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Starring Norbert Leo Butz, Is He Dead? Springs to Life on Broadway

It may have taken 109 years—and a 19-day stagehands strike—to get Is He Dead? to Broadway, but according to the raucous audience response, the wait for the long-lost comedy by that great man of American letters Mark Twain was worth it. Unearthed five years ago by Twain scholar Shelley Fisher Fishkin and refurbished by playwright David Ives (All in the Timing), the world premiere of Is He Dead? held forth at the Lyceum Theatre on December 9 in a lickity split production directed by Michael Blakemore that features a stellar cast of comedic actors lead by the Tony-winning star of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Norbert Leo Butz. Playing a starving artist in Paris in 1846 who bets on the idea that his paintings would be worth more if he's dead than alive, Butz's Jean-Francois Millet hatches a plan where he fakes his own death, only to return in disguise to manage the sale of his artwork as t
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