Will Ferrell's Broadway Debut, You're Welcome America, To Open Feb. 5, 2009
By Kenneth Jones
Writer and actor Will Ferrell's new one-man Broadway show, You're Welcome America. A Final Night with George W Bush, representing the TV and film star's Broadway debut, will open Feb. 5, 2009, after previews from Jan. 20 at the Cort Theatre, the producers announced Oct. 31.
The first day of previews, Jan. 20, coincides with the United States Presidential Inauguration. These dates vary slightly from those reported earlier this month.
The limited engagement will run through March 15, 2009, a brief stay by Broadway standards.
You're Welcome America. A Final Night with George W Bush (the odd punctuation is the creators' wish) is being produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and Steve Traxler, the producing team behind the current August: Osage County and Speed-the-Plow, as well as Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Gary Sanchez Productions with Executive Producer Jessica Elbaum.
Ticketing information will be announced soon.
Ferrell completed his seventh and final season on the legendary NBC late-night hit "Saturday Night Live" in 2002, amusing viewers by impersonating President George W. Bush on the show. Some of his most memorable SNL characters include Craig the Spartan Cheerleader, musical middle school teacher Marty Culp, and Tom Wilkins, the hyperactive co-host of "Morning Latte." He also appeared as Janet Reno, Alex Trebek, Neil Diamond and late Chicago Cubs sportscaster Harry Caray. His work on "SNL" earned two Emmy nominations in 2001 (Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program, and Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program).
A previous report in The New York Post said Ferrell's show will "be autobiographical and include anecdotes about the comedian's work on 'Saturday Night Live.'" Ferrell will also likely offer some of his impersonations; among the many he presented on "Saturday Night Live" were impressions of Neil Diamond, President George W. Bush, Robert Goulet and James Lipton.
In 2006, Ferrell earned his second Golden Globe nomination (Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical) for his portrayal of IRS agent Harold Crick in "Stranger Than Fiction."
Ferrell's previous film credits include "Zoolander," "Elf," "Melinda and Melinda," "Semi-Pro," "Bewitched," "Olf Old School" and "The Producers," which earned Ferrell his first Golden Globe nomination in 2006 for Best Supporting Actor.
He recently wrapped production on his next feature film, aiming for summer 2009, Universal's "Land of the Lost."
In 2007, Ferrell and McKay founded the video website Funnyordie.com. The comedy video website contains exclusive material from a number of famous contributors such as Judd Apatow and Jack Black, and has its own "Funny or Die Team" ("FOD Team") which creates original material for the site. The site's first video, "The Landlord," has received over 55 million views and features Ferrell confronted by a swearing, beer-drinking two-year-old landlord. In June 2008, the site they announced a partnership with HBO to develop television projects.
Following their website success, Ferrell and McKay teamed together again to open their own production company, Gary Sanchez Productions.
McKay is a writer, director, and producer known for "Anchorman," "Talladega Nights" and "Step Brothers," which he co-wrote with Will Ferrell. He is a former head writer of "SNL" and one of the founding members of the Upright Citizens Brigade. Other past credits include writing for Michael Moore's show "The Awful Truth."
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