By the end of the play, the jaded protagonist falls in love with Orange County, which bewildered at least one audience member after a reading last year. "Do you really hate it here?" the viewer asked the New York playwright. "No, I love it here," he replied sincerely. "It's not 'love-hate.' It's 'love-mock.'"
For Greenberg, whose work is known for wicked wit and delicious, satirical comedy, to "love-mock" is the height of flattery. It is a tribute to the fruitful, decade-long relationship he has enjoyed with SCR in Costa Mesa, one of the most prestigious nonprofit regional theaters in the country. Greenberg, 42, who speaks in a fast-paced staccato, has had five plays produced at SCR, where he has received more commissions than any other writer. "It's a tonic," he says of the month he spends each year at the theater. "It's clarifying. It's very calm there, which makes it a great place to work on a new play. And all the physical spaciousness creates a corresponding mental spaciousness."