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HOT LUNCH APOSTLES Begins Performances 3/1 at La MaMa

Following the success of the acclaimed premiere of Taylor Mac's THE WALK ACROSS AMERICAN FOR MOTHER EARTH last season, La MaMa in association with the Obie Award-winning theatre company The Talking Band will present Sidney Goldfarb's play HOT LUNCH APOSTLES at the Ellen Stewart Theatre (66 E. 4 St.), with preview performances starting Thursday, March 1 prior to an official press opening set for Thursday, March 8.  

Directed by The Talking Band's artistic director Paul Zimet, the cast of HOT LUNCH APOSTLES features the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, actor and humorist Loudon Wainwright, longtime Talking Band members Jack Wetherall ("Queer as Folk") and Will Badgett, Talking Band founding members Ellen Maddow and Tina Shepard, along with NicHi Douglas and Ed RosenBerg. 

The Ellen Stewart Theatre will transformed into a fairground -- game booths, food stands and sideshows under a big tent -- for HOT LUNCH APOSTLES, a raucous, provocative mash up of sex and religion that follows a traveling troupe of carnival strippers who resort to performing Bible stories in order to survive in a climate of religious fervor and economic desperation in America. 

First presented by La MaMa and The Talking Band in 1983 and revived now for the first time, HOT LUNCH APOSTLES was somewhat prophetic 29 years ago as it imagined a 21st-century America with 50 million unemployed and people hungry for any job. 

Written by Sidney Goldfarb and directed by Paul Zimet, HOT LUNCH APOSTLES has music by Ellen Maddow and Harry Mann, set design by Nic Ularu, light design by Lenore Doxsee, and costumes by Kiki Smith and Jill St. Coeur. 

A playwright and poet, Sidney Goldfarb has written numerous plays including THE TRANSPOSED HEADS (with Julie Taymor), PEDRO PARAMO, BIG MOUTH, ORANGE GROVE and BAD WOMEN.  He founded the Creative Writing Program at University of Colorado in 1975.

Paul Zimet directed the world-premiere of Taylor Mac's THE WALK ACROSS AMERICA FOR MOTHER EARTH for The Talking Band.  He has written and directed Talking Band's productions of NEW ISLANDS ARCHIPELAGO, IMMINENCE, BELIZE, THE PARROT, STAR MESSENGERS, PARTY TIME, BLACK MILK QUARTET and NEW CITIES.  He directed Part 1 of Taylor Mac's LILY'S REVENGE at HERE Arts Center.  He also wrote Shadow Passports and Bone Room, episodes 2 and 8 of The Talking Band's serial mystery drama, THE NECKLACE. He received a 2003 Village Voice OBIE award for his direction of The Talking Band production of PAINTED SNAKE IN A PAINTED CHAIR by Ellen Maddow.  He has also won three OBIE awards for his work with the Open Theater and the Winter Project, both directed by Joseph Chaikin

Loudon Wainwright is best known for his singular career in music, and as the father of Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche, and husband of the late folk singer Kate McGarrigle.  Since his debut album in 1970, he has recorded two dozen albums.   The albums "I'm Alright" and "More Love Songs" were each nominated for Grammy Awards, and his album "High Wide & Handsome" won the 2010 Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album.  A regular on M*A*S*H, Wainwright's film and TV credits include "The Aviator," "Big Fish," "Knocked Up" and "The 40-Year Old Virgin."  

A longtime member of The Talking Band who appeared with the company in WALK ACROSS AMERICA, Jack Wetherall is best-known for his portrayal of Vic Grassi on the TV series "Queer as Folk."  Canadian-born, he has performed frequently at the Stratford Festival including the title role in HENRY V along with AS YOU LIKE IT, MACBETH and JULIUS CAESAR.  He appeared on Broadway in the title role of ELEPHANT MAN.

Ellen Maddow is a founding member of The Talking Band, and has composed for and performed in most of its works. She was a member of The Open Theater.  Works that she has written and composed include PANIC! EUPHORIA! BLACKOUT, FLIP SIDE,  episodes of THE NECKLACE, DELICIOUS RIVERS, PAINTED SNAKE IN A PAINTED CHAIR, for which she received an Obie award, TILT , BROWN DOG IS DEAD and FERN AND ROSE.  She wrote the scores for Talking Band's NEW ISLANDS ARCHIPELAGO, BELIZE, THE PARROT, BLACK MILK QUARTET, THE PLUMBER'S HELPER, NEW CITIES, STAR MESSENGERS and WALK ACROSS AMERICA FOR MOTHER EARTH. 

Tina Shepard is a founding member of Talking Band, appearing in numerous productions with the company including WALK ACROSS AMERICA, and winning Obie Awards for her performances in it's THREE LIVES OF LUCY CABROL and PAINTED SNAKE IN A PAINTED CHAR.  Will Badgett also appeared in WALK ACROSS AMERICA along with numerous productions with both Talking Band and Target Margin Theatre. 

Scheduled through March 18, HOT LUNCH APOSTLES will perform Wednesdays through Fridays at 7:30, Saturdays at 2:30 and 7:30 and Sundays at 5:30 (with the following exception -- there will be no matinee performance on Saturday March 10).

Tickets available at the box office on 74 E. 4 St., on the phone at 212 475 7710 or online at  Tickets are $25. ($20 for students and seniors).  

The Talking Band's Gala Benefit Performance is set for March 7th, followed by a party with appearances by guest artists including a performance by Loudon Wainwright III. Tickets to the Gala night are $50.

This production of HOT LUNCH APOSTLES is made possible by the New York State 

Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.  Additional provided by the JP Morgan Fund for Small Theaters, and the Mental Insight Foundation.


The Talking Band's original interdisciplinary performance work has been a cornerstone of New York City's avant-garde theater community for 35 years.  Founded in 1974 by Paul Zimet, Ellen Maddow, and Tina Shepard (all former members of Joseph Chaikin's seminal Open Theater), the company has produced over 40 new works marked by a commitment to radical collaboration and a fusion of diverse theatrical styles and perspectives. American Theater named Talking Band "one of the most exceptional theater companies in the country," and collectively, the founders have earned 11 OBIE awards recognizing their work. At the heart of the Talking Band is its Performance Lab, an ongoing and evolving workshop, which draws new artists and ideas into the company,
experiments with theatrical form, and cultivates the seeds of new plays. The company has performed at nearly all of New York City's celebrated downtown venues, including LaMaMa ETC, PS 122, Theater for the new City, Dance Theater Workshop, The Ohio Theater, The Flea Theater and HERE Arts Center, and has toured its works internationally to 14 countries.  Talking Band productions of note include:  THE WALK ACROSS AMERICA FOR MOTHER EARTH, BITTERROOT, RADNEVSKY'S REAL MAGIC, PAINTED SNAKE IN A PAINTED CHAIR, BLACK MILK QUARTET and THE THREE LIVES OF LUCIE CABROL.


La MaMa is a remarkable arts institution with a world-wide reputation for producing cutting-edge work in theater, dance, performance art, and music. Founded in 1961 by theater pioneer and legend, Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has produced and presented more than 3,000 theatrical productions to date and is a vital part of the fabric of cultural life in New York City and around the world.

La MaMa provides a supportive home for artists and takes risks on unknown work. Artists such as Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Harvey Fierstein, Blue Man Group, David and Amy Sedaris, -and others whose names you haven't heard of yet - began their careers at La MaMa. International Artists introduced to America by La MaMa include Tadeusz Kantor, Andrei Serban, Kazuo Ohno and, more recently, the acclaimed Belarus Free Theatre.La MaMa has been honored with more than 30 OBIE Awards, dozens of Drama Desk and Bessie Awards, and, in 2006, Ellen Stewart was recognized with a special TONY Award for "Excellence in the Theatre."


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