Steve Zahn will be on stage in Lexington next month in The Rep’s ‘Smackdown’

Robyn Peterman-Zahn and Steve Zahn in August, during The Rep’s production of Bye Bye Birdie.  © Herald-Leader staff photo by Rich Copley.

Film star and Lexington resident Steve Zahn will perform live on stage next month at the Lyric Theatre in a production by The Rep, the local theater company he runs with his wife, Robyn Peterman-Zahn, and local dance legend Diana Evans Pulliam.

It will be Zahn’s first performance on a Lexington stage.

Zahn will play the One-Man-Show-Christmas-Show-Man in the second annual production of Smackdown for the Christmas Crown, an original show by Peterman-Zahn that debuted last year at the Lyric. The role was played last year by Lexington actor Spencer Christensen, who Peterman-Zahn says has gone on to graduate school. Zahn, a member of Actors Equity, will perform under a guest-artist contract with the stage actors union.

Zahn has starred in the movies SubUrbia (1996),  Daddy Day Care (2003), Sahara (2005), Rescue Dawn (2006) and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies, and he has been a voice in several animated movies and TV series, including Chicken Little (2005) and the Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb. He currently stars as Davis McAlary in the HBO series Treme. He’s squeezing preparation for Smackdown between shooting dates in New Orleans for Treme and the feature film Dallas Buyers Club with Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner.

He and Lexington native Peterman-Zahn met when they were both in the 1991 national tour of Bye Bye Birdie, which starred Tommy Tune and Ann Reinking. They married in Lexington in 1994 and moved here 10 years later. Peterman-Zahn became the stage director of Paragon Music Theatre in 2009. She, Pulliam and Zahn formed The Rep last year after the dissolution of Paragon, when founder Ryan Shirar departed for graduate school at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Zahn and Peterman-Zahn co-directed this summer’s production of Bye Bye Birdie by The RepSmackdown plays Dec. 14 to 16 at the Lyric Theatre.

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