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Cast of GRACE to Appear at Apple Store Soho, Host Guest Talkbacks, Beginning October 8

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GRACE-Sets-Special-Events-for-October-2012-20010101

Grace, the acclaimed dark comedy written by award-winning writer Craig Wright (Mistakes Were Made, Recent Tragic Events, "Six Feet Under") and directed by Dexter Bullard (Tracy Letts' BUG), today announced a series of special events throughout the month of October in support of the the show's Broadway premiere.

Things kicks off on Monday, October 8th when The Cast of Grace will appear at the Apple Store Soho, and the remainder of the month will see a series of compelling Wednesday evening post-show talkbacks with a distinguished lineup of guests including best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert, Reverend Stephen Phelps of the Riverside Church of New York, Dr. Michael Brown of Marble Collegiate Church, and journalist Patrick Pacheco. Grace is a strictly limited engagement at the Cort Theatre (138 West 48th Street), and began performances on Thursday, September 13th, with its official opening night upcoming on Thursday, October 4, 2012.

The Cast of Broadway's Grace-Paul Rudd, Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington, and Ed Asner-will appear at the intimate theatre inside the Apple Store Soho (103 Prince Street) on Monday, October 8th from 7 PM – 8 PM for a conversation about the play with Shanon Cook of CNN, an entertainment journalist, who will moderate the event. Similar events at the Apple Store Soho, aimed at bringing awareness of uptown events to the downtown crowd, have included conversations with Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Jon Hamm, Clint Eastwood and many other entertainment luminaries. The event, which will be recorded for future podcast, is open to the public and will include an opportunity for audience questions.

Also, a Talkback Series is set to coincide with three Wednesday evening performances of the show throughout October. Talkbacks of Grace, which through its very subject matter and daring approach lends itself to thought-provoking commentary and discussion, will begin on October 10th when Patrick Pacheco (Los Angeles Times journalist and NY1 "On Stage" correspondent) Times will be joined by the entire cast of Grace for a post show conversation about the play. On October 17th, best-selling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love) and Reverend Stephen Phelps of the Riverside Church of New York will engage in a compelling discussion of faith as it relates to the themes of the play. On October 24th, Dr. Michael Brown of the Marble Collegiate Church NYC, who consulted on Grace during the rehearsal process, will similarly discuss the issues of faith and religion that are explored in the play. All talkbacks will take place directly after the 7pm performance. See below for biographical information on the distinguished panel of guests.

In alternating scenes of hilarity and poignancy, life turns surreal for an eclectic foursome whose destinies collide in the Sunshine State. A wide-eyed young couple (Rudd & Arrington) head south with big plans to open a chain of Gospel-themed motels. When an agitated rocket scientist (Shannon) and a prickly pest-control man (Asner) enter the picture, the couple's ordered world is thrown into utter chaos. Grace examines those illusive paradoxes: Believing vs. Knowing and Coincidence vs. Fate.

Grace features an all-star cast including Paul Rudd (Knocked Up, "Friends") and Academy Award® nominee Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, "Boardwalk Empire"), with Steppenwolf's Kate Arrington and seven-time Emmy Award®-winner Ed Asner ("Lou Grant", "The Mary Tyler Moore Show").

Grace first premiered to critical acclaim at The Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, DC in 2004, and was subsequently seen in a celebrated production at Northlight Theater in Chicago, and at the Pasadena Playhouse in Los Angeles (where it received 3 LA Drama Critics Circle Awards including Best Play).

Paul Rudd made his Broadway debut in Tony Award-winning The Last Night of Ballyhoo in 1997 and has since starred in Twelfth Night (1998), Three Days of Rain (2006) and Off Broadway in The Shape of Things (2001), among many other stage productions. Michael Shannon's numerous NY stage credits include Uncle Vanya at Soho Rep and Craig Wright's Mistakes Were Made. He received an Academy Award nomination for Revolutionary Road, is a series regular on "Boardwalk Empire," and stars in upcoming feature films: Premium Rush, Iceman and Man of Steel. Kate Arrington, who was critically praised for her recent performance at the Goodman Theatre in Iceman Cometh opposite Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy, is a Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member, whose productions there include The Hot L Baltimore, The Well-Appointed Room, The Pain and the Itch and The Violet Hour. Ed Asner last appeared on Broadway in 1989, opposite Madeline Kahn in Born Yesterday. This production of Grace marks its New York Premiere (in an updated script) and the Broadway debuts of playwright Craig Wright, director Dexter Bullard, and Michael Shannon, who have a fifteen-plus year history of collaboration in the theater, including the recent production of Mistakes Were Made.

Tickets are currently on-sale via Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200. A general rush will be available the day of the performance, when the box office opens. General rush tickets are $30 Mondays through Thursdays and $35 Fridays – Sundays (cash or credit); limited to two tickets per person. For Group Bookings visit www.telecharge.com/groups or call Telecharge Group Sales at 800-432-7780.

The performance schedule for Grace is as follows: Preview performances: Monday – Saturday at 8:00 PM, with 2:00 PM matinees on Wednesday and Saturday (no matinee on 9/26); Post-opening performances: Tuesday – Thursday at 7 PM, Friday – Saturday at 8 PM, matinees on Wednesday & Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 3 PM. For more info, visit www.graceonbroadway.com.

Talkback Guest Bios

DR. Michael Brown became the sixth Senior Minister of Marble Collegiate Church in February, 2009 after previously serving as the Senior Minister of Centenary United Methodist Church, a 3,900-member congregation in Winston Salem, N.C. A North Carolina native, DR. Brown has served several United Methodist congregations across the state as well as taught Ethics (UNC-Ashville), New Testament (High Point Univ.), and Congregational Change (Wake Forest Univ.). He has also written five books and is contributing author to eleven others. His most recent book is Bottom Line Beliefs. DR. Brown and his wife Page, have four children, Zachary, Adam, Alison and Catherine.

Elizabeth Gilbert began her career in New York as a journalist for such publications as Spin, GQ and The New York Times Magazine. She was a three-time finalist for The National Magazine work, and an article she wrote in GQ about her experiences bartending on the Lower East Side eventually became the basis for the movie Coyote Ugly. In 2000, Elizabeth published her first novel, Stern Men (a story of brutal territory wars between two remote fishing islands off the coast of Maine) which was a New York Times Notable Book. In 2002, Elizabeth published The Last American Man – the true story of the modern day woodsman Eustace Conway. This book, her first work of non-fiction, was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Elizabeth is best known, however for her 2006 memoir Eat Pray Love, which chronicled her journey alone around the world, looking for solace after a difficult divorce. The book was an international bestseller, translated into over thirty languages, with over 10 million copies sold worldwide, and a movie version in the making, starring Julia Roberts. The book became so popular that, in 2008, Time Magazine named Elizabeth as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2010, Elizabeth published a follow-up called Committed-a memoir which explored her ambivalent feelings about the institution of marriage. The book immediately became a number one New York Times bestseller, and was also received with warm critical praise. Her latest novel, The Signature of All Things, a sprawling tale of 19th century botanical exploration, will be published in autumn 2013. Elizabeth Gilbert lives in the small river town of Frenchtown, New Jersey, where she and her husband (more widely known as "That Brazilian Guy From Eat, Pray, Love") run a large and delightful imports store called Two Buttons.

Patrick Pacheco is the renowned theater journalist for The Los Angeles Times based in Manhattan whose profile subjects include Senator George Mitchell, Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer and actors Katharine Hepburn, Warren Beatty, Julie Andrews and Liza Minnelli. In 2002, he launched Show People, a National Theatre magazine, for which he served as editor-in-chief. He is also featured on Onstage, a program on New York's cable channel, NY1. He is currently developing work for the theatre as a writer and producer.

REVEREND STEPHEN PHELPS was selected as Interim Senior Minister for the Riverside Church in December of 2010 and began his position in January of 2011. Before joining Riverside, Rev. Phelps served as Interim Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, and prior to that, as Senior Pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in Buffalo. He has served as pastor to Presbyterian congregations since 1986. Under his leadership, Rev. Phelps' congregations have committed to transforming both the inward person and the structures of society, on which justice hangs. Raised in the Hudson Valley and educated at Yale, Rev. Phelps worked on nationally recognized community-development projects with the Rensselaerville Institute before entering Yale Divinity School, where he earned the M.Div. In 2009 he moved to New York City to engage more fully with his vision of multi-faith and multi-cultural spiritual communities. Rev. Phelps has taught and initiated programs to strengthen contemplative practices, prison ministries, multi-cultural community, justice and inclusion for gays and lesbians, and interfaith learning and dialogue. He has also taken an active role with Faith House/Manhattan and teaches church history and Christian ethics in New York Theological Seminary's Master's Program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / Retna Ltd.

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