Cellino and Barnes break up play to return to the Bell House

A play about the high-profile break up of injury attorneys Cellino and Barnes returns to the Bell House on Jan. 4.
Andrew Breen

Brooklyn’s hottest courtroom drama is back on the stage!

As famed New York injury attorneys Ross Cellino and Steve Barnes head early next year to settle their long-running legal battle, a play satirizing the law hawks’ bitter feud will return to a Gowanus stage for one night only on Jan. 4

“It’s interesting timing.”said David Rafailedes, who stars as Barnes in “Cellino v. Barnes.”

Rafailedes and co-star Michael Breen, who plays Cellino, penned their script based off of news reports detailing the feud between the New York law partners, whose names are synonymous with kitschy TV ads thanks to their very catchy jingle.

Cellino filed a lawsuit in 2017 to start his own firm after a series of disagreements, and the attorneys are set to return to state appellate court on Jan. 14, the Buffalo News reported.

And Cellino also made a recent, out-of-court jab at Barnes with a an online video touting “the new team of Cellino and Bobbi” — a reference to his a charitable partnership he’s formed with Queens animal shelter Bobbi and the Stray — that was eerily reminiscent of the iconic advertisements that urges viewers, “don’t wait, call 8!”

“Ross Cellino and his family have found a partner — and it’s shelter animals,” the video on the nonprofit’s website says.

Rafailedes and Breen performed their sold-out show in Brooklyn last August, and have since taken their show on the road, attracting audiences that included real-life Cellino and his mother at the lawyers’s hometown of Buffalo, New York.

“He felt a lot of people looking at him, but he had a really good time and gave it 10/10 stars — which is not how you rate a play but we’ll take it,” Breen said. “His 86-year-old mother saw it and didn’t appreciate the profanity but she liked the show.”

Barnes’s children have come to a show but the man himself has shown little interest, according to Breen.

The actor talked to Cellino after their recent show, who told him that their fictionalized retelling was actually pretty close to the real story.

“Obviously we take it to an extreme, but he confirmed that we weren’t too far off,” he said.

“Cellino v. Barnes” at The Bell House [149 Seventh St., between Second and Third Avenues in Gowanus (718) 643–6510, www.thebellhouseny.com]. Jan. 4 at 7:30 pm. $15.

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