J. Edgar! Musical, Shinn, Guirgis Plays Featured in HBO Fest, Feb. 26-March 3

News   J. Edgar! Musical, Shinn, Guirgis Plays Featured in HBO Fest, Feb. 26-March 3 Among the focal points of this year's HBO-sponsored U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, Feb. 26-March 3, at Aspen, Colorado will be a musical, six plays by up-and-coming playwrights, selections from the Hip Hop Theatre Festival and a work by a "Six Feet Under" writer.

J. Edgar!, a musical by Harry Shearer and Tom Leopold, about the infamous FBI director will take place at the ninth annual festivities. The musical, which appeared at Los Angeles Theatreworks featuring John Goodman, Kelsey Grammar, Shearer, Dan Castellaneta and Christopher Guest, will be spotlighted at the festival.

The Aspen cast will include creators Shearer and Leopold with Grammar ("Frasier"), Goodman ("Roseanne"), Michael McKean ("Spinal Tap"), Nancy Cartwright ("The Simpsons"), Tress McNeille ("Animaniacs") and Judith Owens. The earlier production, featuring music by Peter Matz, is available at the L.A.-based company's website at www.latw.org.

The festival, which is putting an emphasis on the writer, will feature a series titled "Off the Page." The series will feature selected scenes of plays by up-and-coming playwrights including Lakeera by Christopher Shinn (What Didn't Happen), In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings by Stephen Adly Guirgis (Our Lady of 121st Street), Evolution Jonathan Marc Sherman (Sophistry), We Did What We Could With What We Had by Megan Mostyn-Brown, Buicks by Julian Shepard, and Be Aggresive by Annie Weisman.

The Best of the NYC Hip Hop Festival, which has become a downtown New York summer staple under the auspices of Danny Hoch (Jails, Hospitals and Hip Hop) will play as well as Sit n’ Spin, which ran at L.A.'s Improv Olympic West with "Six Feet Under" writer-producer Jill Soloway. The evening was taglined "People telling funny, sad, dirty things about their lives. It's like spoken word but funny, and not so queer."

Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, of HBO's "Mr. Show," will also be featured at the event. The comedy team bring their currently touring live show based on their hit series titled "Mr. Show: Hooray For America" for a special performance. For more information on the festival, visit www.hbo.com/comedy/uscaf.