month collecting fees.
"There was always a house or two that you didn't know what went on in
that house," Roth said. "You didn't want to go to the door and there's
all this stuff around the house."
"The Dazzle," which runs at South Coast Repertory through April 26,
centers around a pair of odd brothers inspired by two real-life men also
known as "America's most famous eccentrics."
The Collyer brothers are the focus of this three-actor play, but the
characters are only loosely based on the real duo who lived in New York
during the first half of the 20th century.
Roth's Homer spends most his energy making sure that his
pianist-brother Langley (played by JD Cullum) doesn't waste the family
Homer is "entirely wrapped up in his brother, he's stifled in his
environment," Roth said. "He has to create ways to sort of survive that
and maintain a shred of sanity."
Langley is completely dependent on Homer for everything from his
finances to his personal upkeep. He also often falls into a state --
which explains the title, "The Dazzle" -- where he fixates and is dazzled
by things as small as a strand of thread.
"When he totally focuses on one small, minute aspect of his world,"
said director Mark Rucker. "I think that's an intense experience for
But when a wealthy young socialite (played by Susannah Schulman) in
love with Langley enters both of their lives, she wants to change the
Starting with some cleanup.
Greenberg's work, which is the last to be presented on the small
Second Stage before SCR goes dark for renovations and expansions, takes
place in a 5th Avenue New York mansion that is cluttered and stacked with
at least two of everything.
Set designer Darcy Scanlin portrays the real Collyers' disposophobia,
an obsessive-compulsive disorder where you hoard things, in abstract
ways. There are 10 lamps in the room Scanlin has designed, two large
pianos, multiple Oriental rugs that meld into each other and stacks of
History has it that the brothers were recluses who kept the public
wondering about whether Homer was even alive and about why Langley went