Michael Puzzo's Spirits of Exit Eleven, Dark Comedy Set at NJ Strip Club, Makes World Premiere Jan. 10

The world premiere of Michael Puzzo's Spirits of Exit Eleven, the dark comedy set at a New Jersey strip club, begins performances Jan. 10, prior to an official opening Jan. 17, at The Lion Theatre at Theatre Row.

Directed by Frank Licato (The Late Christopher Bean at New Jersey's Summit Playhouse), the cast features Nicole Balsam, Michael Carlsen ("30 Rock," "Pan Am"), Shane Patrick Kearns ("Law & Order SVU"), Stephen Payne (Off-Broadway's Sailor's Song) and Deborah Rayne ("All My Children"). Performances continue through Feb. 2.

Spirits of Exit Eleven, according to producer Justin Reinsilber, "tells the darkly comic tale of a ragtag crew of outcasts struggling to keep their dignity and their livelihood afloat at a rundown New Jersey strip club/pizza parlor on Halloween."

Playwright Puzzo has been a member of the Labyrinth Theater Company since 1997. His other works include The Dirty Talk (Fringe NYC & CSNY), Lyric Is Waiting (Irish Repertory Theater), The Horse Shoe King of Jersey City (Aspen Comedy Festival), The 11am Girl Says "Goodnight" (Access Theater) and The Slasher's Lament (The New Ohio).

Other members of the creative team include scenic designer David Meyer, lighting designer Adam Greene, costume designer Alexis Forte, sound designer Donald Stark, choreographer Marlo Hunter and fight choreographer David Anzuelo.

The Lion Theatre at Theatre Row is located at 410 W. 42nd Street. For more information, visit SpiritsOfExitEleven.com. For tickets, call (212) 239-6200 or visit Telecharge.com.

Nicole Balsam and Deborah Rayne
Nicole Balsam and Deborah Rayne (Photo by David Zayas, Jr.)