Brando, a collaboration with Dan Castellaneta.

The Banana Tree is a zany comedy about Angela, a convenience store clerk, who dreams of being Las Vegas’ first African American female magician. But after a series of  hilarious run-ins and blunders, Angela finds herself in the middle of a robbery, a kidnapping, and at the mercy of a criminal mastermind that also happens to be a telepathic banana tree. The show was workshopped with BPP Producing Artistic Director Chad Rabinovitz over the summer at the Telluride Playwrights Festival.

The Banana Tree   December 6-7, 12-14, 19-21 @ 7:30pm   Bloomington Playwrights Project  Tickets available at BCT Box Office, 812-323-3020 or bctboxoffice.com
Editor’s Note:  News for the December 20 and December 27 issues of BEAD News should be submitted by Friday, December 13 to bead@bloomington.in.gov.

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