Epic Proportions

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Epic Proportions
Written by Larry Coen and David Crane.
Date premiered 1986
Place premiered Manhattan Punch Line Theater
New York City

Epic Proportions is a play by Larry Coen and David Crane.

Set in the 1930s, it tells the story of brothers Benny and Phil, who go to the Arizona desert to work as extras in the Biblical epic film Exeunt Omnes, directed by the mysteriously reclusive D.W. DeWitt. All 3400 extras are supervised by Louise Goldman, who divides them into groups by asking them to count off by four. While Phil's experience as a "Three" includes relatively pleasant scenes of feasts and parades, brother Benny is a "Four," meaning he is included in all ten plagues. As things progress and everything begins to fall apart, Phil finds himself behind the cameras as the film's director, with Benny in a starring role. The two fall in love with Louise, leading to a brother vs. brother rivalry typical of epic movies.

An off-Broadway production, directed by Paul Lazarus, opened on December 1, 1986 at the Judith Anderson Theatre. The cast included Louise Roberts as Louise, Michael Heinzman as Benny, Mic Murphy as Phil, and Humbert Alan Astredo as DeWitt.

Thirteen years later, after 27 previews, the Broadway production, directed by Jerry Zaks, opened on October 1, 1999 at the Helen Hayes Theatre, where it ran for 93 performances. The cast included Kristin Chenoweth as Louise, Alan Tudyk as Benny, Jeremy Davidson as Phil, and Richard B. Shull as DeWitt. Shull died of a heart attack thirteen days after opening night.

A film adaptation, directed by John Landis, presently is in pre-production [1].

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