Rotten Apples Theatrical presents:
Theater Life
Paulanne Simmons

This is a farce that takes no prisoners. Organized crime, street gangs, philosophers, the media are all treated with equal ruthlessness. Blood and carnage abound. You could die laughing.

Sublimely ridiculous, Philosophy for Gangsters tells the story of a group of mobsters who come to the conclusion they are the victims of determinist philosophy, capture a professor of philosophy and try to start a revolution by massacring select individuals.
Written and directed by Liz Peak and Barry Peak, the show features Courtney Romano as Callie Rizzoli, the orphaned Mafia heiress; Tom White as Willie May, the befuddled professor; Bruno Iannone as Callie's uncle, the Don; and David Demato and Tally Sessions as Callie's cohorts, Eddie and Luther.
Although these actors are called upon to play stock characters, they do so with great energy and humor. Their perfect timing and adeptness at physical comedy keep the laughs coming steadily.
Callie has an MBA and a lot of moxie, but she is not without her feminine weaknesses. Somehow she sees a passion in Willie he does not see in himself. As for Willie, after becoming the unwilling spokesman for the renegade group, he begins to wonder about his former sedate life. But by now, a rival street gang is after Callie and her lieutenants because they have killed a drug trafficker named X-Dogg (the spot-on Kyle Robert Carter). And the Don, tired of all the trouble he believes Willie is stirring up, wants poor Willie executed.
Will love triumph? Does crime pay? Only after various tantalizing and hilarious twists and turns does Philosophy for Gangsters answer these questions.
The drama alternates with news videos of man-in-the-street reactions to the criminals' exploits. These vignettes are at the same time satiric and perfectly realistic. As a result they are painfully funny.
Except for one video of the insides of the drug dealer who is suspected of swallowing the goods, the play does not exceed the bounds of good taste - at least not if you have a fairly broad definition of good taste. Philosophy for Gangsters manages to insult a variety of ethnic groups, professionals and public officials, spreading its net wide enough, to make it non-discriminatory.
This is a farce that takes no prisoners. Organized crime, street gangs, philosophers, the media are all treated with equal ruthlessness. Blood and carnage abound. You could die laughing.

Every little girl has a dream. When I was 13, my dad took me to my first Broadway Show. 42nd Street starring Lenny Briscoe. Ummm, I mean Jerry Orbach. And little Kim (not Lil' Kim with the pasties), who was so much dorkier than she is now with big glasses and big teeth she had to grow into, said "Dad I want to do that one day!"

I became a radio personality instead, but that worked out pretty damn good because I get to spend my mornings with you guys and through that I had the chance to make that dream come true. One of our listeners - Scott Wojcik - was casting for the Off-Broadway show Philosophy for Gangsters.

As Telecharge describes it...

'Mafia heiress Callie Rizzoli has a lot on her plate. A street gang is fighting to take over her territory. She wants to make someone pay for her parents' deaths. To top it off, she and the philosopher she's kidnapped are lifted to top slot on the FBI's Most Wanted List. A clever, provocative comedy about ideas and messy deaths.'

And I am thrilled to say I get to be a part of it!!

While I only am a very small part of this brilliant show - I am "the newscaster" - there are so many great people and actors I met when I filmed my role last night, and what do they have in common? They were all on Law & Order! I had heard from Producer Craig that every New York actor has been on a Law & Order episode and I tested the theory when I filmed my role yesterday for Philosophy for Gangsters. Yes, it's true! Everyone I asked had been on either L & O or SVU.

In preparation for my big (well, small, really) debut as "the newscaster", my partner Jim rounded up some big stars to give me pointers.

I hope you will come see the show when it opens February 4th at the Beckett Theater on West 42nd!

And, personally, thank you to playwright and director Barry Peak for making me feel like I could actually do this when I was there to film, gushing with creativity and positive energy, and to Liz Peak for her enthusiasm for the show and for making me feel a part of what they have created.

Thanks also to Blake Drummond who made me feel at ease in front of a camera when I'm used to nothing more than a microphone and my partner staring at me every morning, and for unzipping the back of my dress to put the mic pack on my bra. He was the consummate professional when he did it, but it's been a long time since a guy unzipped my dress.

Costume designer Sarah Rose helped me look good and didn't mind all my questions about how she makes people in movies and TV look so put together (and her awesome tattoo!). Thank you!

And Shabazz Green - actor and general man about town - who puts a smile on the face of kids every morning when it's his job to entertain them before they get on the school bus and, yes, he was on a Law & Order episode - he was in the chorus and had dreads at the time! Thank you!

To everyone in the show - break a leg - and thank you for letting me crash your party!!!! See you opening night.

-Kim Berk, Fresh 102.7