A LIFE BEHIND BARS
A Life Behind Bars marks Dan Ruth’s return to the New York stage after many years in the NYC bar/restaurant industry. Dan began working on this original work of stand-up, stories and monologues with David Drake (The Night Larry Kramer Kissed Me) at The Abrons Center in 2014. With his long-time friend, collaborator and Director Tanya Moberly, he mounted a sold-out performance of A Life Behind Bars at Dixon Place in December 2015, followed by a run of Mondays at The Gutter Bar in his home neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and a full 2-week run at TheatreLab in Richmond, Va. He recently made his Off-Broadway debut last October at The United Solo Festival, where A Life Behind Bars won for “Best Autobiographical Show.” A Life Behind Bars rocked The Laurie Beechman Theater on 42nd Street & was extended. It returns to The Laurie Beechman in the Fall, 2017.
"The show is a depiction of life in the service business that any bartender can relate to, with all the crazy customers, small triumphs and sticky situations that make up the job. Ruth morphs from one cartoonish character to the next, including a tight-ass health inspector, a NNWM (New Neighbor With Money), and a Long Island tourist, interspersed with his narrator, a spoken-word character out of the Beat generation." - Kavitha Surana, Bedford & Bowery
"Drawing from years of tending bar in Big Apple watering holes and his own long, dismal march downhill into alcoholic despair, the now-sober Ruth transforms himself into 18 bleary bar denizens, one of whom is Ruth himself, bar towel on shoulder and standing squarely at the center of this whirling, boozy world." - Tony Farrell, Richmond Times Dispatch
"It’s told thru his own eyes and the caricatures of characters he’s encountered, including a sleazy health inspector, the pretentious man with the man bun and the shrill stereotype Jewish woman. He’s high energy to the point of manic, rolling thru the clever language and incisive observations with nimble timing and riotous results. Director Tanya Moberly has imbued enough variety in the staging (with some somber sober moments) to keep it interesting. The simple light washes by Addie Pawlick also help." - TV Jerry, Sifter