Recommended by Charles Scott Jones

  • Under Tussauds
    4 Mar. 2024
    It seemed to me as I was reading Glenn Alterman’s UNDER TUSSAUDS that the action was building toward something terrible. The character He bursts into the wax museum from an end-of-the-world scenario in Times Square (that may well be a parody of the daily dose of doom we’re fed each day from the media) and finds something altogether different when meeting She in the workshop for wax figures. A charming play and anodyne for these hysterical times.
  • The Brotherhood of the Sloth
    4 Mar. 2024
    Do lemmings get into each other’s way as they’re herding to their doom? Maybe they should, so goes the logic of the very biting and aggressively pessimistic and hilarious BROTHERHOOD OF THE SLOTH. Someone once asked me, “Doesn’t it always seem like there is someone in your way?” The answer is provided by Greg Mandryk. There most certainly is. The amount of examples of the kinds of things that regularly mess with your head is a staggering achievement from this gifted playwright.
  • A BUMP IN THE NIGHT ( a ten minute mystery)
    4 Mar. 2024
    The haunted atmosphere that frames the battle of video cams is really cool. A BUMP IN THE NIGHT by Marj O’Neill-Butler is perfect for a Halloween festival. Though the journalistic fight to win audience perception is the focus - and Clare and Chauncey triumph in the mortal tussle of the sexes - the ghost world will have the final say. Fine work from an accomplished playwright.
  • Get In The Fucking Robot
    4 Mar. 2024
    What a mysterious and intriguing play! I was drawn to GET IN THE FUCKING ROBOT by the provocative title. And by the conclusion, Sam Heyman satisfies my curiosity and more. I’ve learned how effective a short sci-fi play can be where much is left to the imagination, where a sketchy world gradually comes into greater focus through emotional truth and inner conflict. Ed’s rehabilitation by Ozma is a reminder of those in the past, present, and future have gotten past their fears to protect. A remarkable play,
  • Smoke Break
    3 Mar. 2024
    What is so impressive about this very short play is that it’s the tip of a fascinating iceberg. The foreboding details we get from the conversation in SMOKE BREAK by Zack Peercy - like so much in life - are clues to a mystery we won’t begin to comprehend. I admire the character Dan for his imagination and resolve and his relinquishing the smoke. Funny, truthful - this play makes you wish for more of Travis and Dan talking.
  • Slapjack Saturday
    3 Mar. 2024
    True confession: I have a soft spot for raccoons since I saw raccoon paw prints - amazingly like a human's - going up the shed door. Raccoons are not rodents, and I’m glad Darlene sets the record straight on that one, but she needs to brush up on what is included in the mammal class, a deficiency that Brenton Kniess hilariously plays up in SLAPJACK SATURDAY. Grief can take on many shapes -sometimes best depicted with puppetry I’m thinking - and Cletus responds as a good friend and barkeep in this tavern romp with a satisfying finish.
  • 4 Horses of the Apocalypse
    3 Mar. 2024
    What do the four horses (sans horsemen) of the apocalypse stand for? If you need reminding - as I did - then Matthew Weaver’s instructive and allegorical play 4 HORSES OF THE APOCALYPSE is the way to go. Weaver also demonstrates how they kill time, waiting for the big day. This would be an absurdist pleasure to see staged. Portraying Death as a pig-tailed girl is a fascinating choice and the conclusion will bring a collective smile to the audience’s face.
  • A Doctor's Visit
    3 Mar. 2024
    A DOCTOR'S VISIT has many favorable associations with Gotthold Lessing’s excellent and underrated play Nathan the Wise, also set in 1192 during the Third Crusade. The contrast of the higher motives of the Jewish doctor/rabbi/sage with Richard the Lion-Hearted's warmongering gives an important historical window that offers guidance for modern quandaries of faith and state. I admire how self-confidently and serenely Moses Maimonides guides the conversation with the ailing king, turning down Richard's job offer: "If anything, it is the great learning in Islam that I would miss." A fine historical play for our often unthinking times.
  • We Pythagoras
    1 Mar. 2024
    “Who will history kick to a pulp?” asks the Chorus in WE, PYTHAGORAS by John Van Slyke. I’ve long wanted to know more about Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans than the mathematical Theorem he’ s been credited with - and this instructive and entertaining work has gone a long way in satisfying my curiosity. “Friends, we have a truth stretched like taffy.” And it’s a sweet truth indeed. Regarding the thoughts of the individual vs the community and stretching back a long way - in this remote history drama brought playfully to life. Fine work.
  • A LAUGH
    1 Mar. 2024
    A play with an elderly married couple with infectious laughter. Terrific and unusual humor. This might be my favorite Paul Smith play so far. It captures so much of what I think of as life in England. And I love it that the action captivates you with the connection between Fred and Iris and foregoes that bugaboo - conflict. It was fun listening to the Overture of Gretry: Zemire et Azor as I was reading this fine play.

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