Billy Porter's Ghetto Superstar Begins Previews February 10th at Joe's Pub

The Public Theater, George C. Wolfe, producer; Mara Manus, executive director, in association with City Theatre, Pittsburgh, announces the world premiere of GHETTO SUPERSTAR (THE MAN THAT I AM), a musical memoir written and performed by Broadway veteran and recording artist Billy Porter. Directed by Brad Rouse, previews begin Thursday, February 10th in Joe's Pub. The press opening is Monday, February 28th.

GHETTO SUPERSTAR is a spiritual, sexual and musical odyssey that collides the teachings of the Pentecostal Church with the gospel according to Dreamgirls-- to reveal a unique take on what it means to be a man. From Pittsburgh to New York, to the intersection of Broadway and soul, Porter's personal journeys as a black, gay man, and as a performer are outrageous, spiritual, defiant and celebratory. Porter is GHETTO SUPERSTAR, a man with the voice of a diva whose experiences and truths have made him what he is.

Porter developed GHETTO SUPERSTAR as an artist-in-residence at The Public Theater, beginning in the 2003-04 season. GHETTO SUPERSTAR is the first show of The Public Theater's 2004-05 Season to be presented in Joe's Pub, a venue ideally suited for Porter's hybrid work.

Throughout the run of GHETTO SUPERSTAR, regular programming will continue at Joe's Pub. For event scheduling information visit www.joespub.com.

Listen to Billy Porter singing "Hell or High Water" from GHETTO SUPERSTAR on his website at www.billyporter.com.

Billy Porter (Book/Music/Lyrics and Performer) is a native of Pittsburgh and is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University where he received a B.F.A. in Drama. Film and television: NOEL with Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams, THE BROKEN HEARTS CLUB, THE INTERN, TWISTED, "Shake, Rattle & Roll" (CBS mini-series), "Another World," "The Tonight Show," and multiple appearances on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show." Broadway: MISS SAIGON, FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE, GREASE (all original cast), SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE and DREAMGIRLS (20th Anniversary Broadway Concert and Los Angeles production). Off-Broadway and regional credits: ROMANCE IN HARD TIMES, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, HOUSE OF LEAR, RADIANT BABY (all at The Public), Jason Robert Brown's SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD, ANGELS IN AMERICA (Actors Theatre of Louisville), GOING NATIVE (Long Wharf), TOPDOG/UNDERDOG (City Theatre), JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, ANTIGONE, A CHORUS LINE, CHICAGO. Concerts: opening act for Rosie O'Donnell and Aretha Franklin; John McDaniel and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; The Buffalo Philharmonic; Peter Nero and The Philly Pops; The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall; and Alvin Ailey's REVELATIONS. Among his recordings: Billy Porter: UNTITLED (A&M Records), HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS, Jim Brickman's DESTINY (Top-ten AC hit), and the forthcoming AT THE CORNER OF BROADWAY & Soul: LIVE FROM JOE'S PUB. His website is billyporter.com.

BRAD ROUSE (Director) most recently directed HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH starring Anthony Rapp at Pittsburgh's City Theatre and Hartford Stage (Connecticut Critics Circle Outstanding Roadshow Award winner). His production of THE MICE by Julia Jordan, Nell Benjamin, and Lawrence O'Keefe-part of an evening entitled 3THREE played the Prince Music Theater and the Ahmanson (Barrymore and Ovation Award Best Director nominations). Other credits include BLOOMER GIRL (Encores!), LUCY AND THE CONQUEST by Cusi Cram (The Juilliard School), TATJANA IN COLOR by Julia Jordan (Contemporary American Theater Festival), GREEN SAPPHO RISING by Cusi Cram (HB Playwrights), and a workshop presentation of SPARROW ON THE ROOF by Adam Rapp (New Dramatists). Other workshop productions include JACK, JESUS, AND THE BRAZILIAN MARRANO by Daniel Goldfarb (Cape Cod Theater Project), EQUAL UNTO THE ANGELS by Stephanie Simpson (Rattlestick Theater Company), and HEADING EAST by Leon Ko and Robert Lee starring B.D. Wong. At New York Stage and Film, he directed THE FIRST HOUSE COMPANY in residence in plays by Jürgen Becker, Gertrude Stein, Howard Barker, and Jeffrey Bush.

For a complete schedule of GHETTO SUPERSTAR performances, visit www.publictheater.org.

Tickets for GHETTO SUPERSTAR are $45. Tickets will be on sale beginning January 14th at The Public Theater box office, 425 Lafayette Street; on-line at www.publictheater.org; and via Tele-charge, 212-239-6200. Box office hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 1:00pm to 7:30pm, and Sunday and Monday from 1:00pm to 6:00pm. Table reservations for dinner can be made by calling 212-539-8778.

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