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"Dead Accounts" preview performances began on Broadway

By Alysha Heers

Broadway's new arrival, "Dead Accounts" began preview performances on November 5 at the Music Box Theatre. The comedy is lead by Tony Award winner Norbert Leo Butz as Jack ("Speed-The-Plow," "Catch Me If You Can," "Wicked") and film and television actress Katie Holmes as Lorna. The plot follows Jack's unexpected return to his parents' home in Ohio with about $27 million that he may have stolen. Lorna, the skeptical sister, questions him as the family reunion turns upside down in this dark comedy.

The show was set to begin previews on November 3, but the effects of Hurricane Sandy postponed performances for "Dead Accounts" along with many shows on Broadway. Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien ("The Coast of Utopia," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," "Hairspray") directs the play. "Dead Accounts" officially opens on November 29 and will run for 16 weeks. Tony Award nominee Jayne Houdyshell ("Follies", "Well") plays the siblings' mother, with Judy Greer ("The Descendants") debuting on Broadway as the wife of Butz's character Jack. Josh Hamilton plays a childhood friend of Butz.

When asked about the role, Katie Holmes stated, "What I really loved about this character was she's strong underneath it all. I like her values, I like that she's trying to figure it all out and really cares for her family," as noted on US Magazine online.

Holmes is back to take on Broadway, since her divorce from Tom Cruise. This is not her first time performing on the Great White Way. In 2008 she debuted in "All My Sons," an Arthur Miller revival. "She's got her personal stuff going on, but she leaves that at the door. And behind the scenes she's a funny, loving girl, not an ounce of diva in her. They've all bonded," according to a NowRunning.com source regarding the cast.

Since the production has just begun its preview performances there are not many reviews, but some critics have already said that Holmes' performances has "earned cheers," according to the WashingtonPost.com. People reported Holmes earned applause for her monologue about Wall Street greed and demonstrated good instincts when she had to improvise on stage when a phone broke. She fixed it by slamming the phone on the receiver which went along with her dialogue.

Writer Theresa Rebeck set the comedy in Cincinnati, OH, and uses the location to convey the importance of American values. The play delves into corporate greed, and examines whether a family can stand strong in trying circumstances with no questions asked. Prior to her work with "Dead Accounts," Rybeck also created the musical TV show "Smash," has authored the plays "Bad Dates," "The Scene" and "The Understudy" among others. Her feature films include Harriet the Spy and Gossip. She won a Peabody Award for "NYPD Blue."

The "Dead Accounts" creative team includes Tony-nominee David Rockwell as the scenic designer; Catherine Zuber, a five-time Tony Winner as costume designer; David Weiner as the lighting designer; and Mark Bennett as the music and sound designer.

Further information on the play can be found at the "Dead Accounts" website.

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