Bad Habits

Critics

LemonMeter

90 %

Reviews: 10

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Bad Habits - Orson Bean and Alley Mills Star in Ruskin Group Theatre’s World Premiere Comedy

“Sparkles with fun…delightful holiday entertainment. Clever...endearing cast” - Splash Magazines/LA

The Sisters of St. Cyril’s are on a mission to prevent the closing of their convent and school. Might there be an “Almighty’ intervention to save them, in the form of a miraculous young woman named Maria? Or might God just sit this one out, leaving the Sisters to rely on their annual Christmas pageant fundraiser, which will be featuring a particularly surprising number? High adventure comedy, second to nun!

"Though slightly irreverent, the story is warmly affectionate in its take on the life of a group of nuns dedicated to their underprivileged neighborhood. Steve Mazur’s script intertwines the folly of our imperfect human efforts with the mystery of the divine - it is both biting and joyous. The central questions: what is the nature of faith, whom should we serve, and what meaning, if any, can be discerned from the mysterious. All provide opportunities for the Sisters and their Bishop to make fools of themselves, while along the way discovering a deeper part of their own humanity. This is, ultimately, a life-affirming, joyful play," says director Mike Reilly.

Written by Steve Mazur who wrote the book for Paul Overstreet's musical “Sneaky Ole Time.” Steve has written or co-written the screenplays for “Liar Liarstarring Jim Carrey, “Heartbreakers” starring Sigourney Weaver and Gene Hackman for MGM, “Jingle All The Way II” at Fox, “Phil” starring Greg Kinnear, and the upcoming “Undercover Brother 2.”

“Moments of comic genius. One of the funniest intermission bits I have ever witnessed, which I don't want to spoil by revealing it here. But it will stick with me and bring recurring chuckles for a long time!” - Broadway World

Directed by Mike Reilly, the cast includes Orson Bean* (Broadway: Theater World Award, Tony Award nom; Best Featured Actor in a Musical, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? with Walter Matthau and Jayne Mansfield, Never Too Late, Illya Darling. Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award - Best Solo PerformanceSafe at Home: An Evening with Orson Bean at PRT. SAG Award nom “Being John Malkovich.” ), Alley Mills* (Norma Arnold on The Wonder Years; opposite John Candy in “Going Berserk.” New York Shakespeare Festival, Mark Taper Forum, American Conservatory Theater, 20-year member of PRT), Lee Garlington* (Ovation Award “Best Supporting Actress” in Risk Everything - Zephyr Theatre, title role in Justin Tanner’s Pot Mom - Cast Theatre. Placement at the Black Dahlia. EMMY Award nom for "Broken"), Mouchette van Helsdingen (Originated roles of Broadway director in The Gun, Yoga Teacher in Rainbow Bridge, both world premieres at Ruskin. Gilbert and Sullivan’s Princess Ida at the Young Vic Theatre in London), Jacquelin Lorraine Schofield* (Ovation Award for The Color Purple - Celebration Theatre, Sister Act - CASA 0101, Bronco Billy The Musical – Skylight Theatre Company), Jacquelynne Fontaine* (Carlotta in the National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera. Before that, she played Anna in The King and I at Opera North, Elsa in The Sound of Music at North Shore Music Theatre); Kelsey Griswold (Originated role of Micaela in The Alamo world premiere at Ruskin, TV: American Crime Story: The People VS OJ Simpson, LA’s Finest, Queen America, Sex Drug’s and Rock N Roll).

“Bad Habits” runs at 8 pm Fridays and Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays through January 26, 2020 (No performances: Dec 27 - Dec 29, 2019; Jan 3, 2020). Ruskin Group Theatre is located at 3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Tickets are $25 - $35 and can be purchased in advance by calling (310) 397-3244 or online at www.ruskingrouptheatre.com

Free parking available on site.

Reviews

Steven Stanley

With Orson Bean still going strong at 91 and a stageful of nuns giving back as good as they get, Bad Habits hits the comedic mark with panache. Even those who’ve never ever set foot in a Catholic school classroom could do far worse than spend an afternoon or evening with the sisters of St. Cyril’s.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Avatar

Yes, the audience clearly loved it, especially when they were drawn into the action as stand-ins for little kids in school. The cast, even though all in imminent danger of excommunication, were excellent. Even Orson Bean, as the shrewd local Bishop, entertained delightfully with jokes that were perhaps rather risqué for a man of the cloth.

sweet - Morna Murphy Martell - Theatre Spoken Here - ...read full review


Avatar

Bad Habits may strain credulity at times, but without question it is one funny, laugh-filled play. My hat goes off to the playwright, director and cast—especially to Alley Mills and Orson Bean.

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

While Mazur’s script has moments of clever dialogue, almost all the scenes are purely expository. Any dramatic tension within the plot and among the characters is never fully fleshed out, so the stakes seem low.

sour - Taylor Kass - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

We all know how unintentionally funny nuns can be as they go about their daily lessons, ruler in hand, trying to get children to behave or do their lessons. Or perhaps not. But just imagine if you could be a fly on the wall in the early morning hours, listening in as they get together over coffee or while baking bread in their small kitchen and blissfully make fun of not only their students but each other, as well as their local Bishop who holds all the money needed to keep their beloved St. Cyril's convent and school from closing down. They smoke and swear while complaining about being old, jaded and stupid, but realize that just like their building and the entire neighborhood around them, we're just "all dirt poor." And incredibly funny!

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

If you aren’t of the Catholic faith (or of any faith at all) there are definitely going to be some ideas in the script that will leave you wondering where it tries to leave us but if you are looking for something that will make you think about Christmas in a new light, that also takes you out of the Nutcracker/A Christmas Carol routine, this is a good one to consider.

sweet - Christine Deitner - The Theatre Times - ...read full review


Elaine L. Mura - LA Splash

BAD HABITS is a charming introduction to the holiday season – clever, cute, and harmless fun with an endearing cast. Only Scrooge will be able to keep a smile from his face.

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Magazines - ...read full review


Avatar

With a simple sitcom storyline, Bad Habits is elevated to theatrical artistry by its formidable cast... Kudos to each cast member, who sing, dance and bring us to high hilarity as we watch and enjoy this two-hour spiritual comedy.

sweet - Ben Miles - ShowMag - ...read full review


Avatar

Every character has a personal story to tell and the result is a charming couple of hours with a Christmas surprise.  Of course, heading out to the Santa Monica Airport is worth the journey that will send an audience into the night with a smile and a huge laugh as it all resolves, including the curtain call.

sweet - Michael Sheehan - On Stage Los Angeles - ...read full review


Avatar

Writer Steve Mazur, whose extensive writing credits include numerous hit movies, has created fully drawn characters and a Catholic world brilliantly positioned between past and future. The set, by Brad Bentz, ideally frames the action. The opening scene could easily be cut but otherwise the show is tight and fulfilling on multiple levels.

sweet - Laura Foti Cohen - Larchmont Buzz - ...read full review


Steven Stanley

With Orson Bean still going strong at 91 and a stageful of nuns giving back as good as they get, Bad Habits hits the comedic mark with panache. Even those who’ve never ever set foot in a Catholic school classroom could do far worse than spend an afternoon or evening with the sisters of St. Cyril’s.

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


Avatar

Yes, the audience clearly loved it, especially when they were drawn into the action as stand-ins for little kids in school. The cast, even though all in imminent danger of excommunication, were excellent. Even Orson Bean, as the shrewd local Bishop, entertained delightfully with jokes that were perhaps rather risqué for a man of the cloth.

sweet - Morna Murphy Martell - Theatre Spoken Here - ...read full review


Avatar

Bad Habits may strain credulity at times, but without question it is one funny, laugh-filled play. My hat goes off to the playwright, director and cast—especially to Alley Mills and Orson Bean.

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

While Mazur’s script has moments of clever dialogue, almost all the scenes are purely expository. Any dramatic tension within the plot and among the characters is never fully fleshed out, so the stakes seem low.

sour - Taylor Kass - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

We all know how unintentionally funny nuns can be as they go about their daily lessons, ruler in hand, trying to get children to behave or do their lessons. Or perhaps not. But just imagine if you could be a fly on the wall in the early morning hours, listening in as they get together over coffee or while baking bread in their small kitchen and blissfully make fun of not only their students but each other, as well as their local Bishop who holds all the money needed to keep their beloved St. Cyril's convent and school from closing down. They smoke and swear while complaining about being old, jaded and stupid, but realize that just like their building and the entire neighborhood around them, we're just "all dirt poor." And incredibly funny!

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

If you aren’t of the Catholic faith (or of any faith at all) there are definitely going to be some ideas in the script that will leave you wondering where it tries to leave us but if you are looking for something that will make you think about Christmas in a new light, that also takes you out of the Nutcracker/A Christmas Carol routine, this is a good one to consider.

sweet - Christine Deitner - The Theatre Times - ...read full review


Elaine L. Mura - LA Splash

BAD HABITS is a charming introduction to the holiday season – clever, cute, and harmless fun with an endearing cast. Only Scrooge will be able to keep a smile from his face.

sweet - Elaine Mura - Splash Magazines - ...read full review


Avatar

With a simple sitcom storyline, Bad Habits is elevated to theatrical artistry by its formidable cast... Kudos to each cast member, who sing, dance and bring us to high hilarity as we watch and enjoy this two-hour spiritual comedy.

sweet - Ben Miles - ShowMag - ...read full review


Avatar

Every character has a personal story to tell and the result is a charming couple of hours with a Christmas surprise.  Of course, heading out to the Santa Monica Airport is worth the journey that will send an audience into the night with a smile and a huge laugh as it all resolves, including the curtain call.

sweet - Michael Sheehan - On Stage Los Angeles - ...read full review


Avatar

Writer Steve Mazur, whose extensive writing credits include numerous hit movies, has created fully drawn characters and a Catholic world brilliantly positioned between past and future. The set, by Brad Bentz, ideally frames the action. The opening scene could easily be cut but otherwise the show is tight and fulfilling on multiple levels.

sweet - Laura Foti Cohen - Larchmont Buzz - ...read full review