Sherri Shepherd, Michael Urie, Rachel Dratch and More Set for MEET & GREET Industry Readings
Meet & Greet, a comedy by Stan Zimmerman (The Golden Girls, Roseanne, Gilmore Girls) & Christian McLaughlin(Married...with Children, The Bold and the Beautiful, Desperate Housewives), will receive industry readings in New York on Thursday, March 3rd. The readings will be held at 11am & 4pm and are by invitation only.
Meet & Greet is a show biz comedy about four actresses of a certain age - a Broadway diva, an unhinged ex-sitcom star and her ditzy blonde bombshell former co-star, and a volcanically tempered reality show star - who are all up for the same part in a new sitcom pilot. They meet at a network casting office presided over by a catty, gay young male assistant. Old rivalries come screaming to the surface, egos clash, hair is pulled, and a shocking revelation forces them to question their entire existences.
Directed by Amanda Bearse (Married...with Children, MADtv), the cast features Rachel Dratch (SNL, Inside Amy Schumer), Teresa Ganzel (WALL-E, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson), Isabel Keating (It's Only a Play, The Boy from Oz), Sherri Shepherd (The View, 30 Rock, R+H's Cinderella), and Michael Urie (Ugly Betty, Buyer & Cellar). William Ragsdale (Fright Night, Herman's Head) will read the stage directions.
Meet & Greet debuted in 2014 at the Hollywood Fringe Festival where it received rave reviews and played to sold-out houses. After winning the Encore! Producer's Award it enjoyed an extended run at Hollywood's Theatre Asylum-Elephant Space.
Stan Zimmerman & Christian McLaughlin (Authors) have had successful writing careers with separate partners. Stan, along with James Berg, has written for such classic series as Gilmore Girls, The Golden Girls and Roseanne. They garnered WGA nominations for Best Comedy Episode for the latter two shows. They also created the Lifetime sitcom Rita Rocks and the upcoming Tello web series, Skirtchasers. In movies, they scripted both Brady Bunch films and rewrote the ABC TV movie of Annie, directed by Rob Marshall and produced by Zadan/Meron. Christian, with Valerie Ahern, wrote forMarried with Children, Drawn Together, Desperate Housewives, Hollywood Heights and were writer/producers on the popular Disney Channel showJessie.
Together, Stan and Christian penned It's On!, their TV theme song musical, which played as a Special Event for NYMF at the Signature Theatre. They wrote Sheryl Lee Ralph's annual 21st and 22nd Divas Simply Singing benefits. Their second play, Knife to the Heart, a comedy about circumcision, is slated for this summer in Chicago. They are currently working on their next theatrical venture, Yes, Virginia, a two-character comedy.
On his own, Stan has directed many productions in Los Angeles including the 30th anniversary revival of Gemini, A Tuna Christmas, Entertaining Mr. Sloane and Blink & You Might Miss Me (BroadwayWorld.com's Best Director). Recently, Stan wrote and directed the much talked about Suicide Notes: In Their Own Words at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Amanda Bearse (Director) has enjoyed over thirty years in the entertainment industry, twenty-five of which have been directing comedy. Amanda studied acting at The Neighborhood Playhouse under Sanford Meisner, and began her acting career in New York on All My Children. In Los Angeles, Amanda was cast in the cult horror film Fright Night opposite Chris Sarandon and William Ragsdale, followed by another cult classic, the role of "Marcy D'Arcy" on the Fox sitcom, Married...with Children. She directed numerous episodes during the final six seasons and has since directed over a hundred episodes of comedy television, as well as the sketch comedy series, MADtv. Amanda executive produced and directed The Big Gay Sketch Show, helping to launch LOGO network, and has just completed directing and producing the half-hour comedy, Skirtchasers which will premiere as a webseries on Tello this year.
Rachel Dratch (Belinda Reid) was a cast member on SNL for seven years after starting at Second City in Chicago. Other credits: Ripcord (Manhattan Theater Club), Tail! Spin! (Culture Project); Love's Labour's Lost (Delacorte); Sylvia (George St Playhouse); Minsky's (Ahmanson), Celebrity Autobiography (Stage 72), Dratch and Fey (Second City, UCB, Aspen Comedy Fest). TV: Inside Amy Schumer, Broad City, King of Queens, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, The Awesomes, Bob's Burgers, The Middle, and Frasier. Film credits include Sisters, Down with Love, Just Go With It, Click, Spring Breakdown, My Life in Ruins.
Teresa Ganzel (Teri Valentine) was a regular on several series such as The Duck Factory with Jim Carrey, Teachers Only with Lynn Redgrave, andRoxie with Andrea Martin. She's well-remembered from her 35 appearances in sketches and panel on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. She guest starred in sitcoms and TV movies including cult favorite Carol Burnett's mini-series Fresno. Film work includes being Jackie Gleason's wife in the film The Toy and Jeff Goldblum's love interest in Transylvania 6-5000. Recently, she played the family matriarch in the comedy The Shickles that is premiering at the Pasadena Film Fest and is nominated for Best Film. In addition to her voice over work, she toured the country in the play Viagara Falls which brought her to Off-Broadway's Little Shubert. She recently played "Truvy" in Steel Magnolias at Judson Theatre Company in Pinehurst, NC.
Isabel Keating (Margo Jane Marsden) won the Drama Desk Award and was nominated for the Tony Award for her Broadway turn in The Boy from Oz, starring opposite Hugh Jackman, for which she also won a Theatre World Award. Also on Broadway, she starred in the long-running hits Hairspray andSpider-Man Turn Off the Dark, and made her Broadway début starring in Enchanted April. Off Broadway she has appeared at Primary Stages, the Atlantic Theatre Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre and Ars Nova, among others. Keating won the Helen Hayes Award for Tom Stoppard's Indian Inkat Washington, DC's Studio Theatre, and has appeared regionally at the Old Globe Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Long Wharf, and more, in plays by Oscar Wilde, Anton Chekhov, Tony Kushner, Donald Margulies, among many others. Her films include The Nanny Diaries and The Life Before Her Eyes, and on television, she guest starred in 3 lbs. for CBS, starring opposite Stanley Tucci, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent for NBC, starring opposite Vincent d'Onofrio.
Sherri Shepherd (Desiree White) became part of television history when the hosts of The View won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host. That same year, Sherri and her co-hosts were included in Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World," while Forbes ranked The View hosts #11 among the top "30 of the Most Influential Women in Media." Sherri competed on Dancing with the Stars and frequently guest-starred as "Angela Jordan" on the Emmy award-winning series 30 Rock . Sherri was executive producer and start of her own sitcom Sherri on Lifetime and has made laugh-out-loud appearances in Less than Perfect, Everybody Loves Raymond, Joan of Arcadia, Suddenly Susan and The Jamie Foxx Show. She received raves for her lead dramatic role of "Joy White" in the Lifetime movie Abducted: the Carlina White Story and most recently co-starred with Katherine Heigl in One for the Money. She has appeared in such feature films as the award-winning Precious: based on the novel Push by Sapphire, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Guess Who, Who's Your Caddy, Beauty Shop and Cellular. Sherri also had successful runs Off-Broadway in Love, Loss and What I Wore and on Broadway in Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella.
Michael Urie (The Casting Assistant) For originating the role of "Alex More" in Jonathan Tolins' Buyer & Cellar Off-Broadway, on tour, and in London, Urie received the Drama Desk Award, Clarence Derwent Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, LA Drama Critics Award and nominations for the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle Awards. New York theatre credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Broadway), Shows For Days (LCT),The Cherry Orchard (CSC), Angels in America (Signature), The Temperamentals (Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk and Theatre World awards, Drama League nomination), The Revenger's Tragedy (Red Bull), Another Vermeer (HB Playwrights). Regionally, Urie has worked for Two River, The Old Globe, Vineyard Playhouse, South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Folger Shakespeare, Barrington Stage, Hyde Park (Austin), and The Blank (L.A.) Film: He's Way More Famous Than You (also directed), Thank You for Judging (co-director/exec. producer), Beverly Hills Chihuahua, WTC View, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, The Decoy Bride, Petunia, Such Good People, The Hyperglot (director), and Grantham & Rose (exec. producer). TV: "Gavin Sinclair" onModern Family, Younger, Workaholics, The Good Wife, Hot in Cleveland, Partners and "Marc St. James" on Ugly Betty. Web series: What's Your Emergency (director). Training: Juilliard.
Photo by Heidi Gutman
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