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Bobby Cannavale, Laurence Fishburne and More Set for Virtual Reading of OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET

Bobby Cannavale, Laurence Fishburne and More Set for Virtual Reading of OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET

LAByrinth Theater Company will reunite much of the original Off-Broadway cast for a virtual reading of Our Lady of 121st Street by Stephen Adly Guirgis. The reading, with stars of stage and screen joining original cast members, is set for May 23 at 8pm EST on the LAByrinth website, and will be available to stream for 24 hours. The event is free to the public, with donations throughout the evening benefitting LAB's operation and growth during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Lady of 121st Street received its world premiere with LAByrinth Theater Company in 2002 directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, transferring for a six-month run at the Union Square Theater in 2003. Returning from the 2003 cast for the fundraiser are Elizabeth Canavan, Liza Colón-Zayas, Scott Hudson, Russell G. Jones, Portia, Al Roffe, Felix Solis, and David Zayas. Bobby Cannavale (The Motherf**ker with the Hat, Mauritius), John Doman ("The Wire," Our Lady of 121st Street at Signature Theatre), Laurence Fishburne (Thurgood, Two Trains Running), and Dierdre Friel ("New Amsterdam," Our Lady of 121st Street at Signature Theatre) join the eight original cast members for the singular evening. LAB member Elizabeth Rodriguez (The Motherf**ker with the Hat, "Orange is the New Black"), an understudy from the original company, directs the reading.

"This reading, featuring both original cast members from the LAB company and others whose work we've long admired, will help our community come together and hopefully raise some much-needed funds to get us through these unprecedented, tough times," said John Ortiz, LAB's Artistic Director.

The company will also use the evening to present Stephen Adly Guirgis with the Dave Hogue Award. The award is LAByrinth Theater Company's highest accolade, given to a member of the LAB community in honor of their artistic courage and outstanding dedication to the company. Dave Hogue was a long-time college friend of Liza Colón-Zayas, John Ortiz, and Stephen Adly Guirgis. Dave's admiration and respect of the arts and for artists were unparalleled, evidenced through his attendance at many early LAB plays and helping the company obtain its very first grant from the City of New York.

"This year, I am especially thrilled to present The Dave Hogue to Stephen Adly Guirgis. Stephen's longtime commitment of 25+ years to LAB, his contributions of over a dozen groundbreaking world premiere plays with the company, his tenure as a past artistic director, his role as a mentor to many younger artists, and as a conduit of meaningful relationships, like Dave Hogue, for LAB makes this year's distinguished presentation a no brainer," says Ortiz.

Stephen Adly Guirgis has contributed numerous world premiere plays to LAByrinth Theater Company, including In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings; Jesus Hopped the A Train; The Little Flower of East Orange; and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. He is the recipient of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Between Riverside and Crazy. His most recent play, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, played the Linda Gross Theater in a co-production between LAB and Atlantic Theater Company, garnering Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk nominations for Best Play.

Past recipients of The Dave Hogue Award include Madonna, George C. Wolfe, Carol Shorenstein Hays, Daryl Roth, and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The reading of Stephen Adly Guirgis' Our Lady of 121st Street will be presented on Saturday, May 23 at 8pm EST on www.labtheater.org and will be available to stream for 24 hours. The event is free to the public; donations will be accepted throughout the evening via the company's website to help the company maintain operations and continue its growth. The company's world premiere production of Bees and Honey by Guadalís Del Carmen was postponed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and LAByrinth has since launched its "Survival Guide to Self Isolation" to virtually share creative projects with audiences.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski


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