Featuring Lewis Black, Blythe Danner, Tovah Feldshuh, Susan Lucci, Alan Zweibel, Eugene Pack, Dayle Reyfel, and more!
All new material straight from Broadway! Celebrity Autobiography is the Drama Desk Award-winning hit comedy show where celebrities act out “hot off the press” & hard-to-believe-they-wrote-‘em tell-alls. Created by Emmy Award-nominated writer-performer Eugene Pack and developed by Pack and Dayle Reyfel, Celebrity Autobiography features a first-rate comedic ensemble performing from the actual memoirs of a wide range of celebrities.
Known as the king of the rant, LEWIS BLACK uses his trademark style of comedic yelling and animated finger-pointing to skewer anything and anyone that gets under his skin. His comedic brilliance lies in his ability to make people laugh at the absurdities of life, with topics that include current events, social media, politics and anything else that exposes the hypocrisy and madness he sees in the world.
Receiving critical acclaim as a stand-up, actor and author, Black has performed for audiences throughout Europe, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. In 2012, he performed eight sell-out shows at Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway.
Born in Washington D.C. on Aug. 30, 1948, Black was raised in Silver Spring, Md. Colicky as a baby, he was destined to be angry and easily irritated. His mother, a teacher, and his father, a mechanical engineer, instilled the importance of education and the necessity to question authority—lessons that influenced Black throughout his life. He fell in love with the theatre at age 12, after seeing his first play, which led to pursuing a career in drama. Degrees followed from the University of North Carolina and Yale Drama School, with a stint in Colorado owning a theatre with a group of friends in the interim. During his tenure at UNC, Black ventured into stand-up, performing at Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill. Stand-up was a steady presence as he pursued his career in theatre.
Black eventually settled in New York City and became the playwright-in-residence at the West Bank Café’s Downstairs Theatre Bar. He oversaw the development of more than 1,000 plays, including works by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin, American Beauty writer Alan Ball, as well as his own original works. In addition to overseeing the works on stage, Black emceed every show. As the West Bank grew, so did Black’s stand-up skills. He left the West Bank in the late 1980s to pursue stand-up full time.
In 1996, his friend Lizz Winstead tapped him to create a weekly segment for Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. The segment, a three-minute rant about whatever was bothering him at the moment, evolved into Back in Black, becoming one of the most popular and longest-running segments on the show for both the Jon Stewart era, and now The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Black has also taped four specials for the Comedy Central Presents series, co-created Last Laugh with Lewis Black and presided over Lewis Black’s The Root of All Evil. His popular appearances on Comedy Central helped to win him Best Male Stand-Up at the American Comedy Awards in 2001.
Increased exposure from The Daily Show generated a record deal with Stand Up! Records. His first CD, The White Album, was released in 2000 to critical acclaim. Black followed with eight more—six under the Comedy Central Records label. He has received five Grammy® nominations and two wins for his work. The first nomination came in 2006 for Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues, the second in 2009 for Anticipation. In 2007 he won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album for The Carnegie Hall Performance, and again in 2011 for Stark Raving Black. His 2012 release, In God We Rust (Comedy Central Records) was also nominated for a Grammy.
Black has filmed two specials for HBO, including Black On Broadway and Red, White and Screwed. The latter was nominated for an Emmy® in 2007. He had a regular feature for two seasons on Inside the NFL (for which he earned a Sports Emmy) and in 2006, he was asked to participate in Comic Relief.
In 2009 Lewis filmed his first feature length concert film, Stark Raving Black, at the Fillmore Theatre in Detroit. The film had a limited run in theaters across the U.S. and Canada in the summer of 2010. At the end of the theater run, premium movie channel EpixHD picked up the film for its channel, along with the accompanying documentary, Basic Black. Both are aired regularly and can be found in the EpixHD on-demand queue. In 2011, he produced his second full-length concert, In God We Rust, which also airs on EpixHD. In August 2013, Black recorded his ninth stand-up special Old Yeller: Live At The Borgata.
In 2015, Black joined the cast of Madoff (ABC mini series). Black portrays Ezra Merkin, who, after investing with Madoff and receiving great returns, brought many famous and well-to-do Jewish clients, including Elie Weisel and The Hadassah Organization, to Bernie’s fold.
Black has appeared on Larry King Live, Piers Morgan Tonight, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’ Brian, and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Black has also had numerous appearances on CNN and MSNBC and has occasionally done the weather with Al Roker.
In the midst of a rigorous touring schedule, regular TV appearances and movie roles, Black has written three best-selling books: Nothing’s Sacred (Simon and Schuster, 2005), Me of Little Faith (Riverhead Books, 2008), and I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas (Riverhead Books, 2010). All garnered critical praise as well commercial success and spent numerous weeks on the New York Times best sellers list.
Black has penned more than 40 plays, many of which have been produced around the country. The Deal, a dark comedy about business, was made into a short film in 1998 and picked up by the Sundance Channel. In 2011, his play One Slight Hitch was produced at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and then again in 2012 at both the ACT Theatre in Seattle and The George Street Theatre in New Brunswick.
In 2006, Black had a break-out year as an actor, co-starring with Robin Williams in Barry Levinson’s Man of the Year (Universal Pictures). He also appeared as “the fake dean of a fake college” in Steve Pink’s Accepted (Universal Pictures) and as the harried airport manager in Paul Feig’s Unaccompanied Minors (Warner Bros.). He lent his voice to Jimmy in Bob Sagat’s parody Farce of the Penguins (Thinkfilm).
In 2015, Black notably voiced the character “Anger” in the Academy Award winning film from Pixar, Inside Out. The film is about an 11-year-old-girl, Riley, who is dealing with a move across the country, and wrestling with the emotions inside her head: Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and, Lewis Black. Early film pitches actually named the comedian to illustrate how an iconic voice like Black’s could bring a character like Anger to life. Black, who’s a fan of all things Pixar, calls the opportunity a career-defining role. “I knew from the very beginning that this was going to be special,” he says. “I’ll be remembered as this little red guy who yells and his head goes on fire.”
As a long time mentor with the 52nd Street Project, Black was roasted in Charred Black 2007, which drew the largest fundraising numbers in the Project’s history. He’s a member of their advisory board, is co-chair of their capital campaign, and in 2000, the Ron Black Memorial Scholarship Fund was created in memory of his late brother. Black is also committed to raising funds for the Rusty Magee Clinic for Families and Health. He’s a strong supporter of both the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Autism Speaks and was honored by The Brady Center for his commitment to ending gun violence. In 2012, he was honored by the ACLU of Georgia with their National Civil Liberties Award. At the Williamstown Theatre Festival, he established the William Foeller Fellowship, having taught and performed at the festival for more than a decade. Black also supports our military personnel and has performed in three tours with the USO, visiting several Middle Eastern and European military bases with Robin Williams, Lance Armstrong, Kid Rock, Miss America Rachel Smith and Kellie Pickler.
Black resides in both Manhattan and Chapel Hill, N.C. Still loyal to his alma mater, he’s worked with UNC students to create the Carolina Comedy Festival, a yearly festival on the UNC campus that highlights performances and provides workshops and lectures for budding comics, writers and performers. With his involvement at UNC, Black continues a life-long commitment to education and the arts. He continues to tour heavily, playing countless dates each year and providing a cathartic release of anger and disillusionment for his audience. In his leisure time, Black likes to play golf, even though golf hates him.
Blythe Danner earned a Tony award for her Broadway debut in Butterflies Are Free and received noms for her roles in Pinter’s Betrayal, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Sondheim's Follies. Her most recent B'way appearance was in The Country House at MTC. She appeared as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing in Shakespeare In The Park, four plays at the Roundabout Theatre Co, and spent 20 summers at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, her most recent appearance in Lucy Boyle’s The Blue Deep. She won 2 Emmys in Showtime’s Huff and was nominated twice for playing Will’s mother in Will & Grace. Her many film roles include Mr. & Mrs. Bridge with Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, The Great Santini, Meet the Parents trilogy, I'll See You in My Dreams (Gotham nom), What They Had, and The Tomorrow Man with John Lithgow. She serves on several Environmental Advisory boards, also on Planned Parenthood's and raises awareness of oral cancer through her late husband’s tribute on oralcancerfoundation.org, the Bruce Paltrow Fund. I am so happy to be returning to Guild Hall!
Susan Lucci, the reigning queen of daytime television, held audiences spellbound for nearly five decades as the famed and fiery Erica Kane on ABC's All My Children. With more than twenty Emmy nominations, Susan made television history in 1999 when she finally won the Emmy Award for Best Actress, becoming the most nominated actor in television history. Her iconic career lead her to roles in the primetime drama, Devious Maids; her part in the highly acclaimed movie Joy and her Broadway debut as Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun. Susan earned her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005; she was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2006 and in 2011 released her New York Times best-selling autobiography, All My Life.She recently appeared in the Broadway run of Celebrity Autobiography.
Tovah Feldshuh is a 6-time Tony & Emmy nominee and the winner of 4 Drama Desks, 4 Outer Critic Circle, 2 Dramalogues, The Theatre World, Obie, Lucille Lortel and Helen Hayes Award for Best Actress. Among her many Broadway credits, Tovah starred in William Gibson’s Golda’s Balcony which was directed by Scott Schwartz and became the longest running one woman show in Broadway history. She also starred in Scott Schwartz’s acclaimed production of Arsenic & Old Lace at the Dallas Theater Center opposite Betty Buckley. Her latest role on Broadway was for Stephen Schwartz, in the Tony-winning Broadway revival of Pippin as Grandma Berthe singing the show-stopping No Time at All while simultaneously doing a full out trapeze act. Her latest television series includes The Walking Dead and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. She was awarded three honorary doctorates and has received the Israel Peace Medal and Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities Award. Ms. Feldshuh is the proud wife of attorney Andrew Harris Levy and mother of Brandon married to Jami, Amanda married to Joel and Gramee to Rafael Levi Ryzowy. @tovahfeld
Eugene Pack is the creator of the long running hit comedy sensation Celebrity Autobiography which ran on Broadway this past year. Pack won the Drama Desk Award for “Unique Theatrical Event." The show tours the United States and abroad, including London’s West End, Australia’s Sydney Opera House, and the Edinburgh Festival.
Pack is also an Emmy Award-nominated writer and producer. He was nominated for Outstanding Writing for Variety, Comedy or Music for the special America: A Tribute to Heroes, which won the Emmy for Outstanding Special. Pack is the creator and executive producer of CMT's longest running series, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, now in its record breaking fourteenth season. He has written and performed the critically acclaimed one man comedy shows Something Flexible With Meaning, and Undisputed: My Night with the Queen of Soul. Plays include Columbus and Amsterdam, Sharpies, Night With Oscar and The Poets of Amityville. Pack collaborated with Motown founder Berry Gordy on the autobiographical musical To Be Loved. He is a graduate of NYU where he studied with David Mamet, the Atlantic Theatre Company and Playwrights Horizons.
Dayle Reyfel is a winner of the Drama Desk award and recently produced and starred in “Celebrity Autobiography" on Broadway. She has developed "Celebrity Autobiography" along with Eugene Pack since the beginning of the project. Ms Reyfel is one of the original stars of the show and has performed in, directed and launched the touring companies in New York, Los Angeles, Edinburgh, London’s West End and in Australia, at The Sydney Opera House. She has also performed at San Francisco’s Sketchfest, Long Wharf, Old Globe, London's Leicester Square Theatre, and the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. Dayle is an artistic director and performer of EP New Works production company and has performed in numerous plays presented at Guild Hall, Naked Angels, NY Stage and Film, Cherry Lane Theater, and the Mark Taper . Her television credits also include executive producing the critically acclaimed Bravo special Celebrity Autobiography, in which she also appeared, E! Entertainment’s In Their Own Words, in addition to her work on Bravo’s A list Awards and the G4 Network. Dayle is also an award-winning playwright for her plays “Slip/Knot” and “Mayhap".
An original Saturday Night Live writer who the New York Times says has “earned a place in the pantheon of American pop culture,” Alan has won multiple Emmy, Writers Guild of America, and TV Critics awards for his work in television, which also includes It’s Garry Shandling’s Show (which he co-created and produced), Monk, PBS’s Great Performances, The Late Show With David Letterman, and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
A frequent guest on all of the late night talk shows, Alan’s theatrical contributions include his collaboration with Billy Crystal on the Tony Award winning play 700 Sundays, Martin Short’s Broadway hit Fame Becomes Me, the off-Broadway plays Happy, Between Cars, Pine Cone Moment, and Bunny Bunny – Gilda Radner: A Sort of Romantic Comedy which he adapted from his best-selling book.
Other books by Alan are the 2006 Thurber Prize winning novel The Other Shulman, the popular children’s book Our Tree Named Steve, North, a collection of short stories and essays titled Clothing Optional, and the novel Lunatics that he co-wrote with Dave Barry.
Alan’s humor has also appeared in such diverse publications as The New Yorker, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Op-Ed page, The Huffington Post and MAD Magazine. He has also penned a best selling e-book titled From My Bottom Drawer.
The co-writer of the screenplays for the films Dragnet, North, and The Story of Us, Alan has received an honorary PhD. from the State University of New York and because of the diversity of his body or work, in 2010 the Writers Guild of America, East gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Alan is currently an executive producer on Showtime’s documentary series Inside Comedy starring David Steinberg, is writing and producing a television pilot for IFC, is awaiting a September publication of a forthcoming middle grade novel titled Benjamin Franklin: Huge Pain In My Ass (Hyperion) that he co-wrote with Adam Mansbach, and writing the book for a Broadway musical version of Field of Dreams.
And in addition to the late night talk shows, on the TV screen he’s also appeared in episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Law & Order.
But the production that Alan is most proud of is the family he’s co-produced with his wife Robin; their children Adam, Lindsay and Sari; and their grandchildren Zachary, Alexis, Jordan and Kylie.