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Blank Theater Co Premieres SETUP & PUNCH, Begins Performances 5/9, Opens 5/14


The Blank Theatre Company is set to open the World Premiere of SETUP & PUNCH a comedic play written by Mark Saltzman with original songs by Berton Averre & Rob Meurer and directed by The Blank's Artistic Director Daniel Henning. Hedy Burress, PJ Griffith and Andrew Leeds star in the third and final offering of The Blank's Mainstage season which begins performances on Saturday May 9, 2009 and opens on Thursday May 14, 2009 at The Blank's 2nd Stage Theatre in Hollywood.

A clever Broadway songwriting duo's promising relationship is blown to bits when they must collaborate with the sex-god singer-composer of a cutting edge rock band. Love gets sung in the wrong key, proving the old adage: there are two sides to every triangle. This comedic play explores the dynamic of "writing teams" and love, loss and betrayal and includes 4 original songs.

On The Blank's Opening Night, May 14, Mr. Saltzman's next production THE TIN PAN ALLEY RAG, goes into rehearsals in NYC preparing for its Off Broadway debut at the Roundabout Theatre Company in July. In fact, it is Roundabout's first Off Broadway musical. Saltzman is a 7-time Emmy Award winning writer and has had a long relationship with The Blank having developed his play Mr. Shaw GOES TO HOLLYWOOD in The Blank's Living Room Series before premiering it at Laguna Playhouse.

The songs in this "play with songs" are by the songwriting team of Berton Averre & Rob Meurer. Averre is best known as the lead guitarist and co-writer of the rock group THE KNACK and their hit single MY SHARONA. Meurer also has rocker roots as arranger and keyboardist on Christopher Cross' Grammy-sweeping debut album.

Hedy Burress stars as "Vanya", PJ Griffiths stars as "Jan", Andrew Leeds stars as "Brian". Burress was the star of such television series as BOSTON COMMONS, GIDEON'S CROSSING, THE CLOSER (on CBS) and FIRST MONDAY and has been seen on LA stages in THE SHAGGS and AN ACT OF LOVE. Griffith starred in the First National tour of MAMMA MIA, as Cousin Kevin in THE WHO'S TOMMY at the Montalban and has fronted several rock bands. Leeds starred on Broadway in FALSETTOS, TEDDY & ALICE, and the national tour of LES MISERABLES. His TV credits include DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, NIP/TUCK and DIRT. He was also the star of Sean Hayes' reality TV show SITUATION: COMEDY for Bravo which followed Leeds and his writing partner developing a sit-com for television.

Based in Hollywood, The Blank's productions have garnered rave reviews, audience acclaim, and numerous theatrical honors. Over the years, The Blank has been nominated for 23 Ovation Awards and won 5 including "Best Musical," 14 LA Drama Critics Circle Awards and won 12 including "Outstanding Production," 21 LA Weekly Awards winning 7 including "Musical of the Year," 12 NAACP Theatre Awards winning 4 including "Best Production" and won 17 Back Stage West Garland Awards. Most recently, The Blank was awarded the Hollywood Arts Council's coveted Charlie Award for "pursuing artistic excellence, nurturing the next generation of playwrights, and challenging itself with a grand vision."

SETUP & PUNCH is pleased to be part of the Festival of New American Musicals.

DATES: May 9-June 21, 2009
TIMES: Previews begin May 9, 2009
Opens Thursday May 14, 2009
Thurs/Fri/Sat at 8pm; Sun at 2pm
Special performances May 12 & 13 at 8pm
ADMISSION: $22 Previews, Thurs. & Sun.
$28 Fri. & Sat.
TICKETS: Online at or by calling (323) 661-9827.
LOCATION: The Blank's 2nd Stage Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Boulevard
At Wilcox, between Highland and Vine on Theatre Row Hollywood.
Valet parking available


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