Lemonade from Life’s Lemons: The Making of Under My Skin – A New Comedy at The Pasadena Playhouse

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By Robert Sternin and Prudence Fraser

From l, Matt Walton, Hal Linden, Erin Cardillo, and Danielle Soibelman rehearse a scene from “Under My Skin.”

When we first started writing Under My Skin, we thought it was a comedy about sex and love. Then, a friend of ours wasn’t feeling well and despite six doctors assuring her that she was fine, she refused to take “you’re OK” for an answer. Finally, the seventh doctor gave her the tests she needed and her cancer was discovered.

Our friend’s story has a happy ending. Due to the early diagnosis, she is now healthy, has successfully filled out all the forms her insurance company needed, and has gone on with her life. To us, one of the most amazing things about her journey was that she managed to maintain her sense of humor throughout her long and frightening ordeal.

From l, Robert Sternin and “Under My Skin” director Marcia Milgrom Dodge in rehearsal

One night, at her house, healed and healthy, she had a group of us in stitches recounting her experiences with the medical profession. Well, it turned out that everyone else who was there that evening had a story of their own about doctors and health care, as does almost everyone we’ve ever talked to since.

So that night, on our way home, Under My Skin became a play about “Sex, Love, and Healthcare” … three things we all want but can’t always get. Little did we know that five years later, the subject matter of our comedy would be one of the hottest topics in America and at the heart of a presidential election. Sometimes you just get lucky!

But at its heart, Under My Skin is an outrageous, laugh out loud love story, between Harrison Badish, NY’s most eligible bachelor and Melody Dent, a hard working single mom from Staten Island. Through a twist of fate that can only be described as heaven sent, Melody and Harrison experience life from a very different point of view and learn a few things about, well, sex, love, and healthcare along the way.

Under My Skin, written by Robert Sternin and Prudence Fraser and featuring Hal Linden, performs at The Pasadena Playhouse Sept. 11—Oct. 7. For tickets and information call (626) 356-7529 or visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

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