The British Are Coming, and Their Dead Funny Plays in NYC, May 16-19

News   The British Are Coming, and Their Dead Funny Plays in NYC, May 16-19 You could call it a "British Invasion," but theatregoers will be giving this piece a chance when BBC America's Dead Funny plays its premiere series at downtown Manhattan's Westbeth Theatre Center, May 16-19.

You could call it a "British Invasion," but theatregoers will be giving this piece a chance when BBC America's Dead Funny plays its premiere series at downtown Manhattan's Westbeth Theatre Center, May 16-19.

Bewilderness, Meet the Locals and It Was Henry Fonda's Fault comprise the limited engagement starring the United Kingdom's comedians Bill Bailey, The League of Gentlemen and Owen O'Neill respectively. The shows will play at both the upstairs and downstairs theatres in Westbeth.

Bill Bailey's Bewilderness centers around the past 10 years of his life. Following schooling and his entire 20', he realized he hadn't really learned anything, formed an opinion, or filed a tax return. Now the winner of last year's British Comedy Award for Best Live Stand-Up will see if he can work it out through his own brand of musical comedy.

The League of Gentlemen's Meet the Locals invites audiences to a fictional town in northern England named Royston Vasey where absurdity is commonplace. Writer-performers Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith and writer Jeremy Dyson got their start at the at the Cockpit Theatre of London's Fringe in 1995. After a long and winding road of other venues, they received a radio series followed by a television series of their own (the latter reached U.S. cable's Comedy Central last season).

Owen O'Neill's It Was Henry Fonda's Fault chronicles the unsuccessful attempt of bringing his work from the U.K. to Los Angeles. When this dream takes a turn for the worst, rather than let it be he places blame on Henry Fonda. This show is the comedian-writer-actor's follow-up work to his 1997 autobiographical play Off My Face. Recent productions that had beginnings at the Westbeth include Lypsinka's The Boxed Set, Sandra Bernhard's I'm Still Here...Damn It!, Cy Coleman's The Life, The Umbilical Brothers' Thwak and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

A complete schedule of the four-night engagement follows:

May 16
Bewilderness at 8PM
Meet the Locals at 8PM

May 17
It Was Henry Fonda's Fault at 7:30PM
Meet the Locals at 8PM
Bewilderness at 9PM

May 18
It Was Henry Fonda's Fault at 7:30PM
Meet the Locals at 8PM
Bewilderness at 9PM

May 19
It Was Henry Fonda's Fault at 7:30PM
Bewilderness at 8PM
Meet the Locals at 9PM

For tickets to any of the shows that are a part of BBC America's Dead Funny at the Westbeth, 151 Bank Street (between Washington and West Street), call Ticketmaster at (212) 307-1400 or visit the Westbeth Box Office. For more information visit, www.westbeththeatre.com.

— by Ernio Hernandez