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How important are great new plays? Get this: they might save civilization.

"Amid the ongoing culture wars between urban-elite and blue-collar sensibilities, Melocchi’s period play slyly reminds us the division can be bridged by our fundamental human need to create."

That's a quote from the LA Times rave review - one of many rave reviews - for "Andy Warhol's Tomato," Vince Melocchi's engrossing new play now running at Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice. Here are a few more:

"Dana Jackson’s sure-handed direction draws terrific work from her cast." ~ Stage Raw

“Not-to-be-missed. This is a play which exquisitely traces the steps…to an understanding about creativity and life in general.” ~ SplashMags

"Two well-written, well-directed, well-acted characters that keep you transfixed by their quirky but incredible relationship. Your heartstrings will be pulled." ~ Broadway World

Yes, it's enjoyable. Funny, clever, touching and thoroughly captivating. But more than that: I keep coming back to the idea that THIS - Vince Melocchi's brave, original and perceptive brand of playwriting - might possibly be the glimmer of an answer (or one of the answers) to our current ever-more-troublesome-and-depressing socio-political climate. It could happen. One small step at a time.

Go see the play. As the critics have decreed, "it's not to be missed." And see what you think.

Where: Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd., Venice When: 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 22 Tickets: $25-$34 Info: (310) 822-8392 or Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

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