Ronnie Marmo, Susana Sandoval And Jan Feldman To Host Free FREEDOM OF SPEECH Panel, March 7
On Saturday, March 7, Ronnie Marmo, playwright and star of "I'm Not a Comedian...I'm Lenny Bruce" will be joined by Susana Sandoval, Human Rights Commissioner of the United Nations Forum for Indigenous Peoples and Jan Feldman, Executive Director of Lawyers for the Creative Arts for a panel discussion about Freedom of Speech. Scheduled for 4:45 p.m. (following the conclusion of the matinee performance of "I'm Not a Comedian...I'm Lenny Bruce") the event is free and open to the public, and will take place at the Royal George Theatre (1641 N. Halsted.)
"Lenny Bruce was a passionate advocate for freedom of speech during his lifetime, and faced tremendous legal battles as a result of his stance," said Ronnie Marmo. "Sadly, many continue to fight those same battles to this day. This panel conversation will examine Bruce's lasting impact, the current state of affairs regarding the topic, and how we can proactively support freedom of speech moving forward."
Theatre 68 and Royal George Theatre's production of the critically-acclaimed play, "I'm Not a Comedian...I'm Lenny Bruce," is now playing in an open-ended run. Directed by multi award-winning actor and director Joe Mantegna and produced in partnership with Lenny Bruce's daughter Kitty Bruce, "I'm Not A Comedian...I'm Lenny Bruce" was written by and stars Ronnie Marmo and brilliantly chronicles the life and death of the most controversial comedian of all time. For tickets and more information, please visit LennyBruceOnStage.com. The performance schedule is listed below.
On Saturday, March 7, Ronnie Marmo will perform the play for the 300th time at the 8 p.m. performance, having played the role 120 times in Los Angeles, 100 times in New York and 80 times in Chicago.
Chris Jones with the Chicago Tribune called the show, "unconventionally adoring" and gave the production 3.5 out of 4 stars. WTTW called the play "brilliant" and "furiously funny" while the Daily Herald called the show, "striking." Celebrated Chicago actress Bonnie Hunt said, "Ronnie Marmo delights as he channels Lenny Bruce. A thoughtful authenticity in performance, direction and script."
An undisputed comic legend, Lenny Bruce was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. His life and work have had an impact on poetry, politics, music, film and of course, comedy. Bruce's tempestuous personal and professional life was marked by great passion and great pain. His unwavering commitment to free speech led to numerous obscenity charges and arrests. No stranger to Chicago, Bruce was arrested for obscenity for his performance at The Gate of Horn in December 1962. Bruce fought for freedom of speech all the way to the Supreme Court. He died of an accidental overdose in 1966, while out on appeal. Bruce has not yet been surpassed at his particular brand of art and if he were around today, he would be in as much trouble as when he was alive. "I'm Not A Comedian...I'm Lenny Bruce" runs approximately 90 minutes, explores mature themes and includes strong language and nudity.
Award-winning actor and comedian Billy Crystal said, "beautifully directed by Joe Mantegna with a strong performance by Ronnie Marmo, this funny, fierce and tragic work vividly brings to life the comedian we so miss today." Famed stand-up comedian and actor Richard Lewis concurred saying, "'I'm Not A Comedian...I'm Lenny Bruce' is superlative in all departments...it's the tour de force by actor Ronnie Marmo that for me is historic. Lenny's life pours out of him." Bruce's own daughter Kitty called the show, "The best portrayal of my father I have ever seen. Brilliant."
The performance schedule for "I'm Not A Comedian...I'm Lenny Bruce" is Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m. Tickets are currently on sale through March 29, with additional performances added on an ongoing basis.
Tickets ($69-$79) are on sale now and can be purchased at www.LennyBruceOnStage.com or at the Royal George Theatre box office or by calling 312-988-9000. Group tickets are available via Grouptix at 773-327-3778 or Grouptix.net.
A portion of the show's proceeds will go to the Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3). The foundation provides funds for those who don't have insurance or the ability to get treatment for drug and alcohol addiction on their own. For more information please visit, https://lennybruce.org/. All contributions are tax deductible.