The Brick Theater Presents Steven Rattazzi in KING KIRBY, Now thru 6/29

The Brick Theater Presents Steven Rattazzi in KING KIRBY, Now thru 6/29

Steven Rattazzi steps into the role of legendary comic book artist Jack Kirby in King Kirby, a play by the husband-and-wife team of NYIT-award winning playwright Crystal Skillman and New York Times bestselling comics writer Fred Van Lente at the Comic Book Theater Festival at The Brick this June.

In addition to Steven Rattazzi as Kirby (best known to comics fans as the voice of Dr. Orpheus from Cartoon Network's The Venture Bros and in the theater world for his roles in Marie Antoinette at Soho Rep, Galileo at CSC, and Stunning at Lincoln Center), the cast features Amy Lee Pearsall, Joe Mathers, Nat Cassidy (all recently featured in Johnna Adam's Lickspittles, Buttonholers and Damned Pernicious Go-Betweens) and Timothy McCown Reynolds (of Action Philosophers).

King Kirby tells the hysterical and heartbreaking story of artist Jack Kirby, "The King of the Comics," who created or co-created some of your favorite heroes on the page and screen. Captain America, the Avengers, Thor, Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Iron Man, Young Romance the New Gods, Darkseid, The Demon... the list goes on and on.

From the Jewish ghetto of New York's Lower East Side to the battlefields of France to the Senate hearings of 1950s, King Kirby is a hysterical and heartbreaking story about a man who pours his quintessentially Twentieth Century life into his comics, only to make the fateful mistake that sends him into obscurity while his creations become known to every person on Earth.

A real-life "Adventures of Kavalier & Klay", King Kirby asks what happens when an artist doesn't own his own legacy? Can he ever get it back?

John Hurley, who brought to life Skillman's adaptation of Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey's Action Philosophers comics, directs. Hailed as "A Philosophy 101 course taught by Monty Python", and a Backstage Critic's Pick, Action Philosophers sold out the first Comic Book Festival, extending twice. Hurley's previous work with Skillman includes The Vigil or the Guided Cradle, which won the NYIT Award for Outstanding Play, and her comedy Hack where Broadway World noted: "Indie Theatre needs more trail blazers like Skillman and Hurley they are certainly ones to watch as they ride off into the sunset."

King Kirby's design team features scenic and lighting design by Olivia Harris (The Vigil), Costume design by Holly Rihn (rogerandtom), Janie Bullard (A Fable) with stage management by Lauren Stern.

Skillman, whose play Wild just closed a critically noted, sold out four week run at IRT this spring and whose plays Cut and Geek have earned Critics Picks from the New York Times and Time Out New York, is proud to join her husband in bringing the life of Kirby to the stage in their first produced collaboration. Van Lente is the New York Times bestselling writer of many comics, including Cowboys & Aliens (which the film was based on), as well as The Comic Book History of Comics, from which much of King Kirby is derived.

"Everywhere we go we find the story of Jack Kirby moves people," Skillman said. "We hope this production is just the beginning of sharing Jack's story with a larger audience."

CBS feature:

Tickets are $18 and available at:

King Kirby's runs for five performances only: Fri 6/20, 7pm; Sat 6/21, 3pm; Wed 6/25, 7pm, Sat 6/28, 5pm and Sun 6/29, 5pm.

All performances at The Brick, 579 Metropolitan Ave in Brooklyn, NY,

For more information about King Kirby: please visit:

Crystal Skillman (Playwright) is the award-winning author of WILD (IRT Theater/Sanguine Theatre; Kid Brooklyn Productions in Chicago); GEEK (Vampire Cowboys/Incubator Arts, NYT and TONY Critics Pick); CUT (Management, NYT Critic's Pick); VIGIL or THE GUIDED CRADLE (ITG/The Brick Theater, NY IT Award Outstanding Play), DRUNK ART LOVE (First Breath Reading Series, finalist for Harold Clurman Residency). Off Broadway: WILD as part of MCC Theater's Playlab Reading series at the Lucille Lortel Theater. She is co-writer with composer Bobby Cronin on the musical comedy THE CONCRETE JUNGLE, and also at work with Cronin on the musical theater adaptation of the film MARY AND MAX, with director Stafford Arima.

Fred Van Lente (Playwright) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Marvel Zombies, Incredible Hercules (with Greg Pak), Odd Is On Our Side (with Dean R. Koontz), as well as the American Library Association award-winning Action Philosophers. His original graphic novel Cowboys & Aliens (co-written with Andrew Foley) is the basis for the major motion picture starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. Van Lente's other comics include The Comic Book History of Comics, Taskmaster, Archer & Armstrong, Amazing Spider-Man and GI Joe.

John Hurley (Director) Directed "Action Philosophers" for The Brick's 1st Comic Book Festival which was adapted by Crystal Skillman from Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey's graphic novel. Other Crystal Skillman plays at The Brick include: "Hack! An I.T. Spaghetti Western" (originally produced for the Vampire Cowboys' "Saloon Series"), and "The Vigil, or The Guided Cradle." Last fall, John directed Johnna Adams', "Lickspittles, Buttonholers, and Damned Pernicious Go-Betweens" for Boomerang Theatre Co (for which he is now Assoc. Artistic Director) and most recently J. Holtham's new play "The Great Silence" in Gideon Theater's Blueprint Project at the Secret Theater.

Nick Leavens (Producer) is a producer, director, writer, and consultant with a focus on new works. He has an produced hundreds of theatrical productions, workshops, readings, and events in New York City and beyond. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of |the claque|, your favorite arts and performance conglomerate based in New York City, the Programming Director at the Sheen Center, a Principal Partner with GB Consulting Associates and has extensive experience in the arts, having worked at The Museum of Modern Art, Atlantic Theater, Bay Street Theatre and others. As a director Nick has worked at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Atlantic Theater, Naked Angels, HERE Arts Center, the Bushwick Starr, The Flea Theatre, Studio 42, Active Theater, The New York International Fringe Festival, Stella Adler, At Hand Theatre, Ugly Rhino, CAPS LOCK Theatre, Crashbox Theatre, SITEfest, the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival, and Vital Theater. He was a resident director at Ensemble Studio Theatre, is the President/Co-founder of vanity production company Coleavens Industries, was the Artistic Director/Producer of the New York Arab-American Comedy Festival in 2010 and the Producer of The Funny 2004, 2005. He is excited to be part of the King Kirby team along with his Associate Producer, Daniella Caggiano.

The Brick is located at 575 Metropolitan Avenue (between Union Avenue and Lorimer Street) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on the L & G subway lines (L: Lorimer stop; G: Metropolitan stop). For more detailed directions & further information, see The Brick and its non-profit company, The Brick Theater, Inc. were founded in September of 2002 by Robert Honeywell and Michael Gardner. Formerly an auto-body shop, a storage space and a yoga center, this brick- walled garage was completely refurbished into a state-of-the-art theater complex, with a large sprung floor and professional lighting and sound package.

Photo Credit: Hunter Canning

Related Articles

Off-Off-Broadway THEATER Stories | Shows

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...