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Arts & Entertainment

Paul Dooley teams with his 'Wicked' wife in new play, 'Assisted Living'

Writer Winnie Holzman (
Writer Winnie Holzman ("Wicked") and actor Paul Dooley star in their new play Assisted Living.
Courtesy Winnie Holzman and Paul Dooley

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Actor Paul Dooley and Winnie Holzman are a quintessential showbiz couple.

He's the stage, tv, and movie vet. (He played the dad in Breaking Away). She's the librettist of the Broadway smash Wicked.

Now, they've created Assisted Living, a three-act play at The Odyssey Theatre that explores the relationships between an aging soap star, his girlfriend, an old grump, and the grump's daughter ... who is the soap star's #1 fan.

He credits director Mike Nichols with his success on stage. Nichols had three Neil Simon plays running, and cast Dooley in The Odd Couple. Robert Altman gave him his big break in film, casting him in several movies, including Popeye.

Dooley says the germ of Assisted Living came thirty years ago when Dooley and Holzman took a stab at answering a pile of fan mail to Dooley. They started riffing on it, then wrote some pages, then put it away for decades. It wasn't until the two were holed up in a hotel during Hurricane Sandy that they brought out the notes and started developing it into the two-actor play.

The Odyssey Theatre is at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in Los Angeles.  Assisted Living runs weekends through May 12.