Reiss, who headed the writing team on “The Simpsons” has chosen Dolenz to star in his latest play, due to open in late September in his home state of Connecticut.
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Mike Reiss, whose first play, “I’m Connecticut” named Best Play of 2012 by Broadway World is calling in the big guns for his follow up, “Comedy Is Hard!, ” is scheduled to premiere on the 24th September at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, Connecticut, recognized as being is one of the principal platforms for promising productions on their way to Broadway for the following spring.
To help “Comedy Is Hard!, ” get there, Reiss has chosen former child actor and veteran pop star Micky Dolenz of The Monkees for the lead role in his latest production, set in a home for retired actors.
Dolenz will play the part of a ribald, retired stand-up comedian who enters into a volatile love/ hate relationship between a highly strung former classical actress, with the female lead yet to be named.
In the likely event that “Comedy Is Hard!, ” Dolenz will be no strangers to the bright lights, having previously appeared in theatrical versions of “Grease, ” “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum” and most recently in “Hairspray” in the West End of London among a number of other stage productions, as well as a long television and film career with the Monkees pop group in the sixties.
Dolenz, began his show business career way back in 1956 at the age of eleven in a televised children’s show called “Circus Boy”.
Mike Reiss first sprang to prominence in the world of entertainment as a writer and producer on the first four seasons of the class animated series “The Simpsons”, later going on to create another animated TV series “The Critic, ” as well as working film screenplays, among them the 3-D computer animated comedy adventure film, “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaur” released in 2009 as well as The Simpsons Movie and My Life in Ruins.
In tribute to his tremendous versatility and the depth of his talents Mike Reiss has also published seventeen children’s books, including the best selling “ How Murray Saved Christmas”.
Mike Reiss show business career got of the ground during his student days at Harvard University, where he formed a writing collaboration with fellow freshman Al Jean on the University publication, Harvard Lampoon.
Following their success on the Harvard Lampoon, Jean and Reiss were soon snapped a a writing team by the famous National Lampoon magazine, after their graduated in 1981.
Their time together at National Lampoon springboarded their success into the world of televison writing, and as the eighties continued, Reiss and Jean were very much in demand as writers and producers on such hit TV productions as the cult space parody “ALF” , “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” as well as “It’s the Garry Shandling Show.”
In 1989, Reiss and Jean signed up to form the backbone of the original writing staff for Fox’s new animated series The Simpsons, working on all of the thirteen episodes in the show’s debut season in 1989, remaining on the writing team for the second team, before moving up the ladder to become executive producers of The Simpsons for the third season, with the duo leaving at the end of season four to create The Critic, an animated TV show based around the real life film critic Jay Sherman.
Reiss was awarded a total of four Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on the Simpsons.