Jim J. Bullock, of TV's "Too Close for Comfort," "Hollywood Squares" and the improbable "Jim J. And Tammy Faye Show," will star in End of the World Party, the new Off-Broadway comedy by Chuck Ranberg, beginning performances Oct. 25.
Matthew Lombardo directs the ensemble play, about the fragile relationships between gay friends who share the same Fire Island house year after year. Ranberg is a five-time Emmy Award winner for his writing and producing on the TV sitcom "Frasier." He also wrote for "Kate & Allie" and consults on "Becker."
Bullock's cast mates working toward a Nov. 9 opening at the 47th Street Theatre are Anthony Barrile, Brian Cooper, David Drake, Christopher Durham, Russell Scott Lewis and Adam Simmons.
Designers are Christopher Pickart (set), Michael Gilliam (lighting), fashion designer Raymond Dragon (costumes). Original music and sound design are by Michael Sottile. End of the World Party is produced by Kings Road Entertainment, Inc., in association with Tim Ranney.
Barrile was seen on Broadway in the original casts of Tommy, Stand-Up Tragedy and Runaways and recently starred in the film, "Kiss Me, Guido." Cooper appeared in the title role of the Off-Broadway musical Jayson, and as Chris in the national tour of Miss Saigon. Drake appeared Off-Broadway in Boys in the Band, The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me, A Language of Their Own, Pageant and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. Durham most recently played Ed in the 20th Anniversary production of Torch Song Trilogy is known as daytime TV's Dakota Smith in "Ryan's Hope" (and Matt McCandless in the defunct "Capitol"). Lewis appeared in the film, "Boys Life," and has been seen on TV in "Baywatch" and "To Protect and Serve." Simmons just completed the Broadway run of Jesus Christ Superstar. Bullock — remembered as flamboyant Monroe in "Too Close for Comfort" and as talk show partner to the former Tammy Faye Bakker — also appeared in the L.A. staging of When Pigs Fly. Lombardo directed the 20th anniversary production of Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy at the American Stage Company. In New York, he was writer-director of Off-Broadway productions of Guilty Innocence at the Actor's Playhouse and Mother and Child at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre. In Los Angeles, he directed Mother and Child at the Coast Playhouse starring Ann Wedgeworth.
Tickets are $45 for all performances except Friday and Saturday evenings, which will be $49.50. The 47th Street Theatre is at 304 W. 47th Street. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200.
— By Kenneth Jones