Orrach’s Corner Connects Boxing, Dancing, Jazz, Father, Son

Photo by Enci Box

Photo by Enci Box

“Joe’s a physical, full-of-movement guy,” says Lizbeth Hasse, co-writer of In My Corner, as she joins Joe Orrach for an interview in the lobby of the Odyssey Theatre over Labor Day weekend.

Orrach is a boxer, tap dancer, storyteller, former Teatro ZinZanni performer and star of the one-man play In My Corner, which opens Friday. It’s a father-son redemptive tale, according to Hasse, based on the writings in Orrach’s journal. Together, Hasse and Orrach wrote the script, which caught the eye of Jeremiah Chechik (Benny & Joon, Diabolique, The Avengers (1998), plenty of recent TV episodes), who signed on to direct. Three musicians play Latin jazz as Orrach taps, punches, skips and shares his story of a Puerto Rican-Italian kid from the Bronx who finds his voice through the arts.

“I wrote a journal years ago to try to figure out what was going on because I wasn’t in a good place,” Orrach says. “It was very cathartic. I wrote for four days nonstop, and then let it go.”

Years later, Orrach asked Hasse, a San Francisco-based entertainment lawyer whom he describes as his “lady,” to take a look. He thought he saw the makings of a story, and Hasse agreed.

“The journal was stream of consciousness,” Hasse says. “So we talked about it. And I started to see the arc of the story. I wrote scenes. I’d read them. He’d do movement. We figured out where the story was better expressed in movement than words. …

Read full article at LA Stage Times

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