NoHo play tells story behind co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- ABC7's George Pennacchio knew he was in for something different when he walked into the final rehearsal for a play about the men who founded Alcoholics Anonymous.

When he said, "Hi everyone," they answered in union "Hi, George!"

Pennacchio had never been to an AA meeting, but director Ronnie Marmo, who plays co-founder Bill W. said, "I've been told it's the greatest meeting people have been to because it's with Bill and Bob."

"Bill W. and Dr. Bob" tells the story of how a stockbroker and doctor would come to form AA.

Theatre 68 first did the play eight years ago. Marmo said he got hundreds of letters from people saying it actually helped them stay sober. So he decided to bring it back.

"I feel I have to do it," he said. "It's my responsibility to present this. And we're going to run it as long as people keep coming. We have no end date in mind."

In fact, "Bill W. and Dr. Bob" has two different casts to accommodate the six shows a week they'll be doing.

While the play gets very dramatic, it also has its share of laughs.

"There's even more laughs if you happen to be a member of the 12-step program because there's some things you shouldn't be laughing at that people find amusing," Marmo said.

The play is part education and part celebration. So, how will the cast and crew of a play about AA celebrate on opening night?

Cast member Carol Stanzione said there won't be any wine and cheese, just "lots of coffee, lots of sugar and lots of conversation. I mean, how great is that?"

"Bill W. and Dr. Bob" previews Thursday and Friday, and will officially open on Saturday at Theatre 68 at the NoHo Arts Center located at 11136 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood.

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