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Lori Triolo and Aleks Paunovic. Photo by Jason Goode

In a rundown bar in the Bronx, two strangers meet at the end of their ropes in Pacific Theatre’s remount of Annunciation Pictures’ production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea by John Patrick Shanley, featuring Lori Triolo and Aleks Paunovic, directed by filmmaker Jason Goode. Danny has an out of control temper and may have killed a man.

“Maybe you’re right. Maybe I shoulda shot myself in the head when I turned thirty.”

Roberta is haunted by an even darker secret that overshadows any possible joy in her life. When these two hopeless lives collide they ruthlessly reveal themselves to one another, resulting in a brutal exposure that is as dark and frightening as it is hopeful and funny.

Lori Triolo and Aleks Paunovic. Photo by Jason Goode
[Lori Triolo and Aleks Paunovic; photo by Jason Goode]

While the original Annunciation Pictures production of Danny and the Deep Blue Sea happened in the summer of 2010, the project goes all the way back to 2006 when Paunovic first brought the script to Goode.

“Aleks and I tried to mount the production a couple of times over the years, but we always found an excuse not to do it,” says Goode, on the four years it took them to bring Danny to the stage.

“Frankly, we were both terrified, and it wasn’t until the spring of 2010 that we decided that we’d face our fears and just do the play.” That’s when Lori Triolo joined the team, diving in alongside this pair of theatre newcomers to bring the story together.

One might think that a wildly successful initial run and an invitation to bring their production into Pacific Theatre’s mainstage season would have eased some of the terror that the artists feel the first time around. Not so. According to Jason Goode, he’s looking forward to working on the play this time around “because I’m scared to death all over again. Always a good sign.”

Actor Aleks Paunovic echoes the sentiment by calling this play “a humbling, rewarding, scary experience that I want to do all over again.”

This production marks the first of two plays by John Patrick Shanley of Pacific Theatre’s 2011-2012 season, to be followed by Doubt, a Parable. A mini-study in Shanley’s work, this pairing spotlights his diversity as a playwright with two wildly different stories told side by side.

Danny and the Deep Blue Sea

Venue: Pacific Theatre, 1420 West 12th Avenue (at Hemlock), Vancouver
Dates: January 20 to February 4, 2012
Wednesdays to Saturdays, 8 pm; Saturday 2 pm matinees
*Artist talkback on Friday, January 27
Tickets: $16.50 to $29.50 (not including HST). Reserve by phone at 604.731.5518 or online.

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