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Espinosa and Ripley Headline Helen of Troy Reading, June 13

Eden Espinosa, Alice Ripley, Cary Shields and Bruce Vilanch will all take part in a concert presentation of the new musical Helen of Troy on Monday, June 13th at 9 PM at the Canal Room (285 W. Broadway).

Helen of Troy, of course, was the Greek beauty who possessed the face that launched a thousand ships; the Trojan War legendarily came about as a result of her lover Paris taking off with her to Troy and leaving behind an irate husband named Menelaus.

Gary Griffin (recently of Encores!' The Apple Tree) will direct the concert reading, with Brandi Chavonne Massey, Klea Blackhurst, Will Swenson, and Shannon Connelly as the featured performers.  The score is by Brian Johnson of the metal band AC/DC and Brendan Healy; screenwriters Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (The Commitments) penned Helen of Troy's book. 

Espinosa was nominated for a 2005 Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance for her title role in Brooklyn.  Other Broadway credits include Wicked (for which she was the stand-by for Elphaba).  Regionally, she has appeared in Triumph of Love, and can be heard on the concept album of Bright Lights, Big City, on The Maury Yeston Songbook and on John McDaniel Live at Joe's Pub.

Ripley received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for her performance as Violet Hilton in Side Show.  Other Broadway credits include 
James Joyce's The Dead, The Rocky Horror Show, Sunset Boulevard, The Who's Tommy and King David.  She recently starred in the title role of The Baker's Wife at the Paper Mill Playhouse and also won rave reviews when she played Amy in the Sondheim Celebration production of Company at the Kennedy Center.  An accomplished songwriter, she fronts the band RIPLEY; Everything's Fine is her solo CD.

Shields currently plays Roger Davis in Rent, and portrayed Marcus in Taboo.  A Canadian rocker, he also played Whizzer in a Vancouver production of Falsettos, and is at work on
writing a musical called Lucky with friend and former Rent costar Mark Jackson.

Vilanch currently plays Edna Turnblad in Hairspray.  O
ne of the most successful comedy writers in the business, he has won 6 Emmys for his 15 Academy Awards scripts, and has also written for the Tonys, Emmys and Grammys. A wise-cracking regular on Hollywood Squares for four seasons, he has also toured a one-man "bio comedy" around the country and is the subject of the documentary Get Bruce!

All tickets for Helen of Troy are $25.  For information, call 212-868-4444.

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