Recommended by Jake Lewis

  • Bootsie Manilow Speaks
    1 Feb. 2023
    Who would have thought a play inspired by a Barry Manilow song and about a talking cat would have such layers to it? Not I, but I’m glad I discovered it! Whalen’s setup initially disarms you and then, between the fits of honest laughter, sideswipes you with a powerful revelation. In its wake, you are left moved — to smile, to cry, to call your parent….heck, to talk to your pet — just like a great Manilow song can do too.
  • More
    1 Feb. 2023
    Just when you think zombie stories have been done to death, Tatelman’s black comedy cuts to the heart as two couples contemplate mortality and their place in the big picture. What is immediately clear is that this play is more than just a cute gimmick; Tatelman’s sharp humor mixed with clever stage business makes this a killer short play.
  • This Year
    1 Feb. 2023
    First off, the song behind this play is just kick ass, so that already bodes well. But the premise of this satirical play works so well because, in this post-pandemic world, things feel more out of whack (and wacky) than ever. Lam nails both the comedy and the horror in a succinct play that strikes the heart…zombies included.
  • Cupid's Point
    21 Dec. 2022
    For those of us who grew up with the classic horror yarn about the lovers on Makeout Point who hear about the escaped convict with a hook for a hand -- well, get ready for a reinvention of that ride!

    Baughfman's love of the horror genre is apparent and continues in this madcap take on the story. What I love most about it is the unpredictable nature of the resolution; if you think you got it figured out, think again!

    This horror story will make you giddy with laughter at the dark spin Baughfman pumps into the timeless tale.
  • The Last Song
    21 Dec. 2022
    I'm not one for monologues, in general; I find they are often devoid of any real character or plot development from the beginning to the end, and tend to skew more towards diary entries.

    This play, though -- and it is most definitely a play with one person -- does what only the best pieces of writing do: makes every word have a purpose. Told in Carbajal's specific style -- sparse, searing, strangely heartbreaking yet uplifting -- it is a song in itself.

    If there was one monologue I'd want to read before I die, this would be it.
  • Laws of the Universe
    26 Aug. 2022
    Ms. Trauth masterfully connects abstract, scientific laws told in easy-to-understand examples with closer-to-home struggles that sometimes feel bigger than the world can hold. It asks us to think about the push and pull we exert on each other -- our partners, our children, future generations -- and how we can use that force for good or ill. At times funny while at other moments scathing, its beauty lies in its honesty.
  • Round and Round
    20 Mar. 2022
    What a hoot! Just when you thought the trope of cavemen had been beaten to death with a club by that insurance company, here comes Armstrong's take on the invention of the wheel. The original odd couple, Ugg and Francis are the most memorable Neanderthals you will see on a stage, thanks to Armstrong's dexterity at humor and heart.
  • Ugly Doctor Hospital
    20 Mar. 2022
    Busser's sound effects-heavy play was the perfect choice to kick off my theatre group's "Podcast Plays" with a bang. Like the best audio dramas, Busser's characters are unique and larger-than-life. Reminiscent of Neil Simon's work at its peak, this short play's fast-and-funny wittiness and winks to the audience make it a total crowd-pleaser.
  • Choices: A Ten-Minute Play
    20 Mar. 2022
    This play exemplifies my favorite kind of work: It's a "Black Mirror"-esque moral quandary that feels like it could one day be all too real in this ever-problematic world we live in. You are at first won over by the comical setup, but as the story unfolds, you find yourself asking what you would do faced with such a dilemma. McLindon once again keeps the action fast-paced but leaves much to think about when all is said and done.
  • Gentri-Fried Chicken
    24 Dec. 2021
    I love this play for so many reasons, chief among them the satirical stance it takes on millennials, and the pointedness of gentrification. Hovanesian proves he’s a master at any playwriting form.