Philip Seymour Hoffman directs the event, which will be held June 22 at 7 PM at Town Hall.
Zayas, who was scheduled to reprise his work as Valdez, withdrew "due to a last minute scheduling change and his commitment to the hit Showtime series 'Dexter'," according to a press release. Guirgis, who has been seen on stage in Guinea Pig Solo and on screen in "Palindromes," will fill in for the star.
The playwright-performer will join original Jesus cast members Elizabeth Canavan (The Little Flower of East Orange), Salvatore Inzerillo (Dutch Heart of Man), Ron Cephas Jones (Our Lady of 121st Street) and John Ortiz ( Jack Goes Boating).
The work centers around Angel Cruz, "a young bike messenger who lost his best friend to a religious cult, and awaits trial for shooting the cult leader in the buttocks," according to show notes. "On his knees, alone and terrified on Riker's Island, he says a prayer he no longer remembers to a God he's all but forgotten. Angel's disillusioned young lawyer, Mary Jane Hanrahan, mistakes his case for another, and walks out on their first interview – but a crisis of conscience brings her back to champion his cause. No grey areas are permitted in the black and white world of his prison guards, the brutal Valdez, and D'Amico. Angel's only human contact is Lucius Jenkins, a serial killer who works out furiously in the next cage, pausing only to chain smoke and "save" Angel. Lucius Jenkins has found God, and Angel's life and the course of his trial will be changed forever."
Hoffman directed the original extended run of the Guirgis work at East 13th Street Theater. The writer-director collaboration has since proven fruitful with productions of The Little Flower of East Orange, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, In Arabia We'd All Be Kings and Our Lady of 121st Street. Jesus… was also seen in 2001 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and London's Donmar Warehouse in 2002, before transferring to The Arts Theatre in the West End. Tickets for the reading may be purchased by phone at (212) 307-4100. For more information visit LABtheater.org. All proceeds will benefit LAByrinth’s 16th season.
VIP tickets (which include a Champagne Toast and Reception hosted by playwright John Patrick Shanley and VIP after party) are also available by calling (212) 513-1014 or via e-mail to veronica@LABtheater.org. Town Hall is located in midtown Manhattan at 123 West 43rd Street.