Neil LaBute Play Sets Off Broadway

Jenna Fischer, Leslie Bibb make Off Broadway debuts in 'Reasons to Be Happy.'

Jenna Fischer and Leslie Bibb are among the four-actor cast of the world premiere of the latest play by Neil LaBute, “Reasons to Be Happy.”

Both Fischer (“The Office”) and Bibb (“GCB”) make their Off Broadway debuts in the show produced by MCC Theater, the Gotham nonprofit that has a long record of staging LaBute titles including “Fat Pig” and “Some Girl(s),” the play that spawned the indie film that recently screened at SXSW.

Legit vets Josh Hamilton (“The Coast of Utopia”) and Fred Weller (“In Plain Sight”) also star in the production, which LaBute will direct.

“Reasons to Be Happy” is a follow-up to the the playwright’s “Reasons to Be Pretty,” which bowed in an MCC production that went on to a short-lived Broadway run in 2009. Storyline takes place three years after the nasty break-up depicted in the prior play, with the cast of “Happy” portraying the same four characters played in the Broadway incarnation of “Pretty” by Piper Perabo, Steven Pasquale, Marin Ireland and Thomas Sadoski.

Because MCC co-artistic director Bernard Telsey is also a casting director (“Smash,” the “Sex and the City” movies), the company often manages to tap actors for stage gigs after they make a splash in screen outings. Current MCC show, “Really Really,” stars Zosia Mamet (“Girls”), while “The Other Place,” the 2011 MCC production that earlier this season got a Broadway run, starred Laurie Metcalf.

“Reasons to Be Happy” begins previews May 16 ahead of a June 11 opening at the Lucille Lortel Theater in downtown Gotham.

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