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First Act: Golden Boy

WILMINGTON -- Not every theater production leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy.

"It's Clifford Odets. It's not going to be a happy ending," says director J.R. Rodriguez.

But Opera House Theater Company's latest production may leave you with a life lesson.

"These shows have a way of having you look at yourself."

The company is tackling Clifford Odets' famous work "Golden Boy." The main character, a feisty Italian-American from Brooklyn, struggles with his decision to become a boxer, a dangerous career that could lead to fame and fortune, despite his father's wish for him to pursue the violin.

It's that kind of conflict Odets is known for. He uses real life issues in his plays as a cry out for social justice.

"He has a lot to say. He says it well and I think he speaks to a lot of different strata of people," says actor Joe Gallison.

Opera House Theater Company is no stranger to the works of Clifford Odets. The company's last studio theater production was another work by the famous playwright, "The Big Knife."

"'The Big Knife' is Odets' reaction to Hollywood, which he didn't like. What they did to his scripts, his plays. He hated Hollywood. That's a whole different thing. This is real people, New York, people struggling with life," says Gallison.

It's that struggle that connects with the audience and makes seeing "Golden Boy" more than just a night out at the theater.

"People can identify with different characters and different relationships. And they'll be moved, and they'll be better."

Moved and improved. You don't get that with warm and fuzzy.

If you'd like to see "Golden Boy" it's running for one more week. You can see it Thursday, Nov.2 through Sunday, Nov. 5. All shows start at 8:00pm at Thalian Hall's Studio Theater. Click here to purchase tickets online.

Reported by Heather Setzler

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