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Michael Hamton, Rick Heintz Lead Pride Film and Plays' MAN BOOBS

Rick Heintz and Michael Hampton have been cast as Marty and Spence in the Chicago premiere of J. Julian Christopher's insightful new work Man Boobs, a dark comedy about love, body image, and acceptance.

Michael Hampton (Marty) was last seen as Santa Claus in Rudolph the Red Hosed Reindeer, and in staged readings of Pig and The Ritz for Pride Films and Plays. He is an ensemble member of Hell In a Handbag Productions and he just won the Chicago Broadway World award for Best Actor in a Musical (non-equity) for his portrayal of Santa Claus last year.

Rick Heintz (Spence) has been "bearing it all" for the last year over a four-state area in a show he created called "FurrLesque." Having taken off more than 8 years from his on-stage antics, Rick has been very active in the LGBT community fighting for equality and riding his bicycle to end HIV/AIDS. While hiding from the spotlight, he wrote/co-produced "The Family Business" for the 48-Hour Film Project Los Angeles (Audience Favorite Award) and worked for TV Guide Network in Hollywood producing such shows as "Fashion Wrap with Joan and Melissa Rivers," "Idol Tonight," "Reality Chat," and Red Carpet coverage from everything from the Academy Awards to the Country Music Awards.

David Zak directs Man Boobs, PFP's Second Staged production, as part of PFP's exploration of "what's new and what's next" in LGBT theater and film. Zak, PFP's Executive Director, predicts, "As we celebrate and nurture new voices in American theater, Mr. Christopher's fresh and provocative work will be resonating for many years to come."

Man Boobs was developed at New York's Public Theater, workshopped at East L.A. Rep, and then ran in New York City at The Fresh Fruit Festival in 2010. Man Boobs premiered in Montréal at The Rialto Theatre in 2011 and was presented by Village Scene Productions. It is currently part of Australia's Midsumma Festival, presented by Jack Chapman and The VicBears.

Man Boobs opens Saturday, February 18 at 7:30 pm at Mary's Attic, 5446 N. Clark Street, Chicago. There are two preview performances, Thursday, February 16 and Friday, February 17. Show times are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 through Saturday, March 10. There is one additional performance on Thursday, March 8 at 7:30. All tickets are $15 and can be reserved through or by calling 1 800 838 3006.

Man Boobs is presented by arrangement with Adam Weinstock and Creative Concept Productions.

The Season Ahead for PFP

Pride Films and Plays announces an energetic 2012 season in addition to Man Boobs. This spring, the second Gay Play Weekend at Center on Halsted will feature staged readings of the five international finalists in the annual Great Gay Play and Musical Contest.

A dynamic series of classic and new lesbian plays will be presented as monthly staged readings this spring, followed in July by the second Women's Work Weekend, which features scripts and screenplays with lesbian characters written by women.

PFP continues its relationship with emerging screenwriters through the Great Gay Screenplay Contest which culminates in the performance of winning entries during the third Gay Screenplay Weekend at Center on Halsted this fall.

About the Principals

Author J. Julian Christopher received a Master of Fine Arts Degree from The Actors Studio Drama School at New School University. Julian trained as an actor and has performed in various productions such as TBA (Second Generation Theatre), The Karaoke Show (Off-Broadway), The Three Gods (directed by Elizabeth Swados), On Broken Wings (Traveling Omnibus of Ireland), Our Lady of 121st Street (directed by Ellen Barkin at The Actors Studio Drama School) and The Flea Theatre's 'Twas the Night Before... series featuring work by Christopher Durang, Mac Wellman, Len Jenkins, Roger Rosenblatt, and Elizabeth Swados. Julian began his playwriting career in 2008 with Beast: A Parable, which debuted at The New York International Fringe Festival. He was invited to workshop his play Nico Was a Fashion Model at the LAByrinth Theater Company's 2010 Summer Intensive. His plays Metro Psalm and SCHWARZ! (Hansel und Gretel) were finalists at The Public Theater's Emerging Writers Retreat and produced in the Off-Off Broadway Samuel French Short Play Festival two years in a row (2009 and 2010). His latest play, Animals Commit Suicide, will workshop with The TerraNova Collective this spring. Julian was also a nominee for the Montblanc Young Writers Project for The 24 Hour Plays (2009). He is a founding member and Artistic Director of Three Monos Ensemble in New York City. You can learn more about him here.

David Zak (Director) is Executive Director of Pride Films and Plays. He served as Artistic Director of Bailiwick Repertory, Chicago, from 1982-2009. In 2010, he directed the London premiere of The Irish Curse and mounted A Doll's House at Korea National University of Arts in Seoul. In 2011, he directed Fanta Stick in Seoul; Evita, with a cast of 150 performers, for The Unity Project in Indiana; and the staged reading of Beyond Brokeback at Chicago's Auditorium Theater, among other projects. He has received Chicago's Jeff Recommendations and/or Awards for Direction of Parade, Dr. Sex, Animal Farm, The Hiroshima Project, Incorruptible, The Count Of Monte Cristo, Light In The Heart Of The Dragon, Pope Joan, Jerry Springer - The Opera, and Son of Fire. He has received Jeff Citations for Best New Work for The Count Of Monte Cristo (with Jeff Casazza). His play The Hiroshima Project (with Anne V. McGravie, Dwight Okita, and Nicholas A. Patricca) has been performed around the world. David received a special Jeff Citation in 2003 for Bailiwick's range of diverse programming. He teaches gender studies for the Chicago Center of Urban Life and Culture.

Adam Weinstock and Creative Concept Productions have produced more than 100 shows. Currently Off-Broadway: NEWSical the Musical and Now The Cats With The Jeweled Claws, starring Mink Stole and Everett Quinton. CCP has worked closely President Clinton, John Shea, Jean Louise Kelly, Bruce Vilanch, Lea DeLaria, Judy Tenuta, Charles Busch, Margaret Cho, Ellen Greene, Paula Poundstone, Sandra Bernhard, Michael Feinstein, and Linda Eder.

About Pride Films and Plays

Pride Films and Plays, based in Chicago, links an international network of writers with professionals working in film and theater.

PFP fosters excellent writing for the stage and screen that speaks not only to the LGBT community, but is essential viewing for our friends, family, and co-workers.

Using stories with gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters or themes, Pride Films and Plays develops human stories that become a cultural bridge to understanding.

Through readings, contests, classes, screenings, and full Theater Productions, PFP engages artists and audiences in the full developmental process needed to make great artistic experiences.

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