Byron Jennings of 'Is He Dead?' Wins 2007 Callaway Award

Actor Byron Jennings has been selected, along with actress Lauren Ambrose, to receive a 2007 Joe A. Callaway Award for his performance as Bastien Andre in Is He Dead? The awards, presented by the Actors' Equity Foundation, will be given out at Equity's Eastern Regional Membership Meeting at 2PM on Friday, January 11, 2008 at the Equity offices (165 West 46th Street).

The award honors the best performances in a professional production of a classic play (one written prior to 1920) in the New York metropolitan area.

Is He Dead?, a new comedy by master American novelist and satirist Mark Twain, adapted by David Ives, and directed by two-time Tony Award winner Michael Blakemore, opened on Sunday, November 9.

Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) leads the cast, which includes Jeremy Bobb (Translations), Marylouise Burke (Into the Woods), Patricia Conolly (Enchanted April), Jenn Gambatese (Tarzan), Tony Award nominee Byron Jennings (Inherit the Wind), Tony Award nominee Michael McGrath (Spamalot), five-time Tony Award nominee John McMartin (Grey Gardens), Tony Award nominee David Pittu (LoveMusik), Bridget Regan and Tom Alan Robbins (The Lion King).

"In this newly discovered Mark Twain comedy, the original master of American humor dishes out a sly critique of the art world with acerbic wit and social commentary well ahead of his time. Is He Dead? is a fast-paced play about a struggling artist who stages his own death to drive up the price of his paintings.  As the riotous scheme unfolds, Twain poses daring questions about fame, greed and the value of art, and pokes his signature, mischievous fun at everyone involved," explain press notes.

Written in 1898, Is He Dead? remained unpublished until it was rediscovered in 2002 by noted Twain scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin.

The design team for Is He Dead?includes scenic design by Tony Award nominee Peter J. Davison, costume design by two-time Tony Award winner Martin Pakledinaz, lighting design by Tony Award winner Peter Kaczorowski and music/sound design by David Van Tiegham.

Tickets for Is He Dead? are available by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200, (800) 432-7250 outside the NY metro area, or online at Telecharge.com. The Lyceum Theatre Box Office (149 W. 45th Street, between 7th & 6th Avenues) will open on October 22, 2007.

Ticket prices for all performances are $26.50, $ 46.50, $76.50 & $98.50. All prices include a $1.50 facility fee.

Show times are Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8pm, Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2pm, Sunday matinees at 3pm. www.ishedead.com

Byron Jennings: Photo by Walter McBride / Retna Ltd

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