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Thursday, 17 March 2011 16:17

PLAY DEAD Celebrates 150th Performance Off-Broadway







Play Dead,the new off-Broadway comic thriller co-written and directed by Teller (of Penn & Teller) and co-written & performed by Todd Robbins, will mark its 150th performance on Sunday, March 20 at 7pm at Off-Broadway’s Players Theater (115 MacDougal Street at Minetta Lane).  Play Dead opened to rave reviews on November 10, for an open-ended run. The cast of PLAY DEAD includes Geri Berman, Charlotte Pines, Drea Lorraine and Don Meehan.

Now that our days are getting longer, and with spring right around the corner, the fun and spooky new Off-Broadway hit Play Dead invites you to enjoy and relish in the darkness with someone you love (or like…or want to like) at the show Time Out New York named as one of their “Great Dates,” because “it’s exactly the kind of show that will leave you pawing each other for comfort.”  Emmy winner, Neil Patrick Harris called this evening of thrills and chills “the perfect excuse to grope your date in the dark.”  This “gleeful orgy of fright” (The New York Times) plays its 150th performance just in time for spring, the season of life…

Teller and Todd Robbins invite Death out to play in PLAY DEAD, the smart new Off-Broadway hit that's part retro spook-show, part thrill-ride and all fun, with stunning magic and amazing illusions.  As the guide for the evening, Robbins draws audiences into an unknown haunted world full of frightful surprises and diabolical laughter.  Although very much a theatrical work, it is hardly a typical “play,” but rather a dramatic, unnerving thriller – here and now in an “abandoned" theater, illuminated by a single ghostlight – in which audiences test their nerves and face their fears as they are surrounded by ethereal sights, sounds and even touches of the returning dead – all achieved by wry, suspenseful storytelling and uncanny stage illusions. 

Teller has been the smaller, quieter half of Penn & Teller since 1975.  Their critically acclaimed stage show spent several years both on and Off-Broadway, earning Teller an Obie and the Drama Critics Circle award and has played to several sold out national tours and now enjoys a full-time home at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.  The Showtime series “Penn & Teller: Bullshit!” now in its eighth season, is the network’s longest-running series.  Nominated for 11 Emmy awards and the recipient of the 2005 Writer’s Guild Award for Outstanding Comedy/Variety Series, and nominated for the same award in 2008, the show exposes the fakes and frauds behind such sacred cows as bottled water, feng shui and talking to the dead.  On the big screen Teller has appeared in the motion pictures Penn & Teller Get Killed, Long Gone, Walt Disney’s Fantasia 2000, The Fantasticks and The Aristocrats.  Stage credits include the 2001 Broadway cast of the “The Rocky Horror Show.”  Teller’s latest book, HOUSE OF MYSTERY: THE MAGIC SCIENCE OF DAVID P. ABBOTT, examines the art and psychology of one of the early 20th Century’s greatest parlor magicians.  Teller is also the co-author of several books with Penn.  Teller’s articles and stories have been published in The New Yorker, GQ, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times and The Washington Post.  He co-authored “Staired in Horror,” an episode of HBO's “Tales From The Crypt,” and is a frequent contributor to NPR's “All Things Considered.”  In 2008, Teller conceived and co-directed the critically acclaimed bloody, supernatural thriller-inspired stage version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Several years ago Todd Robbins’s show Dark Deceptions was a hit at the New York International Fringe Festival.  Recently he presented The Charlatan’s Séance at the Two River Theatre Company in Red Bank, NJ, and this past April saw him conduct a séance at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT on the hundredth anniversary of the author’s death.  Todd has been seen on more than 100 TV shows including the late night talkfests of Letterman, Leno and Conan O’Brien and the NBC special, “Extreme Variety.”  He has often been called upon to speak as an authority on all things unusual.  Recent appearances include discussing sword swallowing and swallowing disorders on Spike TV’s “1000 Ways to Die” and the History Channel’s “Wild West Tech,” where he expounded upon Dime Museums, traveling sideshows, Spiritualism, narcotics and prostitution in the Old West.  Todd has also been a consultant on numerous TV shows and movies, including several episodes of “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and several seasons of Criss Angel’s “Mind Freak” on A&E.  Todd created the award-winning Off-Broadway show, Carnival Knowledge, is one of the producers of NY’s longest running magic show, Monday Night Magic, and is a partner in the parent company, Magical Night Inc., NY’s preeminent source of magical entertainment for corporate and private events.  The company also produces Magical Nights at Feinstein’s every Sunday at the Loews Regency Hotel in New York City.  Additionally Robbins has been the host of the Ripley’s Live! stage show.

Co-written by Teller and Todd Robbins, directed by Teller and performed by Todd Robbins, PLAY DEAD is currently playing at The Players Theater (115 MacDougal Street at Minetta Lane).  Tickets are $39.50-$59.50 and can be arranged through or by calling (800) 745-3000.  There will be a limited number of same-day rush tickets on sale at the box office only.   PLAY DEAD is produced by Alan Schuster, Cheryl Wiesenfeld, Pat Blake, Frank & Jono Gero, and Ethan Silverman.  For more information, visit and follow the show on Twitter @ PlayDeadNYC.