Recommended by Scott Sickles

  • If at First
    27 Nov. 2023
    What are morality and sanity when it comes to finding true love?


    Sorry, did you think I was being rhetorical? Well… that’s on you.

    Mad Genius Greg Mandryk (hereafter “MGGM”!) confronts this complex theme by fashioning a very simple scenario. OR IS IT??? Regardless, the course of true love comes with alleyways and tributaries and oftentimes staunch resistance it’s impossible not to take personally.

    Now, I’ve said enough relevant nothing to express my overwhelming enjoyment of this wild, wonderful something! Brace yourself! Hail MGGM!!!
  • Coming Soon to the Dowling Bookstore
    27 Nov. 2023
    There’s fragile masculinity and then there’s toxic masculinity. Add heartbreak and betrayal and the results can be implosive or explosive. This play is a science experiment in human zoology and emotional biochemistry. O’Day is especially adept at creating atmosphere: you can practically hear traffic noise and smell gasoline from nearby pumps. Most palpable is the heartache, the fractures in these two men who have both been hurt but have no immediate recourse than to struggle with each other, leading to an awakening of emotional and literary aspiration. At least for one of them. A glorious gutpunch.
  • Hey Babe
    22 Nov. 2023
    This play lives in my bones, a zero-Kelvin shot pervading my marrow.

    HEY BABE blooms like a poisonous flower then closes around you like a carnivorous one.

    When someone surrenders control to another, there's a necessary trust. But when that trust is misplaced, when the person who holds that power has no intention of relinquishing it, when one's will is now a toy to be played with or discarded at whim... what CAN one do?

    Marcus's methods are only slightly magnified by fiction, exquisitely simple, terrifyingly effective. A disturbing tale in a beautiful apartment weaponing words of love.
  • /ärt/
    21 Nov. 2023
    Mr. Martin clearly thinks he's being O, So Clever in this absurdist expose of the pretentiousness of evaluating the inherently subjective intrinsic value of art, yet he has hoisted himself on his own petard by creating this piece of art, this play, that is objectively perfect. The rhythms carry the words in perfect syncopation, the characters are perfectly drawn and individuated, the thesis and the treatise are perfectly executed in a perfect series of perfectly structured perfect setups perfectly igniting perfect payoffs. It's all perfect, perfect, perfect. So much for art being subjective! Better luck next time, Martin!
  • New, From the Makers of LaffTrax...
    15 Nov. 2023
    "Not now, sweetie. Daddy's reading the police blotter."

    Ah yes!

    As the adult child of a father who read the police blotter, as well as a long time devotee of topical medicinal creams, this play really spoke to me.

    It presents a serious malady, paternas nofunnibonis, with the sensitivity it deserves.

    The play is also chock full of Busserian one-liners, strategically placed groaners, and good old fashioned nuclear family dynamics vividly evoking the educational film product placement nostalgia that holds so many of our molecules together.

  • A Slice of Chhena Poda
    7 Nov. 2023
    I haven’t had Chhena Poda but I looked it up and what idiot wouldn’t like sweet baked cheese? (Though washing it down with a Diet Coke is giving the the shudders.)

    But Samir’s gonna like what Samir’s gonna like whether Roopa likes it or not. This tale of mother/son acceptance goes both ways. It’s as effervescent as a cool soda on a summer day and sweet as its titular dessert without the least bit of cheese. A delight!
  • Scripted Characters
    7 Nov. 2023
    I can’t stop imagining the costumes!!! Especially for SET!

    Utterly hilarious. What begins as a meta theatrical sketch quickly (and at 4 pages it better happen quickly) explodes into a tale of betrayal, conspiracy, and usurpation rivaling Shakespeare and Toy Story! Relentless fun!
  • The Guest Room
    7 Nov. 2023
    There is no more consistently inconsistent force of nature than grief. It comes in waves, but randomly. It never goes away but it does get sick of us if we hold on too tightly, and checks back in after we let it go. Grief is also contagious. When it doesn’t spread directly, its damage has a radius. Floyd-Priskorn miraculously pulls off manifestations of grief that capture its amorphous/polymorphous nature, both in its immediate presence and over time. A gentle, subtle, extraordinary work.
  • A Year to Grieve
    28 Oct. 2023
    A taut, tight noir about a smart, strong, successful heroine in an isolated setting with a man who...

    Read it and find out.

    Girard elegantly builds the tension, somehow revealing intentions both in front our faces and right under our noses. There are numerous red flags, but the kind that that are more obvious in strangers and easy to dismiss in friends. Even when reveal hits, part of you shares the onstage astonishment and denial. That Girard does this in ten pages is utterly remarkable!

    I just saw New Ambassador's Off-Off-Broadway production and it is a scorcher!
  • Postpartum
    26 Oct. 2023
    Objectively speaking, a newborn literally feeds off its parents. Not just mother’s milk. Their needs become the center of life. Their wants have no consideration of yours. You belong to them more than they belong to you and their id-driven whims inform every decision.

    Sometimes, that interdependence sparks joy. Through a darker lens of anxiety and division, these demands can feel like they have consequences. What if they do? What is and isn’t real is up for grabs as parents determine if their infant is simply fussy or a vengeful god. Either way, the stakes are dire.