Cast of 'The God Game' energized by opening week

Jessica Klarp
Special To The Black Mountain News

The three actors who comprise the cast of The God Game, a non-partisan political drama by Suzanne Bradbeer now running at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts, were energized by the audience’s response to the first week of the run. 

"(I) knew from the dynamic in rehearsal and the quality of the script that this would be a show audiences would connect with, and that we could be extremely proud of," said Matt Lutz, the artistic director of the Front Porch Theatre and The God Game cast member.

The cast of nonpartisan political drama "The God Game," which opened at The Black Mountain Center for the Arts on Oct. 19, will perform the play at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2 and 3. The final showing of the play will be a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4.

The two-act play is directed by Brad Archer, who came into the project with years of experience – as well as a high standard for the cast.

“I want the play to feel real,” Archer said. “I want these to be real people, and for the audience to feel like a fly on the wall watching life happen.”

The up-close and personal in-the-round configuration of the staging attempts to engage audiences in this way. 

Front Porch Theatre patrons are familiar with Lutz from his portrayal of C.S. Lewis in last season’s Freud’s Last Session. He takes on the challenge of his The God Game character with the same dedication and professionalism he has brought to his acting career since having grown up in the Swannanoa Valley. 

“Matt is consummate professional,” says Archer. “He is the anchor of the cast. It is wonderful to have someone with so much experience and so much passion about the project on the team.“

Lutz lived and worked as a professional performer in Los Angeles and New York for 14 years before moving back home several years ago. His film credits include significant roles in A Walk to RememberBringing Down the House, and End of the Spear

On TV, Lutz starred in the Hallmark Channel murder mystery series McBride opposite John Larroquette for two years, among many other TV credits.  He appeared on Broadway in the original cast of Frank Wildhorn’s Bonnie & Clyde, and off-Broadway in the five-person cast of Around the World in 80 Days

Cast member Alexa Edelman will be a familiar face to those who saw last spring’s production of Love, Loss and What I Wore at the Front Porch Theatre. Edelman plays Tom’s wife Lisa in this production. She studied musical theatre at Syracuse University, and then performed in the greater Philadelphia area before relocating to Asheville. 

Locally, she has been seen on the HART stage, as well as at Asheville Community Theatre, where she has performed the roles of Judy in 9 to 5: The Musical, Gertrude in Seussical, and Maggie in A Chorus Line.

“Alexa is incredibly talented and dedicated to the project,” Archer said. “Her work is detailed and exquisite. She has just shown a passion for her character and brings Lisa to life.”

Rounding out the cast is newcomer Corey Parlamento, who plays political operative Matt. Parlamento is a musician, writer, and actor who came to the area from South Florida five years ago.

He is a graduate of the Asheville Improv Collective School and currently performs in a long-form improv comedy troupe called Blank Slate. He has starred in two short films and the Asheville-based web series Transplanting. He writes and performs original music under the name Livingdog and has released two full length albums under that moniker. 

“Corey is new to the theater scene,” Archer said, “but he is an absolute natural. He brings so much raw talent to the table, and it is a delight to work with him.”

Tickets for the show are $20. The show runs at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 2-3, with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Nov. 4. There will be a short audience talkback after Sunday performances.           

The Black Mountain Center for the Arts is located at 225 West State Street in Black Mountain. For tickets or more information please call 669-0930 or visit BlackMoutainArts.org