2002, Staged Reading, Screenplay

The screenplay of OCEANSIDE, a modern film noir written by P David Ebersole,
was read aloud by a stellar group of actors at Garry Marshall’s Falcon Theater.

Produced by Tracy Reiner who also played the role of Eileen, it starred Elias Koteas as Nicolas, Billy Wirth as Francis, Joe Mantegna as Mallory, Mary Woronov as Deena and Sandra Kinder as Cordelia.

On a deserted stretch of beach on the California coast, a crooked lawyer named Mallory McMann gets filled full of lead by an undisclosed killer. Two men immediately confess to the crime. Did Francis Grabel, the young Marine who was under Mallory’s thumb, finally lose his cool? Or maybe it was Francis’ “friend” from the local bar: the piano player, Nicolas Stewart, trying to cover up his secret past and his plans to secure a small fortune from his publishing tycoon mother? Or could it be someone else…a woman scorned, a lover spurned, a grift gone bad? There are no usual suspects in this modern film noir thriller: this is OCEANSIDE where anything can happen and everything does.

Four years prior, Nicolas ran out of L.A., alone on the eve of his wedding, leaving poor Eileen Smith, the woman his mother always wanted him to marry, at the altar. There was a murder that night too. A boy that Nicholas knew and that Eileen preferred not to know about. The cops arrested, tried, and convicted a young Marine named Francis Grabel, for that crime. Francis insisted he was innocent. Somewhere along the line, a lawyer, Mallory McMann, took it upon himself pro bono to prove Francis was telling the truth.

As Our Story Starts:
Mallory has found the necessary loopholes to get the poor slob out of jail. As a ruse to keep Francis out of trouble (but secretly hoping to get into a little trouble with the kid himself), Mallory moves the handsome “delinquent” to Oceanside, promising to use his influence to get him reinstated into the Marines. Mallory gives his fresh off the boat, catch-of-the- day some money, sets him up in a hotel room, and the rest is all DON’T ASK DON’T TELL.