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LOS ANGELES NEW YORK
Chris Libby / Chris Regan Jessica Edwards
BWR Murphy PR
9100 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 600 West 333 Seventh Avenue
Beverly Hills, CA 90212 New York, NY 10001
T: 310.550.7776 T: 212.414.0408
Audience Award - Best Feature Los Angeles Film Festival
Audience Award - Best Feature Boston Jewish Film Festival
Jury Prize - Best Feature 2007 HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival
Best Actress 2007 HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival
A sweet, hilarious and slightly subversive romantic comedy that examines the issues of marriage, monogamy and whether “I do” is the only path to life-long love and happiness.
Ira Black is brilliant, neurotic, Jewish and has so many issues he can’t fit them into 12 years of analysis. Abby Willoughby is a free spirit who works in a gym and is better at solving her friends’ problems than selling memberships. When the two meet, the impossible happens: they fall in love, meet each other’s parents and decide to get married, all in a few breathless hours.
And life is good, for a while, until a series of comic misadventures (multiple divorces, in-laws, affairs, exes, and too many therapists) force the couple to rethink their strategies.
Ira Black, 33, is brilliant, neurotic, Jewish and has so many issues he can’t fit them into 12 years of analysis. He can’t finish his dissertation, he can’t commit to his longtime girlfriend, and he’s incapable of making a decision, even if it’s just what to order at the diner. Abby Willoughby, 30, is a free spirit who’s better at solving her friends’ problems at the gym than selling memberships. When the two meet, the impossible happens: they fall in love, meet each other’s parents and decide to get married, all in a few breathless hours.
And life is good, until Ira finds out that Abby is a divorcee…two times over. Despite even more therapy, Ira can’t help but feel that their marriage was built on a lie. They divorce quietly, while cracks grow wider in their parents’ marriages. Ira’s gorgeous analyst mother Arlene starts a secret liaison with Abby’s charming voiceover artist father Michael, while Abby’s mother Lynne wonders why she’s no longer attractive to her husband and Ira’s father Sy pretends not to notice.
Of course, Ira soon realizes he’s miserable without Abby. He asks her forgiveness and they marry again, this time making more realistic vows. But Ira’s jealousy issues and Abby’s free-floating tendencies lead him to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend. When Abby finds out about their parents’ infidelities, the three couples converge for a hilarious group therapy scene with the eight therapists we have met in the film. Ira and Abby ultimately realize that they were meant to be together. But divorced. Because marriage just isn’t for them…
Ira & Abby was written by Jennifer Westfeldt, who co-wrote, co-produced and played the title role in the indie hit Kissing Jessica Stein. Westfeldt, a 2004 Tony nominee for her turn in the Broadway revival of Wonderful Town, stars as Abby, while the charming up and comer, Chris Messina (most recently seen as “Ted” on the final season of HBO’s “Six Feet Under”) stars as Ira. Fred Willard, known for such films as Anchorman, A Mighty Wind, and Best in Show, and for his Emmy-nominated turn on “Everybody Loves Raymond”, co-stars as Michael, and Golden Globe winner and multiple Emmy nominee Frances Conroy (“Six Feet Under”) plays Abby’s mother Lynne. The well-known comedian/actor Robert Klein (Two Weeks’ Notice, How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days), co-stars as Ira’s father, Sy, and Judith Light, best known as the star of the long-running sitcom “Who’s The Boss?” plays Ira’s mother, Arlene.
In Ira & Abby, writer/actress Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein) chronicles the modern shifting landscapes of sex, love and sustainable relationships; and the comedic conclusions she draws are that sexual orientation, marriage and fidelity are all ideas that are continuously open for debate.
Westfeldt’s willingness to have her characters explore ideas outside the established social norm gives her work a distinctive edge. Ira, who is educated and comes from a very New York Jewish intellectual background, is completely vested in conventional ideas of love and marriage. So much so that he is virtually paralyzed by the prospect of taking the plunge, for fear that he won’t live up to his preconceptions.
Then a fresh breeze comes into his life—Abby—and all of his rules fly out the window. This attraction between opposites is a staple of romantic comedies. The difference with Ira & Abby is that Westfeldt comes at it as a feminist/realist. Ira’s lifelong issues don’t disappear. They immediately resurface as soon as it becomes clear that his “picture-perfect” marriage isn’t entirely what he thought it would be.
Westfeldt’s talent with romantic comedy is that she takes the standard of idealized love, the perfect couple that is made for each other, and turns it on its ear. Ira and Abby are as quickly divorced as they were married. But Ira realizes that there was something undeniable about their relationship, so he really struggles with his conventional ideas about relationships.
After two marriages and two divorces, Ira and Abby decide to live without the safety net of a marriage contract. Not unlike the characters in Kissing Jessica Stein, these characters find themselves eschewing convention, leaving their comfort zone to pursue their own truth, on their own terms. This theme of stepping outside of the norms in search of one's own path is a central theme that runs through both of Jennifer's films
Obviously, this idea is not earthshaking unto itself. But the twist here is that Ira and Abby are not bohemians. They are distinctly middle class. And for the middle class, the sanctity of marriage, especially in the US during the current Bush administration, has been hammered home again and again as some sacred union that must be preserved at all costs. (Unless of course you are two people of the same sex.) So the political capital of the day has really emphasized the importance and sanctity of “the married couple.”
Westfeldt comments: “The fact that gay people in committed relationships struggle to be afforded the most basic rights to support their union, while straight people are encouraged by our society and government in every way to be married, and yet don’t succeed in more than half the cases – is just absurd. And all of this polarizing argument really fails to address the core issue, of how two people (or three people, or four people…) can succeed and find happiness in a relationship on their own terms.”
So Ira & Abby does have an idea behind its humor. But Westfeldt is never didactic about it. Clearly the comedy comes first. And it’s not so much a Preston Sturges-type screwball romantic comedy as a Frank Capra romantic social satire.
As director Robert Cary observed: “What’s intriguing to me about Ira & Abby is its flawed, wonderful characters, the way they interconnect or fail to connect.” For example, when Iran and Abby visit couples therapist Dr. Saperstein (Jason Alexander), Ira complains that Abby has no sense of direction and as a result, she has dependency issues. But when Dr. Saperstein questions the couple, it becomes apparent that all these issues are really Ira’s. Abby has a job, is financially independent and has innumerable friends. Ira has no job, no friends and depends entirely on Abby for his emotional well-being.
Through its humor, Ira & Abby details the human foibles of relationships. But it also hits notes of emotional poignancy along the way, such as the scene where Ira and his father discuss infidelity. And it’s this multi-dimensional aspect of Ira & Abby that distinguishes Westfeldt’s social comedy as a finely cut gem that sparkles throughout with irony, resonance and wonderful performances.
In the interest of full disclosure, many elements of Ira & Abby’s underlying story find their origins in Westfeldt’s own life. Her mom and her stepfather are both therapists (and yes, there have been multiple marriages in her family). Also, one of her original gigs in New York was as a membership salesperson at the very same health club depicted in the film. And perhaps it’s also interesting to note that though Westfeldt has been in a relationship with her boyfriend for ten years, the couple has so far not opted to marry.
Director Cary offers this take: “I think it’s a movie about two people who go on a great adventure together and figure out how to hold true to their love amidst the crazy demands of the world around them.” Ira & Abby is a funny, modern romance and perhaps just a little bit more.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Robert Cary (DIRECTOR)
Robert Cary, a Los Angeles native, is the director of the feature film Ira & Abby, which received the Audience Favorite award following its premiere at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival and also received the Audience Award at the 2006 Boston Jewish Film Festival.
Robert is also the director and co-writer of Anything But Love, starring Andrew McCarthy, Isabel Rose and Eartha Kitt, released by Samuel Goldwyn in 2003. Anything But Love appeared in over a dozen film festivals internationally, and received numerous audience and jury awards.
Robert's third and most recent feature film, Save Me, starring Judith Light, Chad Allen and Robert Gant, premiered in January at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and was selected as the closing night feature for Newfest in New York as well as the Opening Night Gala feature for the 25th anniversary of Outfest in Los Angeles.
In addition to his film work, Robert is the lyricist and co- librettist of Palm Beach, produced in 2005 by the La Jolla Playhouse and directed by Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, Tommy). Robert is also the co-librettist and lyricist of musical adaptations of The Thomas Crown Affair and Heartbreakers, both commissioned by MGM On Stage, and he is the co-author of the libretto for the upcoming stage adaptation of the film Flashdance.
Robert lives in Los Angeles and New York.
Jennifer Westfeldt (WRITER/EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/ABBY WILLOUGHBY)
Jennifer Westfeldt is best known for co-writing, co-producing, and playing the title role in the 2002 indie hit Kissing Jessica Stein, released by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Kissing Jessica Stein won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, the Chicago International Film Festival, and the Miami Film Festival, as well as Best Feature at the Louisville Jewish Film Festival, and the GLAAD Media Award for Best Picture. Jennifer won the Golden Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, a Special Jury Prize for Writing and Acting at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, and a nomination for an Indie Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.
Ira & Abby won the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Boston Jewish Film Festival, as well as the Jury Prize for Best Feature at the 2007 HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. Additionally, Jennifer won the Best Actress Award at the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, and Best Actress at the Puerto Vallarta Film Festival for her performance as Abby.
In 2003, Jennifer made her Broadway debut in the critical and commercial hit Wonderful Town, for which she received a 2004 Tony nomination, as well as a Drama League Award and a Theater World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut.
Her television credits include “Numbers,” “Judging Amy,” “Hack, Snoops,” “Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place,” “Holding The Baby,” and many pilots.
She is currently starring in ABC’s “Notes from the Underbelly,” returning this fall for a second season.
BRAD ZIONS (PRODUCER)
Zions is a Los Angeles-based film producer and entrepreneur. Zions is the founder of Breakout Pictures (formerly Brad Zions Films), a production company focusing on emerging talent. Zions produced the indie hit Kissing Jessica Stein, released by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Kissing Jessica Stein won the Audience award for Best Feature at the Los Angeles International Film Festival, the Audience Favorites Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, the FedEx Audience Award at the Miami Film Festival, the award for Best Feature at the Louisville Jewish Film Festival, and the GLAAD Media Award for Best Picture. Produced for under $1 million, Kissing Jessica Stein grossed over $7 million at the U.S. domestic box office.
Breakout is currently in development on several projects, including Word, based on the novel by Coerte Felske with Steven Shainberg (Secretary) attached to direct and Will Rokos (Monster’s Ball) writing the screenplay.
Zions is also the co-founder of Young, Fabulous & Broke, a women’s contemporary clothing line. YFB sportswear is sold at upscale boutiques throughout the United States and Canada, as well as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales.
Prior to founding Breakout, Zions spent five years (1994-1999) at America Online, where as a director of AOL International, he was integral in the founding and development of AOL Europe, a 50/50 joint venture between Bertelsmann AG and America Online, Inc.
ILANA LEVINE (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER )
Ms. Levine’s producing credits include the critically praised stage production of Stephen Belber’s Tape which had a successful run in New York City, Los Angeles and London. As a political activist she created (along with writer/director/actor Clark Gregg) the political event Party For Change, which centers on motivating young voters to engage in the political process.
She is currently producing Allegiance by Dominic Fumusa and Damon Dimarco with Mary Stuart Masterson (The Cake Eaters) set to direct.
As an actress Ms. Levine made her debut in the HBO Emmy award winning series “Tanner ’88,” directed by Robert Altman, a role for which James Wolcott of Vanity Fair plucked her as “the up and comer to watch.” She and “Tanner” co-star Cynthia Nixon reprised their roles for the late Mr. Altman in ‘Tanner on Tanner” as a mini series for the Sundance Channel. On Broadway she had starring roles in Jake’s Women, Wrong Mountain, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, (Tony Award winner ) and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, which was nominated for a Tony Award.
She has appeared in numerous television shows and films including the upcoming Nanny Diaries with Laura Linney and Scarlett Johansson, The Accidental Husband with Uma Thurman. She has worked with such highly regarded directors as Martin Scorsese, Todd Solondz, Sidney Lumet, M. Night Shyamalan and Peter Yates.
Ilana is a longtime member of the New York theater company, Naked Angels where she serves as an advisor on their artistic committee.
Together with Jennifer Bransford she is the co-creator of “The Mother ’Hood,” a daytime talk show that delivers a fresh, irreverent and hilarious take on parenting.
Jorge Perez (Executive Producer)
Douglas G. Smith (Executive Producer)
Harlan Bosmajian (Director of Photography)
Harlan Bosmajian started his career with David Riker’s La Ciudad (The City) which was awarded the SXSW Competition Award and earned Harlan an Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography. Since then, Harlan has enjoyed continued festival success with such films as Daughter of Arabia, which premiered at Cannes, Brother to Brother, which won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance, and Winter Solstice, The Great New Wonderful, Return to Rajapur and Normal Adolescent Behavior, all of which premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival.
Harlan’s recent projects include Starting out in the Evening, which stars Frank Langella and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. He most recently completed Life in Flight, starring Amy Smart and is currently in production on See You In September, Tamara Tunie’s directorial debut.
Phillip J. Bartell (Editor)
Ira & Abby editor Phillip J. Bartell has worked with a number of established directors, serving as additional editor on Curtis Hanson’s In Her Shoes, Bill Paxton’s The Greatest Game Ever Played, and the Russo Brothers’ (of “Arrested Development”) Steven Soderbergh/George Clooney-produced Welcome to Collinwood. He has worked in the editorial departments on films by Spike Jonze, Gus Van Sant, Robert Altman, Sean Penn, Allison Anders, Diane Keaton, Vadim Perelman, and Adam Shankman. He recently edited the Robert Cary-directed drama Save Me, which premiered in the American Spectrum at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. He has also edited Q. Allan Brocka’s Boy Culture, Patrik Ian Polk’s TV series Noah’s Arc, and most recently the Gary Cole starrer Say Hello To Stan Talmadge, directed by David Moreton. Bartell has also directed a feature, Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds, and two short films, Crush and L.T.R., which were featured in the theatrically released shorts collections Boys to Men and Boys Life.
Marcelo Zarvos (Composer)
Marcelo Zarvos writes music for Film, Television, Dance, Theater and the Concert Stage. Among his recent film scores are The Good Shepherd, Hollywoodland, Strangers with Candy, The Door in the Floor, as well as additional music in the Academy Award winning score for Brokeback Mountain. Upcoming film releases include John Dahl’s You Kill Me and Jieho Lee’s The Air I Breathe.
His trademark is a seamless blend of orchestral, electronic and various ethnic and folk elements, which together create a uniquely affecting and emotionally charged music.
Filmmaker Magazine listed Zarvos as one of the 25 new faces of independent cinema in 2004 (the only composer mentioned in the annual list).
As a recording artist, Zarvos released three critically acclaimed albums for MA Recordings, “Dualism,” “Music Journal” and “Labyrinths” which mixed various world music styles with modern classical and jazz instruments. His scores for The Good Shepherd, Hollywoodland and The Door in the Floor have also been released by Decca and Varese Sarabande.
Other works include dance scores for Pilobolus, DanceBrazil, Cleo Parker Robinson, ODC Dance, and chamber music compositions for Ethel and Quintet of the Americas. He has received grants from “Meet the Composer,” “New York State Council for the Arts” and was recently awarded a commission from the National Endowment for Arts to write a double string quartet for Ethel, which received its premiere in NYC during the 2006/2007 season.
Ray Kluga (Production Designer)
Ray Kluga began his career as an Art Director where he quickly moved to the top of the field, working with such Directors as Martin Brest, Woody Allen, Robert Redford, Cameron Crowe, Nora Ephron, and Garry Marshall.
Ray’s first Production Design opportunity would come from Donald Petrie on his film Just My Luck starring Lindsay Lohan. From there, Ray moved on to Ira & Abby. Ray collaborated with Cary again on Save Me, which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. The Babysitters, which will be premiering at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival, and Waiting in Beijing, which was filmed entirely in China and will be released in 2008.
Ray is currently in production on The Weinstein Company’s Make It Happen, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
ABOUT THE CAST
Chris Messina (IRA BLACK)
Messina was most recently seen in the final season of HBO’s hit series “Six Feet Under,” as Ted, the love interest to Claire, played by Lauren Ambrose. Among his many stage appearances, he starred opposite Frances McDormand in Caryl Churchill’s Far Away at New York Theater Workshop, directed by Stephen Daldry, and on Broadway appeared in Salome opposite Al Pacino and Marisa Tomei. Other notable plays include Adam Rapp’s Faster, This Thing of Darkness for Craig Lucas at the Atlantic Theater Company, Blur at Manhattan Theatre Club, and Good Thing for director Jo Bonney and the New Group, and Frank Pugliese’s Late Night, Early Morning, which premiered at the 2004 Tribeca Theater Festival and won the Jury Award for Best Theater at the 2005 Aspen Comedy Festival.
Frances Conroy (LYNNE WILLOUGHBY)
For her portrayal of Ruth, in “Six Feet Under,” Frances Conroy has been honored with a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award, as well as two additional Screen Actors Guild Awards shared with her fellow actors for the ensemble's collective work in the series. She has been nominated for an Emmy Award as well.
Since graduating from The Juilliard School's Drama Division, Conroy's work encompasses stage, film and television. In addition to “Six Feet Under,” her work in television has included such shows as “Law & Order,” “Cosby,” Alex Haley's miniseries “Queen” (directed by John Erman) and the made for television film “Murder In A Small Town” (co-written by Gene Wilder, and directed by Joyce Chopra).
In the theatre, she was in the Lincoln Center production of Our Town (with Spalding Gray and Eric Stoltz), first performed on Broadway and then taped for PBS' Great Performances.
Conroy’ many other stage credits include Edward Albee’s The Lady from Dubuque and Three Tall Women. She received an OBIE Award for Arthur Miller’s The Last Yankee and a Tony Award nomination for the playwright’s The Ride Down Mt. Morgan.
She has received four Drama Desk Award nominations, and garnered the award for David Hare’s The Secret Rapture. She toured for two years with John Houseman’s The Acting Company.
Conroy has appeared in numerous films among them three by Woody Allen (Manhattan, Another Woman and Crimes and Misdemeanors); Martin Scorsese's The Aviator; Terence Davies' The Neon Bible; Martin Brest's Academy Award-winning Scent of a Woman; Frank Oz’ Dirty Rotten Scoundrels; the French director Pitof's Catwoman; Broken Flowers with Bill Murray and Steve Martin’s Shopgirl directed by Anand; and The Wicker Man with Nicolas Cage and Ellen Burstyn.
Judith Light (ARLENE BLACK)
Judith Light graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA. She worked in repertory theatre throughout the United States and Canada. She also performed in Europe with the USO. She debuted on Broadway in A Doll’s House with Liv Ullman. She continued working on and off Broadway and did a season with the Eugene O’Neil Playwright’s conference. She received two Emmys for Best Actress for “One Life to Live,” starred on the hit TV series, “Who’s the Boss?” and starred in 15 movies for television.
She returned to the New York theatre to do the Pulitzer Prize winning play, Wit for the MCC Theatre, and won the Helen Hayes and Eliot Norton awards for best actress on the National Tour. Judith did Hedda Gabler at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C. and then starred in Athol Fugard’s, Sorrows and Rejoicings at the Second Stage Theatre in New York City and at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. She appeared in the Los Angeles Reprise! Broadways Best, Production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company and joined the Ojai Playwrights Conference for their 2004 season. She recently appeared in MCC’s production of Colder Than Here with Brian Murray, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York for their 2005 season. Judith recently starred in the independent film The Shoemaker with Danny Aiello. She can also be seen on the NBC hit series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” This May, she will be producing and starring in the film Save Me with Chad Allen and Robert Gant.
Judith is an advocate for many organizations and charities representing AIDS-related and Human Rights issues including; Broadway Cares Equity Fight Aids, The Names Project, AIDS Memorial Quilt, Project Angel Food, The Point Foundation, The Trevor Project, The Aids Memorial Grove, Hollywood Health and Society and the Rome Chamber Music Festival.
Jason Alexander (DR. SAPERSTEIN)
One of the industry’s most versatile talents, Jason Alexander became a household name with his role as George Costanza on the long running NBC hit “Seinfeld.” Throughout nine seasons of performing, Alexander earned five Screen Actors Guild nominations (winning in 1995), two American Comedy Awards, an American Television Award, six Emmy nominations and four Golden Globe nods. The Screen Actors Guild went one step higher and honored him with the Best Actor in a Comedy Series Award, despite his role as a supporting actor. He has also gone from being a guest star on “Malcolm in the Middle” to a presenter at the 46th annual Grammy Awards. Alexander continues to expand his television repertoire, starring in a version of “A Christmas Carol” for NBC, playing Marley’s ghost to Kelsey Grammer’s Scrooge. He starred in his own CBS sitcom, entitled “Listen Up,” based on the life of ESPN personality and Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser.
For the big screen he executive produced the family film hit Agent Cody Banks and the recent sequel, Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. Alexander’s voice has become equally as famous, lending his recognizable vocals to Disney’s 101 Dalmatians II, The Return of Jafar and Hercules, as well as Hugo the gargoyle in Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Tony-winner Alexander sang, danced, joked and schemed for eight months at L.A.’s Pantages Theatre, starring in the role of Max Bialystock opposite Martin Short in the regional production of Mel Brooks’ hit Broadway musical The Producers, which wrapped in early January, 2004. He is author to a new children’s book for Scholastic, Dad, Are You the Tooth Fairy?, which was released in bookstores May 2005. Alexander now resides in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife Daena, their sons Gabriel and Noah, and Sandy the dog.
Robert Klein (SEYMOUR BLACK)
For more than forty years, Robert Klein has entertained audiences. He has had an acclaimed career in comedy, on Broadway, on television, and in film. Born in the Bronx, he was a member of the famed Second City theatrical troupe in Chicago in the 1960s. Twice he was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album of the Year: Child of the Fifties (1973) and Mind Over Matter (1974).
He received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor and won a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for his performance in the hit Neil Simon musical They’re Playing Our Song in 1979. In 1993, Klein won an OBIE and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in Wendy Wasserstein’s The Sisters Rosenweig. In 1975, Klein was the first comedian to appear in a live concert on Home Box Office. He has done seven one-man shows for HBO. He was a star of the hit NBC series “Sisters” and has made more than100 appearances on “The Tonight Show” and “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Notable films include Hooper, The Owl and the Pussycat, Two Weeks Notice, and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.
Klein recently completed his first book for Simon & Schuster, an affectionate coming-of-age memoir about growing up in the ’50s and ’60s before embarking on a show business career. In The Amorous Busboy of Decatur Avenue, he recounts his journey from an apartment in the Bronx, developing his talent in Chicago and the beginning of his show business stardom that is pure Robert Klein: witty, honest, self-questioning and always contagiously funny. Publishers Weekly writes: “...he unfurls an array of captivating anecdotes, writing with wry wit and honesty.”
Fred Willard (MICHAEL WILLOUGHBY)
Born and raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Willard began his career by spending a year at Chicago's famed Second City.
Willard's improvisational performance as Buck Laughlin in Best in Show earned him the Boston Society of Film Critic’s Award for Best Supporting Actor, and an American Comedy Award for funniest performance by a supporting actor as well as nominations for Best Supporting Actor from the New York Film Critics and The National Film Critic’s Society, and a Official Selection Award from AFI.
Willard appeared in the previous Christopher Guest film, Waiting for Guffman, which earned him an American Comedy Award nomination and a Screen Actor's Guild nomination for Funniest Supporting Actor. Additional film credits include This Is Spinal Tap, Roxanne, The Wedding Planner, How High, American Pie 3, A Mighty Wind and Anchorman, with Will Ferrell.
Willard has received three Emmy nominations for his role as Martin Mull's gay lover on “Roseanne” and his recurring role on “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
Willard also co-starred with Martin Mull in Norman Lear's innovative cult classic talk show satire “Fernwood 2Nite,” which aired recently on Nick-At-Nite and was celebrated at the Museum of Television & Radio and the HBO Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. Willard has also had recurring roles on “Ally McBeal,” “The Simpsons,” and “Mad About You.” In addition he has made more than 50 appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
Willard has numerous stage roles to his credit, including off-Broadway performances in Little Murders, directed by Alan Arkin and Arf, directed by Richard Benjamin. Some of his regional roles include Call Me Madam in Chicago, and in Los Angeles for the Reprise! series, the musicals Promises, Promises with Jason Alexander, and Anything Goes with Rachel York . He starred in Wendy Wasserstein's Isn’t It Romantic and Elvis and Juliet, which was written by his wife Mary. He recently completed a sold-out run of his “one-man show,” Fred Willard: Alone at Last! (actually a sketch show with a cast of 12) and received two Los Angeles Artistic Director Awards for Best Comedy and Best Production.
Maddie Corman (LEA)
Maddie Corman started her career as a teenager in ’80s movies including Seven Minutes in Heaven and Some Kind of Wonderful. She went on to appear in films such as My New Gun, Ford Fairlane, Swingers, I Think I Do, Mickey Blue Eyes, Maid in Manhattan and the upcoming Beer League. On television, Corman co-starred in the CBS film “Jennifer,” and was a series regular on “Mr. President” and “All American Girl.” Corman’s many TV guest spots include “Frasier,” “Law & Order,” “Tracy Takes On…” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” On stage, Maddie has appeared in numerous Off Broadway productions including stints at the Public Theatre, Second Stage, AJT and she starred in the revival of Wendy Wasserstein’s Isn’t It Romantic.
Jorge M. Perez
Phillip J. Bartell
(in order of appearance)
Ira CHRIS MESSINA
Dr. Arnold Friedman DAVID MARGULIES
Greek Waiter SPIRO MALAS
Tracy KALI ROCHA
Abby JENNIFER WESTFELDT
Henry BRAD BELLAMY
Lenny KEVIN SUSSMAN
Janice MARY LOUISE BURKE
Arlene Black JUDITH LIGHT
Seymour Black ROBERT KLEIN
Tony the Doorman MICHAEL MCGRATH
Michael Willoughby FRED WILLARD
Lynne Willoughby FRANCES CONROY
1st Justice of the Peace MALACHY MCCOURT
Marvin the Limo Driver MODI ROSENFELD
Julio the Subway Mugger RAMON RODRIGUEZ
Woman Mugged on Subway TONI DI BUONO
Harry Goldfarb ED BLANK
Movie Theater Cashier JENNIFER ALBANO
Lea MADDIE CORMAN
Seth MATTHEW DEL NEGRO
Dr. Morris Saperstein JASON ALEXANDER
Bobby, Jingle Singer #1 KEN BARNETT
Jingle Singer #2 GREG JBARA
Jimmy the Sound Guy ROBERT BAGNELL
Joe Buck AS HIMSELF
Dr. Ronald Silverberg CHRIS PARNELL
2nd Justice of the Peace ROBERT B. LEVINE
Ronnie JON HAMM
Gus ASA SOMERS
Dr. Daniel Goldberg PETER HIRSCH
Dr. Aurora Finklestein ILANA LEVINE
Dr. Lawrence Rosenblum DARRELL HAMMOND
Male Patient TOM BOLSTER
Female Patient AMY WILSON
Man Mounted on Subway HAYDEN ADAMS
Dr. Betsy Goldman DONNA MURPHY
Party Guest B.D. WONG
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