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Ilene Kristen Goes ‘Gay’ for Off-Broadway Return

Ilene Kristen Goes ‘Gay’ for Off-Broadway Return

Photo: Yolanda Perez/ABC

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — By day Ilene Kristen plays Llanview's lovable eccentric, alcoholic hair dresser Roxy Balsom. And by night she returns to her theater roots — this time in the off-Broadway production of "My Big Gay Italian Wedding."

Beginning Thursday, February 3, and running for a limited engagement through Saturday, March 12, Kristen will play the role of Aunt Toniann (which is currently portrayed by Carla Marie Mercun) in the production at St. Luke's Theatre in New York City.

"My Big Gay Italian Wedding" focuses on the lives of two gay men as they plan their wedding with their family and friends. A press release offers the following description of the play: "Planning a wedding can be hell… or a hell of a lot of fun! Two handsome grooms, one overbearing Italian mother, a jealous ex-boyfriend, the wedding planner from Hell, and an assortment of kooky family and friends all gather together for Off-Broadway's newest laugh-out-loud comedy with a heart."

The production is directed by "One Life to Live" Associate Director Teresa A. Cicala, and stars an all-star cast including: Anthony J. Wilkinson, Gregg Baker, Eric Carpenter, Brett Douglas, Liz Gerecitano, Leah Gerstel, Randi Kaplan, Chad Kessler, Carla-marie Mercun, Marissa Perry, Meagan Robar, Joe Scanio, Adam Shorsten, Billy Yoder and Adam Zelasko.

Kristen has an extensive theater background, which includes "Henry, Sweet Henry," "Grease," and "Mayor." In addition to her recurring role on "One Life to Live" (which she joined in 2001), she also played Delia Reid on "Ryan's Hope" (1975–1979, 1982–1983, 1986–1989), had minor roles on "Loving" and "Another World," and has appeared in films such as "Preacherman," "Tinseltown," "Signs of the Cross," and "Lady in Red." And her primetime credits include "The Sopranos," "Law & Order," and "Third Watch." She was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for her work on "OLTL" in 2004 and 2005.


"One Life to Live" airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Anytime on ABC.com and SOAPnet.com. Check local listings.