Herbie J Pilato: Bobrick’s “Water” Soars!

by Herbie J Pilato

Sam Bobrick is a miracle of a man, and most certainly as a writer.

The legendary literati, bard, and musical and comedic genius, is responsible for everything from songs for Elvis, to classic TV hits like Bewitched and The Andy Griffith Show, to over forty stage plays, including “Norman, Is That You” (co-authored with Ron Clark), which was adapted for the big-screen in 1976.

Comedy writing legend Sam Bobrick

With his newest stage presentation, “New York Water” (now playing at the Pico Playhouse in Los Angeles through December 17th), Bobrick’s flair for the written word and ear for the funny bone, shines on.

Starring Bridget Flanery as the strong-willed Linda Shoup and Ross Benjamin as the subdued Albert Hives, New York Water resounds and rebounds the ups and downs of a modern day relationship with expert handling across the board, and coast-to-coast.   As played by Flanery and Benjamin, Linda and Ross are hapless romantic souls who find one another, and much more along the way as they peruse the geography from the Big Apple to L.A.

Directed with likable and realistic skill by Howard Teichman (who produced along with Bill Froggatt, who also designed sound and video projection), Flanery and Benjamin deliver the goods and the bads of their association with the perfect balance of energy, humor, and poignancy that never gets lost in the hustle and bustle of what they try to hold together against all odds.

“New York Water” hits all the right chords, as it takes the lucky theatre-goer on a journey of the heart and mind with a spirited production that lives up to Bobrick’s unique stand-alone style.  Bobrick is funny and he’s got heart.  It’s that simple, and it’s that evident in “New York Water.”

The laughs, tears, struggles, victories, and stamina that each of us require for a full life are wonderfully embodied in the twin souls definitively interpreted by Flannery and Benjamin who are spot-on with Bobrick’s always-witty and insightful lines.

Along with Froggatt, additional tech skills are top-notch, too, including stage manager Henry Lide, set and video designer Kurtis Bedford, and lighting designer Ellen Monocroussos.

After watching “New York Water,” the live-theatre watcher is left breathless for more of what Sam Bobrick brings to his table of delight for all of us to heartily ingest with what it means to be alive.

“New York Water,” a world premiere of the West Coast Jewish Theatre, is now playing at the Pico Playhouse located at 10508 W. Pico Blvd in Los Angeles.  For tickets or more information, call: (323) 821-2449.  [Publicity by Phil Sokoloff; photography by Michael Lamont.]


Herbie J Pilato is the Founder and Executive Director of The Classic TV Preservation Society, and the author of several classic TV companion books.  He is practically a founding father of TVWriter™ and is a Contributing Editor Emeritus. This article first appeared on Herbie J’s blog. Learn more about Herbie J Pilato HERE.

WGAW November 2017 Calendar

Yeppers, gang, there’s a clickable version for your edification and enjoyment. It’s HERE

TVWriter™ Don’t-Miss Posts of the Week – November 6, 2017

Good morning! Time for TVWriter™’s  Monday look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday. They are, in order:

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

5 TV & Film Writers on How to Recover from Writing Setbacks

8 Tips for Writing for Children’s TV Shows

Peggy Bechko Ponders ‘High Concept’

And our most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest

Writing the Dreaded Outline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Enter

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Rules

The Logline

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

The idiot box: how the allure of working in TV ruined Britain

LB’S NOTE: Not the kind of post we usually run, but fascinating to someone like me who often has wondered whether spending my life working in TV was the wonderful gift it seemed to be – or aiding and abetting the, you know, devil. What do you think?


by Jonathan Maitland

How to sum up David Frost? The lazy writer’s friend, aka Wikipedia, calls him ‘an English journalist, comedian, writer, media personality and television host’. To which I would add only: ‘Britain’s first TV superstar.’ (To some he was also ‘The Bubonic Plagiarist’, but we won’t dwell on that.)

That Was The Week That WasThe Frost Report and The Nixon Interviews made him a key cultural figure of the 1960s and 1970s. But his true significance struck me only recently. He may have damaged Britain, unintentionally, as much as anyone in living memory.

Frost, in my view, was a Pied Piper who helped to lure a generation of the brightest and best away from meaningful careers and into the often vacuous, inconsequential world of television. He was exciting — that interview confronting the insurance swindler Emil Savundra, for example — glamorous and funny. Thousands of Bright Young Things watched him and thought: ‘Yesss! That’s what I want to do.’ After three decades in TV, I’ve lost count of those who were inspired by visions of Frost.

Arguably, these BYTs wasted their talent. Wasted, that is, if you think running an influential think tank or government department or attaining an office of state is preferable to making instantly obsolescent visual wallpaper. Not all TV programmes are crap, obviously. But what’s more valuable: trying to get people to change channels or trying to change the world?

Take Mark Damazer, a former editor of BBC’s Newsnight and The Nine O’Clock News, whose baldness was, wags said, caused by the heat emanating from his brain — much like the chrome-domed Tory thinker David ‘Two Brains’ Willetts. Mark got a double starred first in history from Cambridge and was briefly my boss in the 1990s. I still recall him skilfully dissecting an instantly forgettable 120–second report I’d done on chewing gum (environmental menace thereof) or similar. Bit of a waste? Sure, Mark became an excellent and transformative controller of Radio 4 — but if he and all the others like him had gone to Westminster instead the road to Brexit would surely be less rocky.

Take Mark Thompson (first, Oxford), the former BBC director-general, who managed to pass on the unexploded bomb of the Jimmy Savile scandal and avoid most of the subsequent collateral damage. With political skills like that, he could have been PM. Then there’s Tim Gardam (double first, Cambridge), the abrasive Newsnight boss who might have been home secretary in another life. And a former ITV boss of mine, now retired, whose father was an MP, but whose own greatest achievement was helping to invent a celeb-based reality show. If Alan Turing — the Bletchley Park genius who helped to save the world — were alive today, he’d probably be producing Countdown.

Some of the above might deny they were directly inspired by Frost, but that’s irrelevant really. Because what they can’t dispute is that they went into TV. And that it was Frost more than anyone who made TV what it was. So if that’s not influential, I don’t know what is…..

Read it all at The Spectator

TVWriter™ Don’t-Miss Posts of the Week – October 30, 2017

Good morning! Time for TVWriter™’s  Monday look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday. They are, in order:

Peggy Bechko on Your Characters’ Needs & Desires

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

The #1 Skill You Need To Write For TV (Besides Fantastic Writing)

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

Travis Richey has Good News for Us

And our most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest

The Logline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Enter

The Outline/Story

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Writing when everything is in upheaval

Words this TVWriter™ minion stumbled upon and discovered she really needed to read in these very trying times:

by Wendy E.N. Thomas

I’m a happy sort of writer. I write about parenting, puppies, chickens, family and the life lessons I learn.  For the most part I’m an optimist, I have always believed in the goodness of the world.

But these days it’s difficult to write happy when I’m so angry and discouraged.

Never have I felt so unsettled in my life. Never have I used some words with the frequency that I have in the past few months.  (Let’s just say that the Swear Jar my kids made as a joke right after the election is seeing a lot of action.)

This is not an anti-Trump rant (although I blame him for much of it) it’s an anti-world rant. The entire world is in upheaval. Governments are being taken over, attacks are being carried out, and people are dying because they are protesting. Heck, these days athletes are being called sons of bitches for protesting inequality.

Not only are the governments in upheaval, but the very earth itself is in upheaval. We’ve had 3 devastating hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. People have lost everything, they are waiting for help and not sure it is coming. Over in Puerto Rico the situation is critical, without power, food, and water, American lives are being lost.

I’m finding it hard to concentrate. I’m dreaming of escaping to places where there is no internet, no television, no more devastating news.

But then I feel guilty about trying to get away. What if I miss another outrage? What if my voice is not counted in protest?

I had a friend years ago who told me I was too empathetic and that I too easily absorbed the pain of others. She’s right. I even feel bad for the dead animals on the side of the road (aww, such a shame.) Although being able to feel pain is a good trait for a writer, not’s not such a good thing to have when you’re trying to sleep at night.

“Imagine a bubble of white light around you,” my friend advised. “Bright, white shining light that you can see through but that reflects the pain.” It’s not that she wanted me to become immune to pain, it’s that she wanted me to be in control of how much I wanted to let in.

These days I’m imagining an awful lot of bright light. If I want to continue as a write, I have to.

How about you? How are you able to concentrate on writing when things are in such upheaval? Does it bother you? Are you able to effectively unplug?


Originally found at the Live to Write – Write to Live blog which you should visit AT ONCE!

TVWriter™ Don’t-Miss Posts of the Week – October 23, 2017

Good morning! Time for TVWriter™’s  Monday look at our most popular blog posts of the week ending yesterday. They are, in order:

Travis Richey has Good News for Us

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

Trying to Make Sense of ‘The Flying Nun’

‘Longmire’ Proves Hard to Kill

The #1 Skill You Need To Write For TV (Besides Fantastic Writing)

And our most visited permanent resource pages are, also in order:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2017 Writing Contest

The Logline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Rules

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Enter

Major thanks to everyone for making this another great week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!