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Ringmaster Paul Binder Joins Symphony Space’s THE THALIA FOLLIES 2/16

Guest star Paul Binder, Ringmaster of the Big Apple Circus, will join Symphony Space's political cabaret, The Thalia Follies, returning for its seventh season to the stage with its newest production, Primary Colors.

Joining Binder are regular Follies performers, including the incomparable Ivy Austin, Kathryn Markey and Mary Brienza of the hysterically funny The Chalks, the suave singer Eric Poindexter, and the renowned jazz bassist/songwriter Jay Leonhart. Dazzling soprano Lisa Flanagan and comedian Joel Chasnoff join the cast for the first time-all under the musical direction of Lanny Meyers.

Created and written by Symphony Space's Founding Artistic Director Isaiah Sheffer and veteran comedIan Martin Sage, Primary Colors features Binder as the would-be President Mitt Romney who holds press conferences about "the Bain of his existence," Mormonism, hair gel, and strapping dogs to the top of cars.

About the show: "The Primaries are coming under the comic lens of songs and sketches, including Flip!, a song which tells why it's not so bad to be a flip-flopper, sung by Ivy Austin; Anybody but Mitt!, a Republican cry to a Sondheim tune; Just Leave Us Be, Calvin Trillin's lament of the
businessmen who don't want to be regulated; Take Your Gun to Church, a Second Amendment number by Josh Rosenblum; I Found a Job, Martin Sage's Joni Mitchell parody about life in New York City; and Obama's Insomnia, which finds the President in the Lincoln Bedroom, visited by
the ghosts of Abe Lincoln, FDR, JFK, and much more."

Primary Colors will be presented Thursday, February 16 at 7:30, and Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18 at 5:30 and 8:30pm at Symphony Space, Leonard Nimoy Thalia, located at 2537 Broadway at 95th Street. Tickets are $15-$35 and may be purchased online at or by calling 212.864.5400.

About The Thalia Follies 

Returning for its seventh season of songs, sketches and satire, Symphony Space's The Thalia Follies is New York's only political cabaret series. Created by Symphony Space's Founding Artistic Director Isaiah Sheffer and Martin Sage, Sheffer writes lyrics and comedy sketches, and performs in such diverse genres as rap, show tunes, exalted poetry and nutty characters. The Thalia Follies troupe of performers includes Ivy Austin and Mary Brienza and Kathryn Markey of The Chalks, with musical direction by Lanny Meyers.

About Isaiah Sheffer

Isaiah Sheffer is co-founder with Allan Miller of Symphony Space and serves as its founding artistic director. At Symphony Space, he hosts and directs the long-running hit series "Selected Shorts" - live, on tour and in its PRI radio incarnation across the country. He also stages the annual James Joyce celebration "Bloomsday on Broadway," as he has on June 16 every year for the past 27 years.

Sheffer's writing for the stage and screen includes the book and lyrics to two successful musicals, "The Rise of David Levinsky" and "Yiddle with a Fiddle," as well as an original play about Isaac
Bashevis Singer, "Demons and Dreamers," and the libretto for the baroque ballet on the subject of the 1787 Constitutional Convention,

"A More Perfect Union." In 2006, he launched Symphony Space's Summer Stock on Broadway with a Rodgers and Hart reconstructed musical, "Manhattan Madcaps of 1924," by Jerzy Turnpike. His television writing includes scripts for the PBS series, "Millenium: The Music of Ten Centuries," and he is the author of the screenplay for the film "A Pair of Jokers," which starred Jerry Stiller.

About Symphony Space

Symphony Space traces its beginnings to a free marathon concert, Wall to Wall Bach, held in 1978 and organized by Isaiah Sheffer and Alan Miller. The music marathon then drew hundreds of visitors and has since become one of the organization's signature events. Today, Symphony Space presents over 600 events during a year, including music, dance, theater, film, and literary readings. Some of its best known programs include Selected Shorts, a reading of short stories
hosted by Isaiah Sheffer, one of the most popular series on the airwaves; the Thalia Follies, one of the funniest and most engaging political cabarets presented in the city; the Thalia Film Club, a
trendy film club hosted by Marshall Fine, featuring pre-release screenings and behind-the-scenes conversations with film stars; Just Kidding, one of the most popular family entertainments around town; and, more recently, The Music of Now, presenting an eclectic range of music in all styles and sensibilities, focusing on emerging artists, unusual work, and much more.

The Thalia Follies: Primary Colors

Thursday, February 16 at 7:30pm

Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18 at 5:30pm and 8:30pm

Symphony Space, Leonard Nimoy Thalia

2537 Broadway at 95th Street, NYC

Tickets: $15-$35 at

or 212.864.5400

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