Arts and Culture | Local

Set in ’50s, new play to probe sales ethics

(L-R) Josh Silvain (David), Bill Epstein (Murph), Tenoch Gomez (Pete) and Dan Colecchia (Mitch) in “Fronting the Order”

“Fronting the Order,” a new play by Warren G. Bodow, opens today at the Beowulf Alley Theatre, with 11 performances running through April 23.

Set in a diner in a small upstate New York town on a summer evening in 1959, “Fronting the Order” follows the fortunes of four encyclopedia salesmen preparing to canvass neighborhoods in Olean, N.Y., with a patently misleading sales pitch.

“It’s really a comedy drama, but it’s kind of a morality play,” Bodow told the AJP. The main conflict plays out between the characters of David and Mitch, young Jewish men who grew up together but whose paths began to diverge after one was accepted into an elite university. The play reminds us, Bodow says, that the ’50s were not exactly the golden age of innocence many people remember or were told about.

Bodow, who with his wife has been a winter resident in Tucson for the past five years, is a member of Old Pueblo Playwrights. Two of his earlier plays received staged readings in Tucson before going on to showcase productions in New York City. He has led a film study class for the Tucson chapter of Brandeis National Committee for four years, and yes, he sold encyclopedias one summer when he was a student at Syracuse University.

“Fronting the Order” is directed by Sheldon Metz, and features five local actors, including Denise Blum (waitress) and Bill Epstein (crew chief).

For tickets and performance information, go to or call 882-0555.