TheatreLAB & The Women's Mercury to Stage LIFE BEHIND BARS

TheatreLAB and The Women's Mercury are thrilled to present Life Behind Bars, written and performed by Dan Ruth as the third show in TheatreLAB's secondary season, The Cellar Series. The show is directed by Tanya Moberly and will run from May 19th to May 27th at TheatreLAB's home, The Basement in Richmond's Arts District.

A Life Behind Bars is Dan Ruth's dark comic work of monologues and stories, fermented in over two decades of booze, bars and gentrification. Based on 20-plus years as a New York City actor-turned-bartender in Hell's Kitchen, Brooklyn and beyond, Ruth's A Life Behind Bars sheds comedic light on the darker side of the world of the bar, club and restaurant industry. Here, a rapidly changing New York City gives way to Yelp, rigged health inspections and a place where selfie-sticks, man-buns and beard bars threaten to bulldoze any remnant of New York's fabulous griminess, authenticity and humanity. After years of working in the trenches, Ruth has returned to the stage, alive and better than ever with a dark, voyeuristic comedy spiral, full of truths and themes of loneliness, alcoholism, vampirism and self-enslavement. A Life Behind Bars is an unapologetic look at what can happen when you reach for the stars but grab for the bottle instead.

"Dan Ruth, much like Babe - the baseball legend with whom he shares a last name, knocks it out of the park repeatedly. His delivery is rapid-fire at times, yet it never, never feels forced, his comedic timing is impeccable and his emotional turning points are palpable." Anthony McNally, City College of New York Dept. of Theatre

Dan Ruth first developed this piece with David Drake's Solo Show Shop at The Abrons Center, NY, NY. Working with long-time collaborator and director Tanya Moberly, Mr. Ruth performed "A Life Behind Bars" to a single sold-out audience on December 19th, 2015 at Dixon Place, NY, NY in their main stage theatre.

Dan Ruth's Richmond roots run deep. He studied at VCU. Upon graduation, he co-produced, wrote, and appeared in the long-running hit sketch comedy show Richmond: Out of Stock. Other Richmond appearances include the roles of Che in Evita and George in Sunday in the Park with George at Dogwood Dell, in Shadowcast Theatre Works' acclaimed productions of Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, Boys' Life, Laughing Wild, and Christina Darling (which he also wrote.) He starred in The Mystery of Irma Vep at TheatreVirginia and directed Hedwig and the Angry Inch for The Firehouse Theatre. More recently Ruth starred in the title role of Brooklyn Boy for the Barksdale Theatre.

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