Press Release: Clutter


The True Story of the Collyer Brothers Who Never Threw Anything Out

by Mark Saltzman

Directed by Rick Sparks

Limited Engagement Opens February 7, 2004

Entire production dedicated to the memory of Officer Matthew Pavelka

Some Urban Legends are true…

January 2, 2004…Burbank, CA…The Colony Theatre Company, winner of back-to-back Ovation Awards for best play - proudly presents a world premiere play and the fourth production of its 2003 – 2004 season, CLUTTER: The True Story of the Collyer Brothers Who Never Threw Anything Out, written by acclaimed playwright Mark Saltzman (MR. SHAW GOES TO HOLLYWOOD) and directed by Rick Sparks (A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON’T THEY?). CLUTTER will open on Saturday, February 7th and continue through Sunday, March 7th at the Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress) in the heart of the Burbank Media Center. 

Could being a packrat kill you? Whatever happened in that Fifth Avenue mansion? This true story is the engrossing murder mystery of the reclusive Collyer brothers who weren't just rich -- they were filthy rich. One's dead. One's missing. And all of New York is shocked at what police find inside these wealthy brothers' home…junk -- crammed everywhere! What turned these old-money aristocrats into hoarding shut-ins? Who killed the brother? Where's the other? And what does their creepy obsession reveal about their lives -- and souls? In CLUTTER: The True Story of the Collyer Brothers Who Never Threw Anything Out, playwright Mark Saltzman has written a compelling tale of these notorious brothers. Or perhaps he’s written about us - do we keep too much, do we throw away enough? The Colony is thrilled to be presenting this world premiere play.
Barbara Beckley, Producing Director of the Colony Theatre comments, “What an honor to be producing the world premiere production of CLUTTER: The True Story of the Collyer Brothers Who Never Threw Anything Out. Mark Saltzman has written a true to life classic whodunit that resonates with heart and emotion as well as being thoroughly captivating. To have the brilliant Rick Sparks working at the Colony on this project is truly a thrill. Our subscribers and audiences are in for an evening of theatre they won’t soon forget.”

Rick Sparks is one of Los Angeles’ most innovative and accomplished directors. His recent projects include: They Shoot Horses Don’t They? (Director, Co-Adaptor, Co-Producer) for which he won the Ovation Award, three L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards, two L.A. Weekly Awards, and three Garland Awards. Most recently he directed, co-produced and created the sound design for A Clockwork Orange at the Greenway Court Theatre. Other credits include: the L.A. premiere of Psycho Beach Party (Director, Co-Producer): winner of: 2 L.A. Weekly Awards and 5 Dramalogue Awards. Highballs Ahoy! (Director, Producer, Co-Writer): an L.A. Times Critics Choice and L.A. Weekly Comedy pick of the week. Off-Broadway, and L.A. Productions of Down South (Director, Choreographer); There’s No Place Like Hollywood (Director, Choreographer): Ovation Award’s nomination for Best Musical. A Charlie Brown Commercial Christmas (Director, Co- Producer, Co-Writer): 3 nominations from L.A. Weekly Awards. Other Directing credits: Tallulah, Poets Garden, Tough Choices For the New Century, The House of Blue Leaves, A Life in the Theater, Blithe Spirit, Grease, A Salute to Frederick Loewe, Hey Mr. Producer! , and choreography for the Lily Tomlin produced Sheila Sands Live at the Roxy. 

Playwright Mark Saltzman began his career in N.Y. with Jim Henson, writing for the Muppets. His Sesame Street sketches and songs (including Caribbean Amphibian) earned him seven Emmy Awards, but behind Kermit’s back, Mark was writing cabaret shows and musicals that played at The Ballroom, Soho Rep, 13th Street Theater, and the Village Gate, where he co-wrote the long-running revue A, My Name is Alice. In 1997, his musical play The Tin Pan Alley Rag opened at the Pasadena Playhouse and was nominated for five Los Angeles Ovation Awards, including Best Musical. The show continued on to several theatres around the country, including The Coconut Grove Playhouse, Goodspeed, and The Cleveland Playhouse. A New York production is planned for fall of 2004. For network television, Mark wrote Mrs. Santa Claus, the holiday musical starring Angela Lansbury with songs by Jerry Herman. For the movies, he wrote The Adventures of Milo and Otis and has written screenplays for Sony, Universal, and Disney. His TV movie, The Red Sneakers, directed by and starring Gregory Hines, aired on Showtime last year and was nominated for a Writers Guild Award. Mark’s stage musical, Romeo and Bernadette, recently played at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami and New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse. His newest play, Mr. Shaw Goes to Hollywood, based on the 1933 visit of George Bernard Shaw to the MGM studio, premiered at the Laguna Playhouse in April 2003. Mark also serves as a mentor in the Blank Theatre Company’s Young Playwrights’ Festival, held annually in Los Angeles. 

When Burbank Police Officer Matthew Pavelka was killed on November 15, 2003, becoming the first Burbank Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty, The Colony Theatre Company felt the loss, along with the entire city. The Colony will be dedicating this production of CLUTTER to the memory of Officer Pavelka. Additionally, after every performance, donations will be collected from each of our audiences, with 100% of the monies going to the memorial and trust fund that has been set up for Officer Pavelka and for Officer Greg Campbell, who was injured in the shooting and remains hospitalized. This is something everyone associated with CLUTTER felt the need to do especially in light of the fact that the play features police officers as lead characters. 

Performances for CLUTTER will be Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 2:00pm and 7:00pm. Additionally there will be performances on Saturday, February 14th and Saturday, February 21st at 3:00pm; Thursday, February 26th and Thursday, March 4th at 8:00pm. Ticket prices are Thursday, Saturday matinee and Sunday evenings $26.00 ($23 for Students and Seniors); Friday evenings and Sunday matinees $29 ($26 for Students and Seniors); Saturday evenings all seats $32. Preview performances are Wednesday, February 4th; Thursday, February 5th and Friday February 6th at 8:00pm - all tickets $16.00. Opening night gala (with reception) all tickets $50.00. There will be two Talk-Back performances, with the cast, director and playwright on Friday, February 13 and Thursday, February 26 immediately following the performance. For tickets, call the Box Office at 818/558-7000. 

In partnership with the Los Angeles Radio Reading Service, The Colony now offers Audio Description for one performance during each production. The service provides a rich description of the show giving our visually impaired patrons the full Colony experience. Audio Description will be available on Saturday, February 21 at 3pm. To make a reservation for this performance, call the box office and ask for Audio Description Saturdays.

To subscribe to this exciting season, click here.

For more information or for press comps, please contact David Elzer/DEMAND PR at 818/508-1754 or at

The Colony Theatre Company is a 29 year old organization dedicated to bringing the finest quality theatrical productions to Los Angeles. The theatre is located at 555 North Third Street, at the corner of Cypress, in the heart of the Burbank Media Center. For further information, call (818) 558-7000. Fax number: (818) 558-7110. E-mail: Or visit our website at www.colonytheatre.ORG.