May 2024

Dead Man’s Cell Phone Opens at Long Beach Playhouse

Dead Man’s Cell Phone Opens at Long Beach Playhouse

An incessantly ringing cell phone disturbs a woman sitting at a cafe table. She is furious at the owner for not picking up the call until she discovers he’s dead. So begins Dead Man’s Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative new dramatic comedy written by Sarah Ruhl.

“Sarah Ruhl is one of my favorite contemporary playwrights,” said Madison Mooney, Executive Director for the Long Beach Playhouse. “She’s an astute observer of humanity with a knack for uncovering what’s just beneath the surface in situations and then making it hilarious.”

Reviewers describe her plays as “buoyantly surreal stories moored by cosmically serious themes.” The lead character, Jean, confronts her assumptions about death, morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.

The show’s traditional proscenium stage and its audience’s affection for less traditional fare make this perfect for the upstairs theater. Ruhl’s 2014 play In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play was a success, having sold out nearly all its performances.

The multiple scene changes were concocted by the Playhouse’s producing artistic director Sean Gray and assistant technical director, Larry Mura.

This is Kathy Paladino’s directorial debut at the Playhouse, but her work is well known in the surrounding area. Ruhl asks us to ponder the tensions between technology’s ability to connect and divide us. She pushes us to use our imagination and enjoy the journey. “I think we have done that with this show,” said Gray.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone opens June 10 and runs through July 8.


Ticket Pricing:

Friday: Adults are $20.00, Seniors $18.00, and Students $14.00

Saturday and Sunday: Adults are $24.00, Seniors $21.00, and Students $14.00.

Tickets are available at, or by calling 562-494-1014, option 1.

Long Beach Playhouse is located at 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, CA, 90804, right across from the Long Beach Recreation golf course.
Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, and Saturday and 2 p.m.Sunday. The box office is open Wednesday-Saturday fr

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