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Dreams and disappointment in “Tinseltown Trilogy”


“In Hollywood, it’s not failure that kills you it’s the hope,” said Christopher Canaan in describing the essence of his new play, “The Tinseltown Trilogy.” He went on to say, “It’s the city where dreams come true but, more often, are buried in an avalanche of disappointment.”

In “The Tinseltown Trilogy” Canaan weaves together elements of his own career, along with his observations of actors and writers he observed struggling with the agony and the ecstasy in their quest for success.

“After a great 25-year run in the entertainment industry, I looked up and realized that everyone who ever hired me had retired, or died, and it was time to start a new chapter,” said Canaan. “Theater was always my first love. I’d lived in New York in my youth and performed in many theaters in the East. One day, my wife, Kathy, and I looked at each other and asked, ‘what are we doing here? The party is over.’” We packed our bags, sold the house and off we went in our new Subaru, with our dog Molly and a great sense of adventure.”

Since Canaan arrived in New Hope he has been writing up a storm. Several of his plays have been performed, including “Franco Franko,” “Writer’s Block,” “Sprinkles and Glaze” and “The Big Bad Wolf” which was mounted in November by Actors’ Net in Morrisville.

“Tinseltown” focuses on Lou, Buddy, Marilyn and Zoey, all in their 60s, who began their careers in their 20s, lived through the craziness of sex, drugs and rock ’n roll, and who tasted success from time to time, but never quite got the brass ring.

“The play is about disappointment … endurance… hope… acceptance… sacrifice…. Friendship and self-discovery that I experienced and witnessed, warts and all,” said Canaan, adding “Audiences should brace for some ‘salty’ language.”

The play features Joey Perillo, Nona Niedert, Claudia Perry, Rick Goodwin, Righteous Jolly, Will Higgens, and Canaan, who began his career as an actor. Hugh Gallagher provides technical support.

“The Tinseltown Trilogy” will be performed at the James Lorah House, 132 Main St., Doylestown. Show dates are 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26. Tickets available at the door are $15; Student tickets are $10. Equity actors and casting directors will receive complimentary tickets.

Canaan’s credits include writing and producing over 20 movies and mini-series for CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, Showtime, Hallmark and Starz Encore. He won an Emmy with Michael Mann for the mini-series “Drug Wars: The Camerena Story.” He wrote two feature films: “Robinson Crusoe,” with Pierce Brosnan, and “No Good Deed,” with Samuel L. Jackson. He was also co-creator of the 1990s series “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

Canaan earned an M.F.A. in theater from UCSD and has taught writing at UCLA, The College of New Jersey and Bucks County Playhouse.

He will conduct a private workshop for writers and actors in February. He can be reached at