On September 20, 2018, Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team (START), in association with Pacific Resident Theatre, opened UK Underdog, a serious, yet funny and refreshing one-man theatrical show, based on true events, by writer, actor, comedian and performer Steve Spiro.
Produced by Ginger Perkins and directed by Ann Bronston, UK Underdog, runs through October 28, 2018 at The Zephyr Theatre located at 7456 Melrose Ave Los Angeles, CA 90046. Show times are Thursday, Friday and Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm and the show runs for 70 minutes. Tickets are $25 with all proceeds from the production benefiting S.T.A.R.T. (Shelter Transport Rescue Team), as well as other selected animal charities and anti-bullying groups.
UK Underdog is the story of a young Jewish boy in London who transforms himself and his life, through sheer determination, from being a self-aware bullied underdog to being a strong and effective martial arts and pro boxer, compassionate, strong community leader and animal rights activist.
Bronston explained, “Steve’s story is all our stories: How life happens to us and how, through resilience and determination, seemingly random events shape a life and help us find meaning.” She continued, “The first time I heard a reading, I was impressed by how completely and quickly Steve filled the stage with different characters. He is one of the most dedicated actors I know, working tirelessly to reshape the script and poring over every detail with me.”
Actress Sylva Kelegian (Spiderman/CSI) stated: “Steve Spiro’s UK Underdog is a must see. It’s highly entertaining, wonderfully written, and terrifically acted.” She continued: “I laughed my ass off and shed a few tears.” Actor Jude Ciccolella (Leathal Weapon/NCIS) commented: “UK Underdog is superbly written and performed by the very gifted Steve Spiro.”
According to Pacific Resident Theatre artistic director Marilyn Fox: “UK Underdog is a miracle of a one-man show – entertaining, warm, funny, touching and completely unexpected.” Ellen Lavinthal, S.T.A.R.T. Board member said, “I enjoyed this one-man show so much, I’m returning to see it a third time this Saturday!” Ellen continued: “I actually bought a block of 10 tickets, and am offering a free ticket to the first 10 people who contact me!”
A juried art exhibit featuring photos pairing at risk children and adults (who are subjected to bullying because of their size, ethnicity, sexual preference, homelessness) with at-risk rescued animals will be open for viewing at each performance.
Organizations that will share in the proceeds from this production include Ace of Hearts, Foxy and the Hounds (FATH), Kitten Rescue, Operation Blankets of Love, Pet Adoption Fund, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), Stop Poaching Now, Wild Foundation and Wildlife SOS.
A member of Pacific Resident Theatre, Steve Spiro is originally from London, England and has appeared in both film and stage. He is excited performing UK Underdog at the Zephyr Theatre, where he last appeared in the award-winning play The Caretaker. Steve has written several screenplays, including the life and times of early 20th Century fighter Sam Langford (based on the book by Clay Moyle), who was regarded as the greatest fighter ever to fight for the title. He is also co-writer of a thirty-minute dark comedy, Unleashed, about the world of animal rescue, which will begin shooting later this year. Steve is one of the original founders and president of S.T.A.R.T. Rescue, a nonprofit transport and spay/neuter group. Since its inception in 2011, S.T.A.R.T. has transported over 10,000 dogs and cats from high kill California shelters to loving “forever homes” in the Pacific Northwest and funded over 5,500 spay/neuter surgeries for low-income households. Steve lives in Los Angles with his wife and three rescue dogs.