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“Boardwalk Empire” stars team up off-Broadway

Michael Shannon and Paul Sparks, who appear together on HBO’s Emmy-winning series, “Boardwalk Empire,” have teamed up for an off-Broadway theatre piece. Staged at Theatre for a New Audience’s newly opened Polonsky Shakespeare Center, “The Killer” is a rare Eugene Ionesco play that has not been produced professionally in NYC in over 50 years. Tony winning director, Darko Tresnjak (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”) stages this absurdist masterpiece that also features stage veterans Kristine Nielsen (Tony nominee for “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike") and Robert Stanton (Lincoln Center Theater’s “A Free Man of Color.”)

Michael Shannon arrives at party for "Boardwalk Empire."
Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images

Mr. Shannon plays FBI agent Nelson Van Alden on “Boardwalk Empire” and earned an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Revolutionary Road.” Most recently, he has appeared in the films “Man of Steel,” “The Iceman,” and “Take Shelter.” Paul Sparks is memorable as the lovable gangster, Mickey Doyle, on “Boardwalk Empire” and appeared on Broadway in “Hedda Gabler.” The two friends have worked together on several projects and will be featured in the upcoming film “Midnight Special,” from the director of “Take Shelter.”

Mr. Shannon brought the “Killer” project to the acclaimed off-Broadway theatre company – he has often said Ionesco is his favorite playwright. He plays Berenger, a hapless everyman who discovers a “radiant city” with a dark secret. Mr. Sparks plays Edward, his mysterious and hilariously creepy friend.

“The Killer” runs at Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, through June 29. For more information on the play, or on Theatre for a New Audience, visit

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