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Butler, Hill, Jaeck, Leahy & Peck Set for Soho Playhouse's THE IRISH CURSE

Sarahbeth Grossman and Craig Zehms today announced that Dan Butler (best known as Bulldog on "Frasier"), Roderick Hill (Butley on Broadway opposite Nathan Lane), Scott Jaeck ("Charmed"), Brian Leahy ("The Junior League of Superheroes"), and Austin Peck ("Days of Our Lives") would star in the Off-Broadway premiere of Martin Casella's acclaimed comedy THE IRISH CURSE at the Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street (between Avenue of the Americas & Varick Street). Performances begin on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th. Opening Night is set for Sunday, March 28th. Matt Lenz will direct.

THE IRISH CURSE had its world premiere at the New York International Fringe Festival with a sold-out run in 2005, garnering rave reviews and winning the Overall Excellence Award for Playwrighting. The play was also acclaimed in its European premiere at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This production subsequently transferred to The Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival.

Size matters to the Irish-American guys who meet every Wednesday night in a support group...for men with very small penises. This raucously new comedy tackles the male obsession with body image, masculinity, and sex as it examines the fundamental question on the minds of men since the beginning of time..."How do I measure up to the next guy?"

Lauren Helpern will serve as Set Designer, Michael McDonald as Costume Designer and Traci Klainer as Lighting Designer. Additional members of the design team will be announced shortly.

Performances will be Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, Sunday evenings at 7 pm, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 3 PM. Tickets are $59 for all seats/all performances. For tickets and more information visit www.TheIrishCurse.com.

Dan Butler is probably best known as Bulldog from the TV series, "Frasier." His one-man show The Only Thing Worse You Could Have Told Me... garnered critical acclaim across the country, as well as Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk nominations. In 2006, Dan produced, co-wrote, co-directed, and starred in the faux documentary Karl Rove, I Love You which The Huffington Post called "hilarious and unsettling - a political Blair Witch Project." Dan has also been extremely active with suicide prevention, and in 1995 was the National Coming Out Day spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign.

Roderick Hill has appeared as Mr. Gardner in the Broadway production of Butley starring Nathan Lane, Dorian Gray in Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's new adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray at The Round House Theater, Eustace Jackson in The Mint Theater's critically acclaimed production of The Return of The Prodigal, and Nicolas in the Broadway production of Elton John's musical Lestat.

Scott Jaeck appeared on Broadway in "August: Osage County" and "The Night of the Iguana." His numerous TV credits include "Charmed," "ER," "Seinfeld," "Santa Barbara," "Prison Break," "NYPD Blue," "Party of Five," "Mad About You," and "An Early Frost."

Brian Leahy originated the role of Rick in the 2005 NY Int'l Fringe Festival production of The Irish Curse. He can currently be seen in the comedic web series The Junior League of Superheroes, which he also wrote and co-produced. FILM: Earthship, 4:41, Mrs. Lovejoy, The Layabouts. Theatre: the East Coast premiere of Mat Smart's The Hopper Collection, Iatrophobia, A Night of Dialogue. As a writer, his political satire Sketch premiered in LA as part of Acorn Pictures' LIVEworks2008; his one-woman play, Cranberry, was produced by the Intentional Theatre Group in NY. Brian is a graduate of NYU and the Atlantic Theater Acting School and is the author of The Groom Says blog.

Austin Peck is best known for his starring roles on the popular daytime dramas "Days of Our Lives" and "As the World Turns." Other TV credits include "The District," "Charmed," "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch," and "Strong Medicine." As a member of Theater 40 in Beverly Hills, Austin recently appeared in Plastic, Blue Silence and Japanese Death Poem, as well as Forever September, Burn This, Henry V, and Mythomania.

Martin Casella's other plays include Scituate (Best New Play, SCFTA); Mates (LA Weekly Award, Best New Play), Paydirt, Desert Fire, Beautiful Dreamer, Grand Junction, The Big Enchilada and George Bush Goes to Hell. He wrote the book for the musicals Paper Moon, Happy Holidays, Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll, Saint Heaven, Doo-Dah! and co-wrote the book for the new jazz musical Play It Cool (GLAAD nomination). His plays have been seen at, among others, the Pasadena Playhouse, Coast Playhouse, Coronet (LA); TBG, Linhart and Access Theatres (NYC); Village Theatre, Group Theatre (Seattle); Bailiwick, Theatre Building (Chicago); Stage One (Wichita); Paper Mill Playhouse (NJ); Goodspeed Opera House, Stanford Center for the Arts (Connecticut); Walnut Street Theatre (Philadelphia); Ford's Theatre (Washington); and in Tokyo, Dublin and Edinburgh. His current theatrical project is the musical Free Money, a musical about the invention of credit cards, with composer/lyricist Keith Gordon and documentary filmmaker Barbara Wellin-Multer. In film and TV, Casella has written for Steven Spielberg, Rob Reiner, Dan Petrie Jr., John Milius, John Badham, Francis Ford Coppola, Herbert Ross, Bruce Cohen, Anthony Edwards, The Walt Disney Company, Universal Pictures, Ladd Company, HBO, Roger Corman, Kerry Washington and Paulist Productions. TV projects include the film "Behind the Lens" for CBS, and "Daddy's Girl," an HBO pilot, and a stint as a writer on the ABC daytime drama "One Life To Live." His feature screenplay One Night Stand was directed by Talia Shire and starred Ally Sheedy and Frederic Forrest. Casella is currently adapting David Johnson's play Busted Jesus Comix for the big screen; and is writing the feature film Tom's Dad for Emmy Award-winning producers Joni Levin and KeitH Clarke. In addition to having taught playwriting at the California Institute of the Arts, Casella's happiest - and proudest -recent adventure is teaching playwriting at the Harvey Milk High School. Casella is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild, Writer's Guild of America, Actors' Equity and Screen Actors Guild.

Matt Lenz's Broadway credits include Hairspray (associate director; also for national tours, South Africa, Las Vegas, Toronto, Germany), Disney's Beauty and the Beast (resident director), The Yellow Brick Road Not Traveled: Wicked's 5th Anniversary (director). Off-Broadway: Idaho! (NYMF - Winner of "2008 Best of Fest" and Best Director Awards), Alan Ball's The Amazing Adventures of Tense Guy. Regional: Saint Heaven (a new musical by Martin Casella and Keith Gordon), Scituate by Martin Casella (Stamford Center), Aida (MUNY, Gateway), The Full Monty, Beauty and the Beast (MUNY, North Carolina Theatre, Michigan Opera Theatre), South Pacific (Casa Manana, NCT) Confidentially, Cole (LA), Dirty Blonde, Love! Valor! Compassion! (Austin). Member SDC.

Lauren Helpern's NY credits include Bug (Obie Award), None of the Above (Hewes nomination), The Amish Project (also tour), Mother Load (also tour), Underneath the Lintel, Dragapella, Slipping, MTC, Playwrights Horizons, Ars Nova, Atlantic, Naked Angels, Second Stage, Cherry Lane, and the Broadway production Voices In The Dark. Regional (selected): Blue Man Group/Live at Luxor (Eddy Award), Always... Patsy Cline starring Sally Struthers, Gypsy starring Andrea McArdle, Prince Music Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Portland Center Stage, ATF, Laguna Playhouse, Stamford Center for the Arts, TheatreworksUSA, and Anchorage Opera. Lauren is part of New Georges' Kitchen Cabinet and a partner in the design firm Luce Group.

Michael Mc Donald received Tony Award, Drama Desk and Hewes Design Award nominations for his costumes for the 2009 Tony Award winning Best Musical Revival of Hair. The Public: Hair (Delacorte Theater). Off-Broadway: Tartuffe (Tribeca Playhouse), Amahl and the Night Visitors (Lincoln Center), Measure for Measure (Expanded Arts). Regional: Take Me Out (The Repertory Theater of St. Louis); Dirty Blond (Matt Lenz, dir.), Omnium Gatherum and Crowns (Zachary Scott Theatre); Amadeus, Sweeney Todd, The Laramie Project, Angels in America (Chatham Playhouse). Broadway: Assistant Costume Designer for two Tony Award winning Best Plays: The Goat and Take Me Out, as well as Arthur Miller's The Ride Down Mt. Morgan. And he's Irish.

Traci Klainer's NY credits include The Asphalt Kiss (59E59, Drama Desk nomination); Broadway production of Prune Danish (Royale Theatre); Four (MTC, Lucille Lortel nomination); Dov and Ali (Cherry Lane); Sand (Julia Miles Theatre); 2 Girls For 5 Bucks (Ars Nova); Echoes Of The War (Mint Theater); Dragapella (Upstairs Studio 54) and How to Be a Good Italian Daughter (Cherry Lane). Regional credits include: Hartford Stage, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Prince Music Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Capital Repertory, and City Theatre. Traci is also a partner in the design firm Luce Group, which specializes in architectural, exhibit and event lighting design.

Sarahbeth Grossman is President of Sobelle Productions and a Managing Member of Brooklyn Basement Theatricals, LLC. Ms. Grossman served as Associate Managing Director of the Yale Rep, where she produced the annual WinterFest of new plays, and was Producing Director of the Los Angeles Stage & Film Company, where she produced the LA Premiere of Time On Fire: A Comedy Of Terrors by Evan Handler. Film and TV work includes stints at Showtime Networks and Viacom Pictures, production work on "Me and Veronica" dir. by Don Scardino, "Bopha!" dir. by Morgan Freeman, "Strapped" dir. by Forest Whitaker, Three Wishes and Out To Sea (Associate Producer) dir. by Martha Coolidge. Sarahbeth also served as VP of Development & Production for Ms. Coolidge's Ozma Productions under a television development deal with Pearson Entertainment. Ms. Grossman was Executive Director of Global Brand Strategy & Business Development at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, and spent a short time as VP of Marketing at Variety.

Craig Zehms produced The Irish Curse for the 2005 NY International Fringe Festival. He began his career as an actor and appeared at regional theatres including the Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson, Ford's Theatre, Goodspeed, and Odyssey Theatre Ensemble. His TV credits include "Newhart," "Hooperman," and "V-The Series." He currently serves as the National Spokesperson for Lalique North America and has produced and appeared at events for luxury retailers for twenty years. 

For tickets and more information visit www.TheIrishCurse.com.

Photo: Austin Peck



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