Just for Laughs goes legit

Comedy producer launches N.Y. theatrical arm

Just for Laughs Group, the 31-year-old Canadian producer of comedy fests around the world, has launched a Gotham-based theatrical division led by producer Adam Blanshay.

Called Just for Laughs Theatricals, the division has lined up a current and upcoming slate that includes Broadway offerings “Kinky Boots” this spring and next year’s “Bullets Over Broadway,” as well as West End stagings of “Old Times” and “Merrily We Roll Along.”

Blanshay, now the chief exec officer of Just for Laughs Theatricals, has previously produced recent Main Stem shows including “Evita,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “The Scottsboro Boys” as well as West End offerings such as Alan Bennett’s “A Chorus of Disapproval” and the double-bill of “Twelfth Night” and “Richard III.”

The creation of the theatrical arm of Just for Laughs expands an area of activity for the company that already has French-language adaptations of familiar tuners (such as “Rent” and “Chicago”) as well as international incarnations of “Evil Dead: The Musical” and live shows like “Family Guy Live” among others. Topped by Gilbert Rozon, the company kicked off with its eponymous Montreal comedy fest in 1983, and has since expanded to encompass six annual editions around the world.

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