ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S BIG GAY DANCE PARTY Makes Off-Bway Premiere, 7/27

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BlueRare Productions  presents the Off-Broadway premiere of the probing and politically-charged mash-up comedy, Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party, by Aaron Loeb. The seven-member cast will feature Arnie Burton (The Temperamentals, 39 Steps), Stephanie Pope Caffey (Chicago, Smokey Joe's Cafe) and Robert Hogan (A Few Good Men, HBO's "The Wire") and include Lisa Birnbaum, Ted Koch, Pippa Pearthree and Ben Roberts.

The six-week limited engagement, directed by Chris Smith (former Artistic Director of SF's Magic Theatre) with choreography by Vince Pesce (Associate Choreographer to Kathleen Marshall on Tony-winners Pajama Game and Wonderful Town), will begin performances on July 27 at Theatre Row's Acorn Theatre (410 West 42nd Street, NYC), with opening night set for August 11. The creative team also includes Bill English (scenic design), Jeff Croiter and Grant Yeager (lighting design) and Rebecca Lustig (costume design).

In Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party, a fourth-grade Christmas pageant in Lincoln's rural Illinois hometown sets off a firestorm of controversy when it calls into question Honest Abe's sexuality. A thought-provoking, laugh-out-loud funny, and uniquely American story unfolds, offering surprises at every turn. Each of the three acts lets the audience see the story from a different character's viewpoint - and at each performance the audience decides in which order the acts are performed, creating a Rubik's Cube-like theatrical event. A truly democratic theatergoing experience!

What could be more American than that?

Tickets for Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party are priced at $51.25 and $66.25 for premium seats ($20 student rush) and are on sale now at www.ticketcentral.com or by calling (212) 279-4200. The playing schedule is as follows: Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday at 8:00 p.m., Thursday at 8:00 p.m., Friday at 8:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party is produced by BlueRare Productions in association with Aaron Glick and Deborah Taylor.

Arnie Burton (Anton). Broadway: The 39 Steps (original cast), Amadeus. Off-Broadway: The Tempermentals (Drama Desk Award, Ensemble), Mere Mortals (Primary Stages, J. Houseman Theater), The Last Sunday in June (Rattlestick, Century Theater), The Jew of Malta/The Merchant of Venace (TFANA), The Venetian Twins, The Cherry Orchard (Pearl Theater). U.K.: The Merchant of Venice (RSC). Regional: All in the Timing (LA premiere, Geffen Playhouse), I Am My Own Wife (St. Louis Rep, Kevin Kline Award, Best Actor), The Seagull and The Taming of the Shrew (Old Globe); also The Huntington, the Alley Berkely Rep, Philadelphia Theater Co., Berkshire Theater Fest. among others. TV: "Frasier," "Hope&Faith," "L&O," "Caroline in the City," "White Collar," "Life on Mars," "Six Degrees," "Sister, Sister." Films: The Invention of Lying, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Game 6, and Igby Goes Down.

Stephanie Pope Caffey (Regina/Esmerelda). Broadway and touring credits include "Muzzy Van Hossmere" in Thoroughly Modern Millie, "Velma Kelly" in Chicago, "The Leading Player" in Fosse, "Brenda" in Smokey Joe's Cafe, "Gmynasia" in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, "The Hunnies" in Jelly's Last Jam, "Josephine Baker" in The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936. Regional roles include "Fastrada" in Pippin, "Cicre" in The Odyssey, "Liliane LaFleur" in Nine and "Dussie Mae" in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Television credits include "One Life to Live," "All My Children," "Oz" and "Ed."She has appeared in commercials, film, music videos and cabaret with her very first cabaret act, On My Way to You receiving a Mac Award-nomination for best newcomer. Her critically acclaimed solo CD titled Now's the Time to Fall in Love is available through www.cdbaby.com

Robert Hogan (Tom). Broadway: A Few Good Men, Hamlet. Off-Broadway: Mourning Becomes Electra, Accomplices (New Group), What Didn't Happen, On the Bum (Playwrights Horizons), Further Than the Furthest Thing (Manhattan Theatre Club), Never the Sinner (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actor), Rutherford and Son (Mint Theatre), Hope is the Thing With Feathers (Drama Dept.), Waiting for Lefty (Dir: JoAnne Woodward), Boy (Primary Stages), Romania Kiss Me, Rainbow Kiss (59E59), Baby Dance (Lucille Lortel), In the Western Garden (EST), Major Crimes, Lighting Up the Two-Year-Old, (Actors Studio Theatre). Regional: Ibsen's The Master Builder (Yale Rep), William Kennedy's Grand View (Capitol Rep, Albany), Eugene O'Neill's Moon for the Misbegotten (Arena Stage, Washington DC, Helen Hayes Award nom. for Best Actor). Film: Welcome to Academia, Species II, Lady in Red, Sweetland, Universal Signs, Borough of Kings, Michael Crighton's Westworld, Hamburger, the Motion Picture. Television: HBO's "The Wire," "Law and Order," "L&O Criminal Intent," "Deadline," "Now and Again," "Cosby," "Cupid & Cate" (HallMark Hall of Fame), "M*A*S*H" and many other shows.

Lisa Birnbaum (Tina). Recent theatre credits include Lizzie Borden (the Living Theatre), On Island (59E59), The Cry of the Reed (Huntington Theatre Co.), Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare Theatre of D.C.), All's Well That Ends Well (Yale Rep.), Romeo and Juliet (Williamstown), and Anything Goes (Williamstown). Recent television credits include "Law and Order" (NBC), "What Would You Do?" (ABC), and "Guiding Light" (CBS). Training: M.F.A. in Acting from the Yale School of Drama.

Ted Koch (Lloyd) was last seen in the world premiere of Duncan Sheik's newest theatrical event, Whisper House, at the Old Globe Theatre directed by Peter Askins. Mr. Koch's Broadway credits include Death of a Salesman (dir, Robert Falls), The Pillowman (dir, John Crowley), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (dir, Anthony Page), and he has toured nationally with the Broadway productions of Frost/Nixon (starring Stacy Keach) and Death of a Salesman (with Brian Dennehy). Off-Broadway, Ted has worked with Naked Angels, The Cherry Lane Theater and Shotgun Productions. His extensive regional theatre credits include: The Front Page and Sweet Bird of Youth (Williamstown Theatre Festival), True West, (Arena Stage, Helen Hayes nomination for Best Actor), A Streetcar Named Desire (Buffalo Studio Arena), Pig Farm and Sea of Tranquility (The Old Globe Theatre) and The Fair Maid of the West and Orphans (CT-20 Ensemble, of which he was a founding member). His Television credits include: "Gossip Girl," "Cashmere Mafia," "The Sopranos," "The West Wing," "Law & Order," "Law & Order Criminal Intent," "Ed," "Third Watch," "Hack," "One Life to Live," "Guiding Light," "Chicago Hope," "Early Edition;" and he has been seen in such films as: Cold Souls, Collar, A Crime, Griffin and Phoenix, Hannibal, Autumn in New York, Dinner Rush, Strangers, and Death of a Salesman for Showtime.

Pippa Pearthree (Harmony/Mom). Broadway credits include Boeing, Boeing; The History Boys; Frozen; Taking Steps; Whose Life Is It, Anyway; Titanic. Off-Broadway: Hamlet, Aunt Dan and Lemon (Public Theatre), American Days, The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs, The Miss Firecracker Contest, Hunting Scenes from Lower Bavaria (MTC), The Dining Room (Playwrights Horizon), Nightingale (Vineyard). Regional Theatres include New Haven's The Long Wharf, Yale Rep., Chicago's Goodman Theatre, Baltimore's Center Stage, San Diego's Old Globe, The Denver Center, and Williamstown. Television credits include The NBC series "Buffalo Bill," "Law and Order," "L.A. Law," "Summer" and "The Dining Room" on PBS, "The Robber Bridegroom" on Showtime. Film: Mrs. Soffel, The Hurricane, Village of the Damned and Taking Woodstock.

Ben Roberts (Jerry). Off-Broadway credits include Walking Down Broadway and 6 Degrees of Separation. Regional: Grapes of Wrath at the Syracuse Stage. TV: North Palm Wrestling on MTV. Film: New York, A Born Comedian, A Very Serious Person, and Apart. He also fronts a band called The Benjees.

Aaron Loeb's (Playwright) work has been performed in New York (LaMaMa E.T.C. and New York International Fringe Festival), San Francisco (SF Playhouse, PlayGround, Central Works, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Just Theatre, and San Francisco Fringe Festival), Los Angeles (the Zephyr), Sacramento (Capital Stage), Ft. Worth (Amphibian Theater), San Jose (City Lights Theater Company), and Connecticut (Connecticut Repertory Theater). His full-length plays include Brown, First Person Shooter, Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party and Blastosphere (with Geetha Reddy) and his short works include The Polyglot, Panopticon, All Thumbs, and Maror the Merrier. Among the honors Loeb has received are: two Bay Area Theater Critic Circle Awards for Best New Play (First Person Shooter in '07, ALBGDP in '08), Outstanding Play from the New York International Fringe Festival (ALBGDP '09), GLAAD Media Award Nominee (ALBGDP '09). He has BFAs in Dramatic Writing and Dramatic Literature from New York University. By day he's CEO of Planet Moon Studios, an independent developer of videogames. Aaron lives in Berkeley, CA.
Chris Smith (Director) directed world premieres by Edna O'Brien, Charles Grodin, David Ives, Joyce Carol Oates, Romulus Linney, John Belluso, Gen LeRoy, Joe Pintauro, and Lloyd Suh, plus four by Pulitzer Prize-winner Frank Gilroy (including Drama Desk "Best Play" Nominated Contact with the Enemy). Productions this season: world premieres of Round-Heeled Woman, starring Sharon Gless (Z Studios) and First Day of School by Billy Aronson (SF Playhouse, "Best New Play"-winner), Christmas Story (San Jose Rep) and Lady, Be Good! (42nd Street Moon). Recent NYC production: Charles Grodin's Right Kind of People (Primary Stages). Television: "As The World Turns" (CBS). He is the former Artistic Director, Magic Theatre (SF) and Youngblood (NYC); Founding Program Director, EST/Sloan Project (NYC); author of The Sparrow and the Birdman, with Raquel Bitton (TheatreWorks), Sense of Freedom, with Domenick Allen, and Signs & Wonders, with Tom Borras and Hershel Garfein. A graduate oF Brown University, Chris lives in the Bay Area.

Vince Pesce (Choreographer) Dancing With Abandon (FringeNYC), Lucky Break (NY workshop/John Caird-Director); National/International tours: ‘S Wonderful (World Premier), Joseph...Dreamcoat (Director/Choreographer), Cinderella starring Lea Salonga, Victor Victoria (Mexico City Company), Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and Oliver!. Television credits include: "Tracey Ullman: Live and Exposed" starring Tracey Ullman (HBO), "Clash of the Choirs" starring Patti LaBelle (NBC), "Grease: You're The One That I Want" (NBC); Regional: Little Shop of Horrors (Paper Mill Playhouse), White Christmas, Grease, Guys and Dolls, and West Side Story. Associate Choreographer to Kathleen Marshall on the Broadway productions of The Pajama Game, Wonderful Town, and Little Shop of Horrors. Website: www.vincepesce.com.

Photo credit: Monica Simoes

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