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Fun ‘Somebody/Nobody’ staged at NCC Jan. 16-19

AmandPeck left Megan O’Neill star “Somebody/Nobody” North Central College Jan. 16-19.  |  Submitted Photo

Amanda Peck, left, and Megan O’Neill star in “Somebody/Nobody” at North Central College Jan. 16-19. | Submitted Photo

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♦ Jan. 16-19

♦ Madden Theatre at North Central College, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville

♦ Tickets, $8-$10

♦ (630) 637-7469

Updated: January 8, 2014 4:20PM

For the first play of the new year, North Central College students present a fun, light-hearted tale about celebrity, and our culture’s love/hate relationship with it.

“Somebody/Nobody” runs Jan. 16-19 at Madden Theatre in Naperville. Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday.

“Somebody/Nobody” was written by Jane Martin and is directed by North Central College professor of theater Deborah Harris.

“We’re not trying to change the world; we’re just going for a laugh. I think in the middle part of January, that’s what people are in the mood for,” she said. “(The play) pokes fun at our own silliness.”

“Somebody/Nobody” is a contemporary comedy about two young women: teen idol Sheena is the “somebody” who is sick of dodging the paparazzi. Loli is a naive country “nobody” who has come to Los Angeles seeking excitement. Her life changes when Sheena bursts into her apartment to escape a rabid fan. Thus begins an “odd couple” relationship in which the two lean on and learn from one another.

It’s a good old fashioned farce with larger-than-life characters, improbable plot twists and fast-paced action, Harris said, with whip-smart commentary on how obsessed Americans are with celebrities, particularly ones who behave poorly.

“Loli is obsessed with movie stars. So when this woman comes into her home, she’s captivated by her. It doesn’t even occur to her to protest when this woman starts making a bunch of demands and ordering her around.”

The script was published in 2011, and when Harris first read it, she could immediately see her students performing it.

“The plot isn’t really the point — it’s the clever dialogue that makes this show special,” she said. “I think the audience will find it just a little bit warped but very, very funny.”

The students in the cast and crew met during the month of December to work on the show, and they had a lot of input on the show, she said. Part of their research included gathering props and costumes and even watching “The Devil Wears Prada.”

“It’s got the same kind of message about how we kind of get overzealous, in that case it was style and in this case it is stardom,” she said. “It’s a similar kind of crazy value system.”

The cast for “Somebody/Nobody” includes Taylor Calderone of Mishawaka, Ind., as Loli; Megan O’Neill of Naperville as Sheena; Anthony James of Quincy as Joe Don; Amanda Peck of Woodridge as Galaxy; Adam Sehr of Plainfield as the stalker; and Zoe Roechner of Joliet as Beverly.

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