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BEDBUGS!!! Infests the ArcLight Off-Broadway, Beginning Tonight

Dale Joan Young is bringing Bedbugs!!! back to NY. No, not those begbugs, Bedbugs!!! the award winning comedy sci-fi thriller rock musical, the brainchild of composer Paul Leschen (Drama Desk nominee for Twist! and pianist and arranger for international rock sensations Scissor Sisters) and book & lyricist Fred Sauter (MFA, NYU Musical Theatre Writing Program). Bedbugs!!! will feature the direction and choreography of Robert Bartley with musical supervision by Deborah Hurwitz. Bedbugs!!! begins performances tonight, September 9, and runs through October 26, celebrating its opening night on Sunday, September 14 at 7PM at the ArcLight Theatre (152 West 71 Street).

In this girl-meets-bug -sci-fi-rock-musical-comedy, Carly, an exterminator, is hell-bent on avenging her mother's bedbug related death. In an effort to permanently rid the city of its infestation, she accidentally mutates the pests into an army of blood-sucking, human-sized rock gods. Bedbugs!!! is an original musical that the NY Times called, "...a little bit "Little Shop of Horrors" and a little bit "Rocky Horror Show," but even more over the top." This "*improbably entertaining" and "**wonderfully outrageous and inventive" musical is a blitz of 80's nostalgia and a creepy-crawly love affair of massive proportions.

Leading the cast are Chris Hall (Jessie's Girl at Poisson Rouge, Revision Theatre's Rocky Horror Show) as Cimex, Grace McLean (Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812) as Carly, Nicholas Park (Mr. Irresistible, Dear Edwina) as Burt, and Brian Charles Rooney (Bway: The Threepenny Opera) as Dionne Salon, the cast also includes Danny Bolero (Bway: In the Heights, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), Tracey Conyer Lee (Sistas: The Musical, TV's "SMASH"), Barry Shafrin (WikiMusical Regional: Good News), Gretchen Wylder (Til Divorce Do Us Part, Regional: Avenue Q) Courtney Bassett (POP! (Who Shot Andy Warhol?) ) and Colin Scott Cahill (Regional: Damn Yankees, Into The Woods). The creative team includes costume design by Philip Heckman, scenic design by Adam Demerath, lighting design by Kirk Fitzgerald, sound design by Ed Chapman, wigs, hair and make-up design by Bobbie Cliffton Zlotnik, props design by Cameron Pate and Adam Roberts is the associate choreographer.

Paul Leschen (composer) and Fred Sauter (lyricist/ bookwriter) met in March 2007 and wanted to write a small, fun show to find out how well they would work together. After bonding over their mutual love of rock music, camp films and a natural tendency toward dark humor, Sauter suggested an idea about scabies (inspired by a horrible incident he had in Baltimore) and Leschen suggested making it about bedbugs, as New York City was dealing with their comeback invasion. Thus they developed a plot around an exterminator who, in an effort to annihilate bedbugs, accidentally makes the problem much, much worse. Combine this with an original score that pays tribute to their 1980?s childhoods and a gender-bending parody of Celine Dion and you have Bedbugs!!!.

In 2008, the show was accepted to the New York Musical Theatre Festival where it sold out its extended run and received audience and critical acclaim. In 2011, Bedbugs!!! was optioned for a commercial run and had a brief developmental run Off-Off Broadway in 2012 where it was recognized by the New York Innovative Theatre Awards with nominations for "Outstanding Original Music" and "Outstanding Production of a Musical," before its current commercial run at the ArcLight Theatre.

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