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Casting a sexy beast in 'Dead Man's Cell Phone' at South Coast Repertory

September 28, 2008 |  3:24 pm

Blogpickles_5Sometimes things can get a bit hairy for directors when they're trying to find just the right face for a part in a play.

So it was for Bart DeLorenzo when staging "Dead Man's Cell Phone" at South Coast Repertory. The veteran director had a pretty good idea of the type he wanted for a key scene with actress Christina Pickles (left). Strong jawline. Chestnut brown hair. Quirky, but not goofy. Good looking from the back. And as is so often the case on stage and elsewhere, size matters.

Especially when you're dealing with a dead animal.

DeLorenzo was pelted with possibilities. He tested several of the dozens of furry wraps presented to him, but none were quite right -- and time was running out. So for the first couple of previews, Pickles appeared on stage with a stand-in.

Then at the last minute, DeLorenzo finally found the sexy beast he was looking for, courtesy of that big Hollywood studio, Warner Bros.

Pickles' prop made its debut on the third night of performances--and practically stole the show.

And so, to quote the Bard, thereby hangs a tale.

See Charles McNulty's review of Sarah Ruhl's "Dead Man's Cell Phone" here.

-- Lisa Fung

Photo of Christina Pickles by Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times

Photo of pelts by Jeffrey Weiser / South Coast Repertory