Anyone with a sibling can relate to a situation where the big brother tells the little brother, “Stop following me around and stop copying me… or I’ll tell Mom!” That may have happened once or twice in the Mendelson household, but Daryl Mendelson, eldest brother of Braddon Mendelson, grew up keeping that little brother around.
Today, brothers Daryl Mendelson and Braddon Mendelson are playwrights, and they’ve found that the plays they separately wrote will have opening nights on the same date, Jan. 13.
Braddon’s play, “Rembrandt Perfected,” opens the 2023 season at The Main in Old Town Newhall.
“It is a witty and fast-paced, award-winning comedy about an 1839 meeting in Paris between telegraph inventor Samuel Morse and scenic artist Louis Daguerre, whose daguerreotype would usher in in the new world of photography,” reads a prepared statement issued by the playwrights. “Together, they plan a ridiculous scheme to identify the first human to appear in a photographic image.
Daryl’s play, “The Jewtalian,” will be produced at the Chino Community Theater in Chino. The play is about an endearing and rib-tickling journey of a best friendship started in childhood and lasting a lifetime.
Both brothers grew up with a bit of an artistic flair. Daryl pursued a master’s degree in environmental health and worked as a computer programmer, but his love of theater always kept him on stage.
“Having been an actor my entire life, I decided it would be great fun to write a play. When I asked one of my dearest theatrical friends, Frank Minano, artistic director of Inland Valley Repertory Theater if he’d like to join me on this ‘ride,’ he responded with a resounding ‘yes.’”.
Frank and Daryl met many years ago when they portrayed Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, respectively, in the musical “Man of La Mancha.” Since then they have collaborated in theater many times over.
Although Braddon’s path steered him through a variety of positions in the film and TV industry, he was a writer at heart and never satisfied in merely facilitating other artists’ visions. Referring to himself as a “late bloomer,” when he turned 60, he realized his years of writing — whether for others or for no one in particular — along with his innate sense of humor had prepared him to write for the stage. He decided he would be a playwright.
“I wrote my first play in grade school,” he said, “and now I’m really good at it – and that’s very satisfying.”
“When we found out both of our plays were opening on the exact same day we were floored!” exclaimed Braddon. “What are the chances?”
“There is no competition at all,” said big brother Daryl. “Braddon is a terrific storyteller. We are each other’s biggest fan.”
“Rembrandt Perfected” is scheduled to run Jan. 13-22 at The Main, 24266 Main St., Newhall. Shows at 8 p.m. Jan. 13, 14, 20, 21, and 2 p.m. Jan. 14, 15, 21, 22. Tickets ($20) available at www.RembrandtPerfected.com.
“The Jewtalian” is scheduled to run Jan. 13-Feb. 4 at the Chino Community Theater, 13123 Seventh St., Chino. Play and ticket information is available at www.TheJewtalian.com.