Paul Stroili

Paul Stroili

A Resident Artist at Jeff Daniels’ Purple Rose Theatre, Paul’s autobiographical solo show Straight Up with a Twist toured the U.S. for over nine years, culminating in a twice-extended Off-Broadway run. Stroili’s other playwriting credits include Last Call at the Aardvark, Cheese Louise, Plane Crazy, and My Dinner with Arlecchino. His play, A Jukebox for the Algonquin, will enjoy a World Premiere at The Purple...
A Resident Artist at Jeff Daniels’ Purple Rose Theatre, Paul’s autobiographical solo show Straight Up with a Twist toured the U.S. for over nine years, culminating in a twice-extended Off-Broadway run. Stroili’s other playwriting credits include Last Call at the Aardvark, Cheese Louise, Plane Crazy, and My Dinner with Arlecchino. His play, A Jukebox for the Algonquin, will enjoy a World Premiere at The Purple Rose Theatre in the summer of 2021, as part of their 30th Anniversary Season. His screenplay for the film The Beating was utilized by Columbia College in their course of study on short filmmaking. His writing has also appeared in Los Angeles Magazine and New York Magazine. Recently, Paul served as Executive Producer for the feature film, Wake, which was awarded Best Feature Film honors at Riverside, Alexandria and Sedona International Film Festivals. While residing in Los Angeles, he was a faculty member in the UCLA Entertainment Studies program. He lives in Chicago.

Plays

  • Last Call at the Aardvark
    When Frankie broke Zack’s nose, Honey thought the worst of it was over. Turns out it was just beginning.

    Honey is hungry. First generation Irish from the Longwood section of The Bronx– she’s a survivor, but barely. 1935 in New York meant the end of prohibition, which turned all the speakeasies into legitimate businesses, if you want to call The Aardvark Club legitimate. Honey has worn nearly...
    When Frankie broke Zack’s nose, Honey thought the worst of it was over. Turns out it was just beginning.

    Honey is hungry. First generation Irish from the Longwood section of The Bronx– she’s a survivor, but barely. 1935 in New York meant the end of prohibition, which turned all the speakeasies into legitimate businesses, if you want to call The Aardvark Club legitimate. Honey has worn nearly every hat you can wear; slinging drinks, cooking the books, but mostly, she’s a stripper. It’s a job, actually several jobs - and it keeps her and her young son fed - even if that means dealing with Frankie, the owner of The Aardvark and a mid-level Mafioso with the social skills of a rusty straight razor.

    Most of the people who work The Aardvark come and go like ghosts, but it’s hard to miss Zack, an aspiring comic who also performs at the club. Zack’s not very funny, not yet – but he has some talent. He might even amount to something. So why did he have to tell that joke? One fucking joke. About the boss’s girl, no less. And Frankie is not known for his sense of humor.

    Now, Frankie’s given Honey yet another job to juggle. She’s got to help Zack build a whole new act for an audience of one. Frankie’s got a special event planned and Zack better be funny. And you know that one, unforgiving rule of comedy; “You either kill onstage, or you just die up there.”
  • A Jukebox for the Algonquin
    At a senior living community in Essex County, New York, a small group of residents decide they’re not quite ready to "go gently into that good night." This motley band of displaced and dissatisfied former city kids are out to prove that "old" is not a New York state of mind. A Jukebox for the Algonquin is a heartfelt comedy about sex, drugs, and rocking chairs.

Recommended by Paul Stroili

  • Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Elusive Ear
    10 May. 2019
    Conan Doyle would be proud! Wonderful "tongue-in-cheek" social commentary, and funny as hell. Sherlock Holmes aficionados will love it, but one needn't be to have a great time at this rollicking, swordfighting romp - with Vincent Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde thrown in for good measure!
  • Never Not Once
    18 Nov. 2017
    I was lucky enough to attend the reading at The Purple Rose Theatre, and mark my words - this play is a diamond waiting to be mined. Poignant, provocative, funny and timely - honest, fully-drawn characterizations plus dream roles for actors. Read it and you'll see for yourself. I've followed Carey Crim's work for awhile (Morning After Grace, Wake) and I truly think this is among her best in a body of already outstanding work.