RELATIONSHIPS, An Almost Romantic Comedy By LEANDRO MUNIZ is coming to LA.
Reflect on making your directorial debut. What has that process been like?
It’s been a very rewarding experience to be able to direct “Relationships, An Almost Romantic Comedy” in LA. I learned from the creative process in New York and grew a lot as an artist in the past year. Collaborating with Leandro Muniz created a strong partnership by trusting each other’s view of the show and making the best of it, learning from the creative process as we went along. We worked together to create a new fresh version of the show that would appeal to the US audiences. It’s always a challenge to put a show together, casting, producing, and it was very ambitious to do it in New York and now Los Angeles. I am very grateful to be entrusted as the director of this amazing show making my directorial debut in Hollywood.
Speak about opening in Hollywood after making an Off Broadway run.
I learned a lot from doing the show Off-Broadway and being able to see how the jokes played out in New York. The audience was very receptive to the language, and everyone can identify with modern dating, one way or another. Also, working as an actress in NY first helped me develop my work and create a foundation to be able to build on the work we had already accomplished in New York. Now I was able to focus on the directing and make new discoveries.
Speak about casting? And the new actors you are working with?
The actors in NY had a standup background, and the LA actors have more of an improv background. So it’s definitely a different feel to the show.
Seeing how the director worked with the NY cast was helpful to find my own language as a director with a completely new cast in LA. Joining me in the cast as Jules Joy, we have Mike Guerra, Brittany Leoni, Ashley Sullivan and William Walker. I like giving freedom for each actor to bring their own take to the character, so it’s the same production but a completely different show at the same time.
How did adapt the show for LA audiences?
There are many aspects of the East Coast culture that we had to adapt to the West Coast. There are particularly funny situations to the LA dating scene that I incorporated into the Hollywood version of the show. It’s a show that talks about the struggles that people from big cities are living on a day to day basis, balancing their work schedules, establishing their roles in the dating scene and trying to find love at the same time. Of course a lot of the relationships still translate very well, everyone understands online dating nowadays – unfortunately! It’s a show that will speak to everyone no matter where they live.
Anything else you would like to add?
“Relationships, An Almost Romantic Comedy” is a one-act comedy that applies a non-conventional approach to relationships and exposes the well-known struggles of romantic love. Topics such as modern couples, breakups and makeups, one night stands, open relationships, infatuations, taboos, lies, cheating, crumbling marriages and falling in love in times of online dating come to life in a way that everyone can identify for better or for worse. The play combines sketch comedy, standup and improv in one act. It’s a contemporary play: think New York I Love You meets Short Cuts showcasing unusual characters in eccentric relationships. At the same time dark and satirical, philosophical and funny, and even sometimes edgy, just like any love affair. We promise your relationships will never be the same – or almost.
Written By: LEANDRO MUNIZ
Directed By: Julia Melim
LEANDRO MUNIZ (Writer/Producer)
Relationships by Leandro Muniz is the writer’s new endeavor in his directorial off Broadway debut – which promises to be the next big hit from the Judd Apatow of Brazil! He has written for the big screen the hit box office success Meu Passado Me Condena (Don’t Judge Me By My Past), which was a successful enterprise that drove over 3.2 million people to movie theaters in Brazil in 2013. The sequel, Don’t Judge Me By My Past 2 hit theaters in June, 2015 and it was one of the top box office hits of the year. Other screenplays written by the author that will be released until 2016-2017: Amor de Carnaval (Summertime Love), and Best Friends with top Brazilian comedian Fabio Porchat.
WHO’S WHO IN THE CAST
A NorCal native who has spent the last 10 years performing in several shorts, feature films, a couple of plays and lots and lots of commercials. Mike landed the lead role while making his stage debut in 2014 at The Beverly Hills Playhouse SF in Allen Barton’sEngagement. He recently had a guest-star role on a pilot for the show Underachievers on Amazon as well as appearing in a film starring Justin Long to be released in 2017. An alumni of Upright Citizens Brigade, Mike splits his time between photography, auditions, and honing his craft at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.
JULES JOY (aka. Julia Melim)
Jules is pleased to be making her Directorial debut in Relationships. She’s also the Brazilian producer for the new Netflix series “Ultimate Beastmaster” produced by Sylvester Stallone with Rafinha Bastos and Anderson Silva” and was a producer on “Destination Education” for Canal Futura. Besides being known as the on air talent for Hollywood TV on the red carpet, Jules was the International TV host for Rock in Rio 2015 as the on air host for Live X Live and AOL and the voice of the Smirnoff Campaign with about 2 million views. As a standup comedian, she created a show talking about her experience as a Brazilian in the US the “Brazilian Hour,” which was a sold out sensation at The Stand NYC. Jules appeared at “Programa do Jô” the most renowned late night talk show in her home country of Brazil and in a comedy sketch at the South African hit show “Late Nite with Loyiso Gola,” which was nominated for best comedy series at the International Emmy Awards in 2013 and 2014. She studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and performed sketch and improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade. She does standup at Comedy Clubs in LA, NY and Brazil. Thanks to all my exes who made this show possible.
Brittany Leoni is from Wilmington, Delaware, and recently moved to LA from NYC, where she graduated from NYU Tisch for acting and journalism. Within her first three weeks in LA she was cast as Laura, the lead in a horror film “Blood Bath & Beyond,” among other projects. Aside from acting, Brittany is a writer and host for The Knockturnal, an online entertainment magazine. She has interviewed celebrities such as Sarah Hyland, Graham Phillips, Anderson Cooper, and Keegan Allen. Brittany also enjoys singing, exploring her Costa-Rican heritage through cooking her abuelitas favorite recipes, and DJing. The name’s Britt, DJ Britt.
Ashley Sullivan recently relocated to Los Angeles from the Bay Area where she grew up, and is excited that Relationships will be her first onstage production in Southern California. Ashley recently shot an episode of My Crazy Ex which will air on Lifetime this fall. Doucheaholics, a comedic web series that Ashley stars in, had its world premiere at the Dances with Films Festival in Los Angeles this summer and will be made available to watch online Fall 2016. Ashley is fluent in Spanish after living in Buenos Aires for two years. She feels that experience helped her grow and enlarge her understanding of the world after experiencing all she could in that colorful and diverse city. It is there that Ashley became inspired to pursue acting full time. Ashley is currently studying the Meisner technique in North Hollywood. Ashley can assure you that all the scenes you see tonight, have in fact happened and apologizes if this ruins dating for you.
Ray Tezanos is excited to return to the Complex Theater for the second time this season. He was last seen as Enrique in the Hollywood Fringe Fest’s presentation of There Are Monsters. Not only is Ray in this show, but he is also currently on stage with the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts’ musical production of El Hombre de La Mancha, in downtown LA. When Ray isn’t acting he is inspiring others to be their fittest selves through exercise and motivation. Ray runs the Instagram account @Bodies_by_ray, where you can get inspired, learn fitness tips and make your dreams a reality.
Born and raised in small-town Texas, William has always known he wanted to be an actor. He has lived in both New York and Los Angeles performing on and off the stage. He has had a successful run of theatre performances of late. Recently he played the lead ORESTES in a production at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater of THE ORESTEIA in NOHO. He starred in a production of BRILLIANT TRACES written by Cindy Lou Johnson at the GTC Theater in Burbank, directed by Alex Taylor. William just finished a play performing THE SPOON RIVER ANTHOLOGY at The Two Roads Theater in Studio City. His most recent film credits include an adaptation of James Duff’s play HOME FRONT shot and directed by Anthony Newen and an AFI short film LOST BOYS written and directed by Eric Quintero. When he isn’t acting William is spending his downtime finishing his web-series “HOME,” a 10 part mini-series about two long lost friends coming together to solve a murder, and composing original music on his piano that he’s fervently played for over 12 years. He studies at The Taylor School of Acting, just voted best Acting School in Los Angeles for the 6th year in a row via Backstage Magazine. William would like to thank his father for all his love and support. William would also like to thank his friend for making him go out drinking in West Hollywood one faithful night and meeting the director Jules.