MCC Theater (Robert LuPone, Bernard Telsey, William Cantler, Artistic Directors; Blake West, Executive Director) has just announced that Leslie Bibb (Iron Man, ABC's "GCB") and Jenna Fischer (NBC's "The Office") will be making their New York City stage debuts opposite Josh Hamilton (The Coast of Utopia) and Fred Weller (MCC's Still Life and In a Dark Dark House) in the world premiere of MCC Playwright-in-Residence Neil LaBute's new play, Reasons to be Happy, which LaBute will also direct. Reasons to be Happy is a companion piece to LaBute's critically-acclaimed award-winning play, Reasons to Be Pretty, first produced at MCC Theater in 2008 before moving to Broadway where it was nominated for three 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Play. Performances begin at the Lucille Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street, NYC) on May 16, 2013 and continue through June 23, 2013. An official opening is set for June 11, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are now on sale.
In a joint statement, the MCC Artistic Directors said, "Our 10-year relationship with Neil LaBute has been one of our proudest collaborations because the process is always so invigorating and the result has always stirred our audience and triggered such rich conversation and debate. We are especially thrilled that Neil is directing his dazzling new play for MCC audiences. He has assembled an ideal cast and an impeccable creative team for what we know will be an extraordinary cap to what has been a very exciting 2012-13 season for us."
Emmy Award nominee Jenna Fischer, making her Off-Broadway debut, joins Reasons to be Happy as the ninth and final season of NBC's smash hit "The Office" comes to a close. Also making her Off-Broadway debut is Leslie Bibb, who has appeared in films such as Iron Man and Talladega Nights and on television in ABC's "GCB" and The CW's "Popular," among many others. Both are join by stage veteran Josh Hamilton, who has appeared on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning hits The Coast of Utopia and Proof; and Fred Weller, an MCC alum who also starred on Broadway in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Take Me Out as well as acclaimed revivals of Edward Albee's Seascape and David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross.
LaBute's Reasons to be Happy begins three years after a contentious break-up, with Steph and Greg wondering if they can make a fresh go of it. Trouble is, she's married to someone else and he's just embarked on a relationship with Steph's best friend, Carly, a single mom whose jealous ex-husband, Kent, has trouble articulating his feelings - navigating the rocky landscape of conflicting agendas and exploding emotions isn't going to be easy for any of them. Reasons to be Happy is a funny, surprising, and poignant new play about the choices and sacrifices we are willing to make in the pursuit of that often elusive ideal: happiness.
Prolific playwright and filmmaker Neil LaBute is the author of the renowned plays The Shape of Things, Fat Pig, and Reasons to Be Pretty, the latter of which served as his Broadway debut in 2009, for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play. On stage, he previously directed his plays The Mercy Seat, Wrecks, and The Shape of Things. For film, LaBute wrote and directed the Cannes Palme d'Or finalist Nurse Betty, Your Friends & Neighbors, The Shape of Things, and In the Company of Men, for which he won the Independent Spirit Award and New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Feature. He also directed the hit dark comedy Death at a Funeral. LaBute is currently the Playwright-in-Residence at MCC Theater. This year marks the 10th anniversary of his relationship with MCC, with whom he has collaborated on 7 full-length plays.