4th Annual New York Arab-American Comedy Festival Expands To Nov. 14-19

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The New York Arab-American Comedy Festival has expanded this year to six nights and to the largest venues ever after last year's Festival sold out one week in advance. Many of the comedians participating in the Festival this year will be featured in Comedy Central's new groundbreaking Internet show "The Watch List" which is the first show ever produced by a major American entertainment company starring all Middle Eastern-American performers. This will be the biggest, funniest and most politically charged Festival ever.

Today, organizers behind the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed New York Arab American Comedy Festival (NYAACF) announced plans for their 4th Annual Festival, which will take place in New York City from November 14th--19th, 2006.

"We not only want to make people laugh, we want to change the world," co-founder Dean Obeidallah announced, only half-jokingly. Co-founder Maysoon Zayid added: "The level of talent in this year's Festival is astounding - this is definitely not 'Arabian Idol.'"

The 2006 event promises to provide entertainment that is funny, uniquely original and politically insightful. The Festival -- which has three components: Sketch Comedy (theatre), Stand-Up Comedy, and Film -- has served as a launch pad for emerging talent while providing an important forum for the presentation of new works.

The three nights of sketch comedy will be presented for the first time ever by the award winning "Theater for the New City." (Crystal Field, Executive Artistic Director.) Festival organizers vow that no topic is off-limits as the theater pieces comedically tackle such topics as the perception of Muslims in America, the Bush administration, Saddam Hussein, an infomercial on How to be a "real" American and even an Arab Super hero.

The stand up comedy shows will be held at the new Gotham Comedy Club, home of Comedy Central's "Live at Gotham," and feature two shows presenting the top Arab-American comedians from across the US as well as one "New Faces of Arab comedy" featuring the best up and coming Arab-American comedians. The comedians participating this year come from NY, LA, Michigan and even Australia. Many of the comedians have appeared on numerous national television shows and most will be featured in Comedy Central's new groundbreaking Internet show "The Watch List" which is the first show ever produced by a major American entertainment company starring all Middle Eastern-American comedic performers. ("The Watch List" is Co-Produced by Dean Obeidallah and Max Brooks)

Founded in 2003, the Arab-American actors, comics, playwrights and filmmakers, who participate in the Festival use comedy to dispel negative stereotypes and foster understanding, while at the same time making people laugh! The NYAACF has attracted positive media coverage and effectively dispelled industry and social stereotypes for the Arab-American community. As the only festival in the country that celebrates the humor of Arab-Americans, NYAACF is popular not only among the Arab-American community, but with American crowds as well.

This year's participants include from Waleed Zuiater (The Public Theater's "Mother Courage" and "Stuff Happens"), Leila Sbitani (Host of Nickelodeon's "Hi-Jinks"), from Los Angeles, comedian Aron Kader ("Axis of Evil" comedy Tour), Israeli-Arab actress Hend Ayoub (the new movie "Death of A President"), Festival co-founders Dean Obeidallah, a comedian who received rave reviews for his one man show "I Come in Peace" which premiered at the 2006 NY Fringe Festival and co-producer/co-star of Comedy Central's "The Watch List," and Maysoon Zayid, comedian and actress, who has been featured on NBC's Nightly News, MTV, and As the World Turns.

This year's Festival promises to continue the tradition of edgy and entertaining comedy that has earned the NYAACF the reputation as one of New York City's most anticipated events.

Tickets for the festival can be purchased via Theatermania at http://www.theatermania.com or by calling 212-352-3101. For more information please visit http://www.ArabComedy.org.

All Tickets $15

Tickets: Theatermania

http://www.theatermania.com or by calling 212-352-3101

Stand up Comedy Nights:

Tuesday, November 14 at 9:15 PM (Headliner show);

Wednesday, November 15 at 7:00 PM (New Faces of Arab comedy) and 9:00 PM (Headliners)

Gotham Comedy Club, 208 West 23rd Street (bet 7th and 8th Aves)

New York, NY (212) 367-9000

Short Comedic Film Night & Party:

Films: Thursday, November 16 at 5:00 PM and 6:45 PM,

The Two Boots Pioneer Theater,155 East 3rd Street (bet. Avenues A and B)

New York, New York (212) 591-0434

Party November 16 at 8:00 PM: Le Caire, 189 E. 3rd Street, Bet. Aves A&B,

New York, New York (212) 777-7447

Theater for the New City Presents Sketch Comedy Nights:

Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18 at 8:30 PM, and Sunday November 19 at 6:00 PM

Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue (bet 9th and 10th Streets)

New York, NY (212) 254-1109

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Mahdis Keshavarz
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