MEET & GREET to Return at Theatre Asylum, Opening 8/3
After playing to sold out crowds at the recent 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival, the new hit comedy play - MEET & GREET returns for an extended run at Theatre Asylum-Elephant Space in Hollywood. The Encore! Producers' Award winner was written by t.v. veterans Stan Zimmerman (The Golden Girls, Roseanne, Gilmore Girls) & Christian McLaughlin (Married with Children, Desperate Housewives) and directed by Stan Zimmerman (Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Blink & You Might Miss Me, A Tuna Christmas). The outrageous comedy features an all star cast, including Daniele Gaither (Mad TV, Groundlings), Teresa Ganzel (Wall-E, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson), Carolyn Hennesy (True Blood, General Hospital), Vicki Lewis (NewsRadio, Chicago on Broadway) and Brendan Robinson (Pretty Little Liars). It runs for only twenty-four performances at Theatre Asylum-Elephant Space, 6322 Santa Monica Blvd in Los Angeles from Friday August 1st to Sunday September 21st with three performances per weekend, Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 4pm. Tickets are $20 online or $25 at the door.
MEET & GREET is a one act comedy about four actresses of a certain age -- a Broadway diva (Carolyn Hennesy), an unhinged ex-sitcom star (Vicki Lewis), her ditzy blonde bombshell former co-star (Teresa Ganzel), and a volcanically tempered African-American reality show star (Daniele Gaither) -- are all up for the same part in a new sitcom pilot. They meet at a network casting office in the San Fernando Valley presided over by a catty, gay young male assistant (Brendan Robinson). Old rivalries come screaming to the surface, egos clash, hair is pulled and a shocking revelation forces them to question their entire existences.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM:
STAN ZIMMERMAN (Director/Co-Writer/Producer) with his writing partner James Berg, worked on such classic series as The Golden Girls and Roseanne (penning the controversial 'lesbian kiss' episode), both of which received WGA Award nominations for Best Comedy Writing. Other writing credits include the ABC tv movie Annie, Gilmore Girls, the Lifetime sitcom Rita Rocks (which they also created and executive produced) and both Brady Bunch movies. They are currently writing the ABC Family sitcom pilot Piece of Work to star Jesse McCartney. Stan was host/showrunner on the Bravo series Situation:Comedy produced by Sean Hayes.
He made his stage directing debut with Gemini (Celebration Theatre), followed by A Tuna Christmas (Theatre Asylum) starring Mindy Sterling and Patrick Bristow, Spike Heels (Actor's Circle Theater), Entertaining Mr. Sloane (Actors Company Theatre) with Olivia d'Abo and Ian Buchanan. Stan won Best Director (LA) from BroadwayWorld for Blink & You Might Miss Me (Asylum Lab, Hollywood Fringe, Renberg Theatre, SF Fringe, Chutzpah Festival-Vancouver and XL Cabaret- NYC). He directed a second Fringe show this year, Susannah Blinkoff's musical memoir, Daughter Of... at Three Clubs Cocktail Lounge.
With Christian McLaughlin, Stan wrote IT'S ON!, their tv theme song musical, which he directed workshops starring Megan Hilty, Nolan Funk and Alan Thicke (Falcon Theatre) and then at NYMF (Signature Theatre) with Sheryl Lee Ralph, Mindy Sterling, Paige Davis and Michael Urie. www.zimmermanstan.com
CHRISTIAN MCLAUGHLIN (Co-Writer), along with Valerie Ahern, worked on the infamous Married with Children. They've also written for Desperate Housewives, Hannah Montana, Hot Properties, Clueless, Rita Rocks and Hollywood Heights. The team had stints on the daytime soaps - The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful. They created and executive produced MTV's Emmy nominated steamy soap opera Spyder Games. Christian produced and directed a live stage production of The Phacts of Life in Los Angeles. He gained notoriety in his early twenties with the publication of his novels, Glamourpuss and Sex Toys of the Gods. Christian and Valerie are currently working on the Disney Channel hit series, Jessie. With Stan, he wrote the 21st and 22nd Divas Simply Singing! benefits. Meet & Greet was part of The Blank Theatre's Living Room Series for new readings in LA.
DANIELE GAITHER (Desiree White) is most widely recognized from the Emmy-winning comedy variety series, MADtv (FOX). She broke into television in the cast of TV Guide Editor's Pick Hype, an outlandish prime time sketch comedy series on the WB, then went on to star in the NBC prime time summer comedy series The Rerun Show. Featured alongside the "25 Funniest Comedians in Los Angeles" in Los Angeles Magazine's 2005 Comedy Issue, she has appeared in guest starring roles on numerous half hour comedies such as Tyler Perry's House of Payne (TBS), Key and Peele (Comedy Central) and Real Husbands of Hollywood (BET). After graduating from Northwestern University, she showcased her celebrity impersonations and original characters as a member of the Groundlings Main Company in Los Angeles. She currently appears in the improv show The Black Version at the Groundlings.
TERESA GANZEL (Teri Valentine) has a long resume of television comedy such as her 35 appearances of sketches and panel with Johnny Carson for the last decade of his reign on The Tonight Show. She was a regular on several series such as The Duck Factory with Jim Carrey, Teachers Only with Lynn Redgrave, and Roxie with Andrea Martin, and some very funny pilots that never made air. She has guest starred in countless sitcoms, game shows (Pyramid) and TV movies including cult favorite Carol Burnett's mini-series, Fresno. Film work includes being Jackie Gleason's wife Fancy in the film The Toy and playing opposite Jeff Goldblum in the comedy horror film Transylvania 6-5000. Besides her voice over work (Wall-E, Up) she has been doing more theatre such as starring in the play Viagra Falls that has toured cross country including off Broadway. And she just returned from North Carolina playing Truvy in Steel Magnolias with a wonderful Broadway cast.
CAROLYN HENNESY (Margo Jane Marsden/Associate Producer) dazzled as the deliciously vicious "Rosalyn Harris" on Alan Ball's critically acclaimed HBO seris True Blood, wreaked havoc with her A-bomb one liners as "Barb" on ABC's Cougar Town and is known by kids across America as the hilariously haughty, "Mrs. Chesterfield" on Disney Channels' Jessie. She is probably best know, however, for her works as "Diane Miller" on ABC's long running General Hospital, which she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award.
On the big screen, Hennesy's credits include Click starring Adam Sandler, Legally Blonde 2 with Reese Witherspoon, Terminator 3 starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and the upcoming films: Hybrid with co-star Paul Sorvino, Dance Off, and Mostly Ghostly 2 with Ryan Ochoa. Indie series fans know her from Motherlover, Acting Dead and Single Siblings.
Hennesy has appeared in over one hundred stage productions worldwide, having received her training at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Comic timing was honed as a member of the Groundlings Sunday Company and in ACME Theatre's main company. Among other accolades, the LA Drama Critics Circle has distinguished her with the Natalie Schafer Award and the LA Stage Alliance has honored her with an Ovation Award. Carolyn is also a writer, creating the wildly popular Pandora (Bloomsbury USA) children's book series as well as penning the New York Times best seller, The Secret Life of Damien Spinelli (Hyperion). She is also the host of Animal Magnetism which can be heard every other Sunday on www.ubnradio.com, dedicate to the preservation of creatures great and small.
VICKI LEWIS (Belinda Reid) is perhaps best known as Beth on the hit NBC series, NewsRadio. She also starred on Three Sisters (with Dyan Cannon) for NBC. Other guest star and recurring roles include: Doll & Em (HBO), How I Met Your Mother, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Middle, Austin & Ally, Bones, Grey's Anatomy, Melissa & Joey, Seinfeld, Murphy Brown, Grace Under Fire, Home Improvement and Norm. She starred in the made for television movie Bye Bye Birdie (with Tyne Daly) and the feature films -- The Ugly Truth, Godzilla, Mousehunt, Pushing Tin, I'll Do Anything and Breakfast Of Champions. Her voice can be heard as Deb/Flo in Pixar's blockbuster Finding Nemo and in the upcoming sequel Finding Dory. Other animation includes: Batman, Justice League, Sonny with a Chance, Phineas and Ferb, Mission Hill, King of the Hill and Rugrats. She starred on Broadway in the Tony nominated shows Damn Yankees, Chicago and Pal Joey (opposite Patti Lupone and Peter Gallagher) for Encores!, and was a soloist with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall. She received an Ovation award for her performance in the world premiere of Michael John laChuisa's Hotel Cest L'amore at The Blank Theatre, and was nominated for an Ovation award for her performance in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying at Reprise!. She won the Carbonell Award for her performance in Hello Dolly and was nominated for a Carbonell for her performance in Annie. www.Vickilewis.com
BRENDAN ROBINSON (Casting Assistant) is best known for playing the role of Lucas on the hit ABC Family drama Pretty Little Liars, for the past five seasons. The show was recently picked up through season seven. Other television includes recurring roles on Weeds and Good Luck Charlie, and guest star appearances on How I Met Your Mother, Cold Case and Review. He starred in the comedy film Feels So Good, which is now available on Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant Video. Other film credits include The River Why and The Do-Deca Pentathlon. Regional stage credits include the title role in "Peter Pan," A Christmas Carol, Inspecting Carol, Crazy for You and Moby Dick: the Musical. Brendan is thrilled to be getting back on stage after a six year hiatus.
COMBINED ARTFORM/MATTHEW QUINN (Producer) has been involved in theatre production/venue management for over 20 years in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where he owns and operates Theatre Asylum- Elephant Space. He created Combined Artform in 1998 to produce full and co-productions, explore multi-media, including live online internet programming and be an active member in the performance community. Stand out productions include Santaland Diaries, now in its 12th year at the Eureka Theatre (SF) , Blink & You Might Miss Me, Jane Austen Unscripted (w/ImproTheatre), A Tuna Christmas, Pulp Shakespeare, How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse- US Version and Tilted Frame. He's on the advisory board and active supporter of the Hollywood Fringe Festival and on the NYU West Coast Gallatin Alumni Board. In 2010 he started the Asylum's Best of the Fringe (Encore Awards) and from it has co-produced extensions of Pulp Shakespeare, Pokemusical and Sunny Afternoon.
MEET & GREET will play for twenty-four performances -- Friday August 1st at 8pm to September 21st at 4pm. The schedule is three shows per weekend, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 4pm. All shows will be at Theatre Asylum-Elephant Space 6322 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038.
Opening Night is Sunday August 3rd at 4pm with a party on stage following the show. Tickets are $20 online or $25 at the door - Opening Night Aug. 3rd: $25.00 advance/ $30 at door. Tickets can be purchased at: www.theatreasylum-la.com. General seating. Running time is one hour and twenty minutes. No intermission.