Five Nights of Award Winning Arab/Muslim Theater Scheduled to Commemorate 5th Anniversary of September 11

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Dean Obeidallah of “I Come in Peace” and Negin Farsad of “Bootleg Islam” to Stage Shows Off-Off Broadway from September 3rd-7th. These Shows to Highlight Affects 9/11 Has Had on Middle Eastern-Americans over the last few years. Both shows are comedic and truthful looks at being of Middle Eastern heritage living in the US.

Five years after the attacks on the Twin Towers, the world is a different place. Perhaps no group in America has been as affected by the aftermath of 9-11 as Muslim and Arab-Americans. In two poignant shows, I Come in Peace and Bootleg Islam playwrights Dean Obeidallah and Negin Farsad use comedy to cross cultural stereotypes facing Muslim and Middle-Eastern Americans in the wake of 9-11. From September 3rd-7th, the two shows will be produced at the 45th Street Theater in New York by Broadway producer Eric Krebs (Laughing Liberally and Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home) in association with the NY Arab-American Comedy Festival.

Staged for the first time as part of the 2006 the New York International Fringe Festival and produced by the critically acclaimed New York Arab-American Comedy Festival, I Come in Peace chronicles the life of Dean Obeidallah as an Arab-American trying to survive in the post-9/11 world. It is as much about his own personal experience as it as about the collective experience of the entire Arab-American community. “I used to be a white guy before 9/11, but not anymore,” declares Obeidallah. “White people are never racially profiled in America, but I can tell you Arab-Americans definitely are.”

Bootleg Islam written by Negin Farsad is a comedy about a California-raised Iranian-American girl who travels to Tehran, Iran for a cousin’s wedding and is exposed to Islamic style oppression for the first time. A true story told through the eyes of this 20-something, beer drinking, hamburger eating, honest-to-god American; Bootleg Islam offers a glimpse into often misunderstood Iranian society in language New Yorkers and moreover, Americans, can appreciate.

The critically acclaimed runs of both shows and huge public demand compelled both artists to commit to additional runs. The timing of the shows is no accident, "Our shows, while comedic, are a way of sharing with our fellow Americans a rare glimpse into the struggles of being Middle-Eastern American in the post 9/11 world, " states Obeidallah. "We it think it’s especially important to do this as the country prepares to observe the 5th anniversary of 9/11," added Negin Farsad.

A former attorney turned stand up comic, Obeidallah is widely recognized as one of the top Arab-American comics in the country. He has appeared on numerous national and international television programs including Comedy Central’s “Tough Crowd,” CNN’s “American Morning,” ABC News, and MSNBC. He is the co-founder and co-executive producer of the critically acclaimed NY Arab-American Comedy Festival (http://www.arabcomedy.org) and co-creator of “Stand up for Peace” which he performs with Jewish-American comic Scott Blakeman across the country. Dean has performed comedy at colleges and clubs across the country as well as in the Middle East in Beirut, Ramallah, Haifa and Dubai.

Negin Farsad is one half of the comedy duo, Madame Funnypants (MFP) with whom she has performed all over the country for comedy festivals in Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and New York. She is a regular on the comedy circuit with performances at NYC venues like Caroline’s, the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, The People’s Improv Theatre, The Tank, Surf Reality, and the St. Marks Theatre. Bootleg Islam is Negin’s first foray into the world of solo shows. Originally staged in 2004, the show received accolades from numerous media and theatre outlets. Negin received classical training as an actor at Cornell University and additional comedy training at the Upright Citizens Brigade and the Peoples’ Improv Theatres.

Show Dates and Times:

Sunday, September 3, 2006 through Thursday September 7, 2006

Showtime: 8:00 PM (One ticket admits you to both shows which run back to back)

Approximate running time of both shows: 90 minutes

VENUE:

45th Street Theatre,

354 West 45th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenues)

New York, NY 10036     

Tickets:

$30/$15

Call: 1-800-838-3006

Or Visit: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/6606

"I Come in Peace" Written and Performed by Dean Obeidallah (http://www.deanofcomedy.com)

"Bootleg Islam" Written and Performed by Negin Farsad

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Mahdis Keshavarz
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