Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Corbin Bleu and Colleen Zenk Headline World Premiere of 'Family Shots' at The Human Race Theatre in Dayton

Colleen Zenk, Corbin Bleu. Photo Credits: Deborah Feingold, Blackwell Photography
Actors Corbin Bleu and Colleen Zenk have joined the cast of Michael Slade's newest play, "Family Shots," making its world premiere with The Human Race Theatre Company in January 2015 at The Loft Theatre in downtown Dayton.

Charming family patriarch Sam Baker lies in a hospital bed, recovering from an apparent heart attack, but his wife, Marsha (Zenk), won’t stop making the crisis all about her—much to the dismay of their son, Aaron (Bleu). The young photographer wonders why his parents even stay together while he and his husband, Malcolm, deal with their own issues as newlyweds. Intimate, yet universal, "Family Shots" is a wildly funny and touching comedy about marriage—its joys, challenges and responsibilities—and what's worth fighting for. The production runs January 22 – February 8, 2015 and will be directed by The Human Race's producing artistic director, Kevin Moore.

Audiences will recognize Bleu as Chad Danforth in Disney's High School Musical trilogy and recently as the runner-up on the 17th season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars. A showbiz professional since the age of two, Bleu has appeared in the films Mystery Men, Galaxy Quest, Catch That Kid, Jump In!, Free Style, the short film I Owe My Life to Corbin Bleu, The Little Engine That Could, Scary or Die and the upcoming Shaker Pointe with Malcolm-Jamal Warner. His television credits include starring roles in Flight 29 Down, The Beautiful Life: TBL and One Life to Live, with guest appearances on ER, Hannah Montana, Malcolm & Eddie, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Phineas and Ferb, The Good Wife, Franklin & Bash, Blue Bloods and Psych. An accomplished singer and dancer, his Broadway credits include the musicals "In the Heights" as Usnavi and "Godspell" as Jesus. In 2007, Bleu released his debut album, "Another Side," followed up by a second, "Speed of Light," in 2009.

Zenk is perhaps best known for her character, Barbara Ryan, on As the World Turns, a three-time Daytime Emmy Award-nominated role she played for thirty-two years. She began her professional career as a musical theater actress, co-starring in the "Bye Bye Birdie" Broadway sequel "Bring Back Birdie." Her theatrical work was put on hold as her role on the daytime drama became more demanding, until she returned to the stage in the mid 2000s as Dolly Levi in "Hello, Dolly!" and as Phyllis Stone in Stephen Sondheim's "Follies." An oral cancer survivor and a mother of six, Ms. Zenk has not shied away from the demands of live performance, starring in a number of theatrical productions in recent years, including her one-woman shows, "Colleen Zenk: Live" and "Still Sassy"; "Looped" (as Tallulah Bankhead); and Off-Broadway's "Odyssey – The Epic Musical," "Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis" and "Mama and Her Boys." Her film credits include Cecille in Annie, Steffi in Woman on the Ledge, Libby in the short film Libby (Best Comedy Award nomination, LA Film Fest) and Jordan in the upcoming Scout. She has been seen on such shows as CBS's Blue Bloods, the web series Thurston (receiving an Indie Series Award nomination) and Tainted Dreams, and will appear next season on Milgram and the Fastwalkers.

Bleu and Zenk join fellow "Family Shots" cast members Adam Halpin as Malcolm, Arash Mokhtar as Dr. Patel and Annie Pesch as Joyce. Casting for the role of Sam has not been finalized.

Zenk tells Serial Scoop she is "thrilled" that Bleu will be playing her son.

"The mother-son scenes we have are really lovely," Zenk says. "They're funny, poignant, touching, you cry, you laugh, so I'm really excited. And he's a hell of a kid."

Colleen Zenk starred as Tallulah Bankhead in "Looped"
at Stageworks/Hudson in 2013.
Despite her impressive list of credits, the role of Marsha in "Family Shots" will be the first time Zenk brings to life a brand new character on stage.

"I'm not having to go in and remember what Valerie Harper did with Tallulah Bankhead, or what Bea Arthur did with Vera Charles," Zenk explains. "I'm creating a new character, and I've never done that. So I'm really excited about that process."

Tickets for the preview performance of "Family Shots" on January 22 start at $35 and $30 for adults, $31 and $27 for seniors and $17.50 and $15 for students. For all performances January 22 – February 8, single ticket prices are $45 – $35 for adults, $41 – $32 for seniors and $22.50 – $17.50 for students. Prices vary depending on the day of the week and seating location. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. "Family Shots" is also part of The Human Race's Loft Series 4-play and 3-play subscription packages.

All performances are at the Metropolitan Art Center's Loft Theatre, located at 126 North Main Street in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Show times for Family Shots are 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Performances on Sunday and Tuesday evenings begin at 7:00 p.m. and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday matinees.

Loft Series subscriptions, and tickets and performance information on Family Shots are available at humanracetheatre.org or by calling Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630, and at the Schuster Center box office.

UPDATE:
The cast of "Family Shots": Adam Halpin, Corbin Bleu, Arash Mokhtar, Michael Slade, Colleen Zenk and Randy Brooks. Photo Credit: Scott J. Kimmins
Randy Brooks (The Young and the Restless, Another World, Generations) has been cast in the role of Sam.

RELATED:
* Corbin Bleu Engaged to Sasha Nicole Clements
* EXCLUSIVE: First Look at Colleen Zenk & Walt Willey in 'Thurston' Season 3
* "Winter Rhythms," Returning to Urban Stages December 2-14, Features "The Songs of Stephen Cole" on December 3

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