Saturday, December 31, 2005

New York Arab Comedy Festival in LA


The New York Arab-American Comedy Festival is coming to
Los Angeles from January 24-26, 2006

December 31, 2005 (New York, NY) – Today, organizers behind the groundbreaking New York Arab American Comedy Festival (NYAACF) announced that they will be taking their critically acclaimed Festival on the road for the first time ever as they travel to Los Angeles for three nights: Tuesday, January 24 – Thursday, January 26, 2006. This LA run follows the overwhelming success of the third annual NYAACF held in New York City from November 13-17, 2005 and which saw over one thousand people attend the five nights of sold out events.

The NYAACF - the only festival in the country exclusively dedicated to celebrating the humor of Arab-Americans - now comes to Los Angeles to bring its unique brand of edgy comedy to the West Coast with two nights of comedic theater shows and one night of stand up comedy. No topic is off-limits as the theater pieces comedically tackle such topics as Hollywood's casting of Arabs, Arab-Americans fear of Arab terrorists, and even lessons on how to be a “real Arab.” The stand up comedy show will present the top Arab-American comics in the country as these award winning comedians from NY and LA come together for one special show.

Created in 2003, the NYAACF is both a showcase for talented Arab-American performers and writers as well as a vehicle to dispel negative stereotypes about Arab-Americans. Given the difficulties persons of Middle Eastern descent have faced over the last several years, in this country and abroad, the Festival provides a powerful mix of unique political observations and comedic relief. In its first three years, the Festival has attracted positive media coverage for both the artists involved and the Arab-American community. The NYAACF has received positive media coverage literally around the world as it has been featured on CNN, NPR, BBC and in newspaper articles from New York to Australia. Past participants have included two-time Emmy award winning actor Tony Shalhoub, award winning actress Kathy Najimy and most recently M*A*S*H's Jamie Farr.

The LA festival will showcase the best plays, actors and comedians from the first three years of the NYAACF as these talented performers travel from New York to LA. The performers scheduled to appear in LA include, Leila Sbitani, the current host of the popular Nickelodeon show, Hi-Jinks; Actor Ramsey Faragallah who starred Off-Broadway in the highly acclaimed Guantánamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, as well as being featured in the hit movie, The Interpreter; Actor Piter Marek, who co-starred in the TNT mini-series The Grid; LA based comedians Ahmed Ahmed, who receieved the Richard Pryor award at last year's Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and Aron Kader, who has been featured on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend and Fox’s “The Bernie Mac Show; Israeli-Arab actress Hend Ayoub who is co-starring in the award winning and critically acclaimed feature film "Private" which recently opened in LA; and Festival co-founders Dean Obeidallah, a comedian who was awarded this past October, The Bill Hicks Spirit Award for "thought provoking comedy" by the NY Underground Comedy Festival and who has appeared recently on CNN, NPR, and the national Air America radio network, and Maysoon Zayid, comedian and actress, who has been featured on NBC's Nightly News, MTV, and As the World Turns. The theater shows will be held Tuesday, January 24 and Wednesday, January 25 at 8:00 PM at the Hudson Mainstage Theater and tickets can be purchased through Plays411 at or by calling (323) 960-7745. The stand up comedy show will be held Thursday, January 26 at 7:45 PM at The Laugh Factory in Hollywood and tickets can be purchased by calling (323) 656-1336 or by visiting the Laugh Factory’s website:

For more information about the Festival, please visit: or call Dean Obeidallah at 917-607-4047.
New York Arab-American Comedy Festival in LA: January 24-26, 2006

Theatre Nights
Tuesday, January 24 – 8 pm
Wednesday, January 25 - 8 pm

Hudson Mainstage Theater
6539 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, Ca 90038

Theater Tickets: $20
Tickets exclusively available through
Plays411 at or
by calling (323) 960-7745.

NYAACF Play Selections for Los Angeles
(in alphabetic order by title)

“A” Date
Playwright: Lameece Issaq
Director: Shoshana Gold
Performed By:
Lamia ….. Leila Buck
Inass …… Lameece Isaaq
Miriam .... Maysoon Zayid
Ibrahim … Laith Nakli
Maher ….. Sam Younis*
Featuring: …. Maha Chehlaoui

And now a word from one of our sponsors…
Playwright: Dean Obeidallah
Director: Dean Obeidallah
Performed By:
Mustapha …. Ramsey Faragallah*
Marwan …… Waleed Zuaiter*
Mona ………. Hend Ayoub
Featuring: Neil Potter and Aron Kader

(Selected scenes from the full-length play)
Playwright: Sam Younis
Director: Abigail Marateck
Performed By:
Malek………...Sam Younis* Omar…………Waleed Zuaiter* Vijay…………..Piter Marek*
Casting Director …… Neil Potter
Sherry ……. Bethel Caram
Hi Joan
Playwright: Maysoon Zayid and the Nibras Ignition Workshop
Director: Nathalie Handal
Performed By:
Joan …. Leila Sbitani*
Dania … Tamar Vezirian
Susan …. Maha Chehlaoui
Featuring: …. Ryan Shrime

Love in Las Vegas
Playwright: Jana Zenadeen
Director: Piter Marek
Performed By:
Bride ….. Jana Zenadeen
Groom … Ryan Shrime

Playwright: Neil Potter & Bethel Caram
Director: Ahmed Amer
Performed By:
Renee ….. Najla Said
George … Joseph Kamal*

*These Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

Stand Up Comedy Night

Thursday, January 26 – 7:45 PM
The Laugh Factory
8001 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, Ca. 90046

For Reservations,
Please call (323) 656-1336 or Visit

Tickets $20 each plus
2 Drink Minimum

Comics Scheduled to Appear:
Ahmed Ahmed
Aron Kader
Ronnie Khalil
Nasry Malak
Helen Maalik
Dean Obeidallah
Maysoon Zayid