Ben Rimalower Premieres New Play BAD WITH MONEY at The Duplex Tonight
Ben Rimalower's addiction to spending beyond his means has driven him to extreme lengths all his life. In BAD WITH MONEY he charts his sometimes hilarious, sometimes harrowing struggle to overcome his problem-or get rich trying. Written and performed by Ben Rimalower and directed by Aaron Mark, BAD WITH MONEY premieres at The Duplex (61 Christopher Street at Seventh Avenue) from tonight, September 4 through November 6.
Rimalower's first solo show, the long-running hit Patti Issues, explored his obsession with Broadway diva Patti LuPone and his relationship with his troubled gay father. Bad with Money delves into even deeper personal territory with the story of his struggle with debt-a journey that takes him through drug addiction, prostitution, fraud and multiple betrayals.
In this gripping play-by-play of some his biggest mistakes and their consequences, Rimalower offers a no-holds-barred self-portrait of an addict, and casts light on one of the last societal taboos. "People tend to be familiar now with alcohol and drug addiction-and I've got those too," the writer-performer says. "But spending money I don't have is really my drug of choice. And considering how many people suffer from the same problem, it's staggering how seldom it's discussed."
When Ben's debut play Patti Issues opened in 2012, it became a must-see show in the downtown theater scene, ultimately running for 14 months and garnering praise from attendees such as Alan Cumming, Tony Kushner, Michael Kors, Justin Vivian Bond, Perez Hilton and Ms. LuPone herself. ("The show's fantastic," she said. "It's really wonderful. I was moved.") The New York Times praised Patti Issues for its "well-honed script with an engagingly spontaneous delivery and a nose for sharp, observational comedy." It was hailed as "endearing, drolly written and performed with heaps of charisma" (The New Yorker) and "meticulously scripted and executed, with poignant punch lines that deliver laughs, emotion and insight" (Time Out New York). Rimalower has performed Patti Issues in Australia, Germany and Great Britain, as well as across the country in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Miami Beach, Provincetown, Fire Island and more.
BAD WITH MONEY will be performed at The Duplex (61 Christopher Street at Seventh Ave, New York, NY 10014) on Thursdays at 9:30 PM from tonight, September 4 to November 6. Tickets are $25 (with $50 VIP tickets available) and are on sale at PurplePass.com or (800) 316-8559. There is a two-drink minimum per person. You must be at least 21 years old to attend. Please visit BAD WITH MONEY at www.BadWithMoney.net and www.facebook.com/BadWithMoney.
RIMALOWER is the author and star of Off-Off-Broadway's long-running, critically acclaimed smash hit solo play Patti Issues (M.A.C. and Bistro Awards, Official Selection: Adelaide Cabaret Festival and Eugene O'Neill Theater Center Summer Conference), which he continues to perform on land and at sea all around the world, while two-time Tony nominee Robin De Jesus played "Ben Rimalower" in Patti Issues in New York and the Virginia's Richmond Triangle Players mounted the monodrama's recent regional premiere. His "Do You Have Patti Issues?" PSA with Alan Cumming and Patti LuPone was a homepage selection on FunnyOrDie. He writes for Playbill and The Huffington Post and his short story, Little Old Sam, was published as part of The Rex Factor.
Ben directed and produced the Off-Broadway plays Joy (Actors Playhouse, Out Magazine: "Top Ten Theatre") and The Fabulous Life of a Size Zero (Daryl Roth/DR2 Theatre). He also directed Justin Sayre Is Alive And Well...Writing (Ars Nova), Project Lohan (La MaMa E.T.C.), Snoopy! starring Sutton Foster (Symphony Space), And/or (Hot Festival), Sodom the Musical (Kraine Theatre) and the all-star Night Of A Thousand Judys (Playwrights Horizons) as well as staged readings for Second Stage, The York, Dixon Place and Ensemble Studio Theatre. He conceived and directed Leslie Kritzer is Patti LuPone at Les Mouches (Time Out New York Award) and subsequently produced Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records' long- awaited recording, Patti LuPone at Les Mouches (Billboard "Heatseekers" Chart), digitally restored from archival tapes of LuPone's legendary 1980 performances. In venues such as Joe's Pub, San Francisco's Plush Room and Los Angeles' Upright Cabaret, Ben has earned the title the "Midas of Cabaret" (The Advocate) helming a slew of solo shows for artists including Erin Markey, Alec Mapa, Cole Escola, Our Lady J, Natalie Joy Johnson, Lindsey Alley, Molly Pope, Wendy Ho, John Hill, Scott Nevins, Kate Pazakis and Lance Horne, in addition to producing and hosting the Laurie Beechman Theatre's recurring variety show, "Saturday Night Underground." As a performer, Ben has been featured on Bravo TV's "Watch What Happens Live," ABC's "Extreme Makeover," "Our Hit Parade," Murray Hill's Oscar Night show, Billy Eichner and Rachel Dratch's "Halloween Adventure" and as both Patti LuPone and Elaine Stritch in "You Like Me."
Assistant Director credits include Lonny Price's productions of A Class Act (Manhattan Theatre Club, Broadway and Tokyo) and A Little Night Music (starring Patti LuPone, George Hearn and Zoe Caldwell) as well as the Emmy-winning Sweeney Todd. Ben studied Theatre Arts at U.C. Berkeley where he was the founding Artistic Director of BareStage (now celebrating its 19th anniversary). Follow @benrimalower on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and visit benrimalower.com.
AARON MARK is a New York-based playwright, director, and filmmaker. His play Another Medea, starring Tom Hewitt, was last presented at the Cherry Lane Studio Theatre, and his other plays have been developed by New York Theatre Workshop, Theater for the New City, the Blank Theatre, and American Theater Group. Directing credits include The Mystery of Irma Vep for Berkshire Theatre Group, Ben Rimalower's award-winning monodrama, Patti Issues, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch at New World Stages for BC/EFA. His independent feature films are Commentary, Random Unrelated Projects, Do Not Duplicate (upcoming) and the documentary Zbornik Developing. He is a NYTW Usual Suspect. Visit him at aaronmark.net.
Photo by Allison Michael Orenstein