CJ Ehrlich

CJ Ehrlich

C.J. Ehrlich’s award-winning plays have been produced in many states, notably of undress and panic, around the US, and internationally on five continents. Full-lengths: THE CUPCAKE CONSPIRACY (comedy-farce, w/Philip J. Kaplan); sci-fi comedy ZANE TO GATE 69; award-winning noir comedy THE MALTESE BABKA. Published in many "Best of" anthologies. Three time Heideman Award finalist. [~]

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C.J. Ehrlich’s award-winning plays have been produced in many states, notably of undress and panic, around the US, and internationally on five continents. Full-lengths: THE CUPCAKE CONSPIRACY (comedy-farce, w/Philip J. Kaplan); sci-fi comedy ZANE TO GATE 69; award-winning noir comedy THE MALTESE BABKA. Published in many "Best of" anthologies. Three time Heideman Award finalist. [~]

Collaborators include the Samuel French Off-Off-Broadway Fest (NYC), Boston Theatre Marathon (MA), Rover DramaWerks (TX), Little Fish (Los Angeles), Little Black Dress INK (national), Source/Cultural DC, Heartland (IL), Florentine Players (NE), high schools, community colleges and unis, OnStage Atlanta, Seoul Players (South Korea), Rising Sun (NYC), Grin Theatre (Liverpool UK), and many more. [~]

Aside from wearing multiple theatre hats, C.J. is co-founder of Code Red Playwrights: #ENOUGH (playwrights for gun safety), an editor, EMT and ambulance driver, leader of creative children's workshops, and proud member of the Dramatists Guild. She lists among her greatest achievements teaching her sons the fine art of the spit take. [~]

Please visit at www.CJ-Ehrlich.com.

Plays

  • THE CUPCAKE CONSPIRACY, a full-length comedy farce
    "A farce with icing on top" - Sequim (WA) Gazette

    When newly-separated Max decides to put his toes in the dating waters behind his soon-to-be ex's back, he hooks up with the wrong blind date and finds himself up to his neck in a dastardly plot involving cupcakes. Really evil cupcakes. Meanwhile Max's missed date, Suzie, takes off with Alvin, a secret agent of so many...
    "A farce with icing on top" - Sequim (WA) Gazette

    When newly-separated Max decides to put his toes in the dating waters behind his soon-to-be ex's back, he hooks up with the wrong blind date and finds himself up to his neck in a dastardly plot involving cupcakes. Really evil cupcakes. Meanwhile Max's missed date, Suzie, takes off with Alvin, a secret agent of so many identities even he can't remember who he is. Max's "date" with the sultry Natasha could be the best night of his life, if he can just stay ahead of her evil schemes, convince her he's the dread-sexy mastermind Bob X, and more important, keep his wife from finding out.

    * This comedy, co-written by C.J. Ehrlich and Philip J. Kaplan is:

    “Clever, fun, funny” - Nancy Churnin, Dallas Morning News

    “Cupcake” is a farce, yes, about dangerous desserts. But it's also about how men and women, whether they're on a first date or married to each other, have trouble truly seeing the people they're with." - Peninsula Daily News

    * “WOW. If you don’t like to laugh, if you are offended by sharp wit... or if you have a problem with hilarity in general, you should not see this play.” - Chris Cortinas theatre blog, Plano TX

    * “A clever, scrumptious diversion” - National Examiner.com

    * Other accolades: Finalist - Charles Getchell Award
    Finalist - Mountain Playhouse International Comedy competition
    Winner: Rover Dramawerks National New Play Festival

    * "It's hard to resist the genius of playwriting duo C.J. Ehrlich and Phillip J. Kaplan's premise that one could devise a volatile, yet scrumptious cupcake, as twisted and mind-blowing as slipping LSD into a Yoohoo (thank you, Pauline Kael). Cupcake Conspiracy is not absurdist, but takes great mirth from appreciating the absurd. The ridiculous... On one level you could say Cupcake Conspiracy is a study of how we are so imprisoned by personal worldview, we are blinded to what we desperately need to see. Another interpretation (not necessarily a contradiction) is : No matter how imbecilic our mistakes, some higher intelligence trumps human folly."

    Read the review: www.examiner.com/review/rover-s-cupcake-conspiracy-a-clever-scrumptious-diversion

    Co-written with Philip J. Kaplan https://newplayexchange.org/users/2493/philip-kaplan
  • THE MALTESE BABKA, a full-length noir comedy
    Join private investigator Jake Pantograph in a twisty maze of mysteries wrapped in danger, as he tries to track down a missing girl, a blackmailer, a one-of-a-kind black diamond necklace, a hot babka, and some ice for his drink. §-§-§
    SUMMARY:
    When Rochelle Badinski hires Jake Pantograph to find her missing sister Mimi, his investigation leads him into a twisty maze of other mysteries wrapped...
    Join private investigator Jake Pantograph in a twisty maze of mysteries wrapped in danger, as he tries to track down a missing girl, a blackmailer, a one-of-a-kind black diamond necklace, a hot babka, and some ice for his drink. §-§-§
    SUMMARY:
    When Rochelle Badinski hires Jake Pantograph to find her missing sister Mimi, his investigation leads him into a twisty maze of other mysteries wrapped in danger. How far will Portia "Bunny" Washbasin go to break her son's engagement, before the will is read? Who's blackmailing the billionaire? What about that scanties party on the yacht? How many sides are there in a love triangle? Can Jake make it through this tangle of suspects, seductions, red herrings and off-kilter theories, to punish at least one bad guy? And... what is a babka, anyway?* §-§-§

    Tongue-in-cheek, lightly shaken with a twist of now, and a bounty of sight gags and silliness, there won't be any black-and-white answers in this comic homage to film noir. Large cast; easy set.
  • THIS TIME WE'LL MAKE IT WORK, a full-length anti-romcom
    When does compromise take you across dangerous lines?

    Two mismatched singles, unlucky in love, decide to change their bad dating karma with a bold experiment - stay together, no matter what. "Let's date like we're Adam and Eve!" proposes evangelical Winnie. "I would like, at least, to have something to regret," agrees computer nerd Tom. Winnie is a sweet...
    When does compromise take you across dangerous lines?

    Two mismatched singles, unlucky in love, decide to change their bad dating karma with a bold experiment - stay together, no matter what. "Let's date like we're Adam and Eve!" proposes evangelical Winnie. "I would like, at least, to have something to regret," agrees computer nerd Tom. Winnie is a sweet Fundamentalist in a strange cult. Tom is a Liberal who respects any view, to the point of paralysis.
    Little by little Winnie will pull Tom deeper into her Mission, leading him to a dark, frozen dawn on a grassy knoll overlooking an abortion clinic. What's not to work?
    []

    Stumbling through a year's worth of holidays, this idealistic couple does their damnedest to defy the odds and shape love out of a lump of chaos, in spite of darkening moral conflicts, and a host of significant others, all warning that the relationship is doomed from the start. Tom's co-worker prods him to get the goodies and run. A waitress offers a no-strings alternative. Tom's mother, surrounded by toaster ovens from her 11th wedding, urges Tom to beware of religious nut jobs. And Winnie's seductive young pastor keeps inviting her to drink the delicious red stuff at the Church of the Ultimate Light. []


    Winnie: It's not a cult, Tom!
    Tom: Would they tell you if it was? []

    The play's goal is to balance comedy, provocation, and satire, to create a living, breathing couple on opposite ends of the political spectrum, and to make them both so sympathetic that the audience is genuinely conflicted about who to side with. As an audience member said, "I guess there's a bit of Winnie and Tom in all of us." But can this ever work?
  • ZANE TO GATE 69, a time-travel comedy
    Agent Kate Welles is sent back from her dystopian future to the 1970s, to brief a bumbling, sexist spy on what could be his -- and humanity's -- last mission. But will she be in time?

    "Daffy fun"... "Delightfully ridiculous"... "Don't miss it!"
    -- Deborah Martin, mysanantonio.com

    "You don't see [this] on the circuit very...
    Agent Kate Welles is sent back from her dystopian future to the 1970s, to brief a bumbling, sexist spy on what could be his -- and humanity's -- last mission. But will she be in time?

    "Daffy fun"... "Delightfully ridiculous"... "Don't miss it!"
    -- Deborah Martin, mysanantonio.com

    "You don't see [this] on the circuit very often -- a well written sci fi piece."
    -- John Jennings, Pop Culture Theatre, Melbourne Australia.

    Synopsis: Time traveler Kate Welles has been sent back to 1972 by a shadowy brain trust, to brief Agent Zane Archibald, the one spy who can avert the dystopian future she's just escaped. But she can't explain any of that -- or the meaning of sexual harassment-- to Zane without stirring up a tsunami of temporal feedback. Each time Zane improvises his way through the mission, the future is grimmer than before. There has to be a better way to save the world!



    My-San Antonio.com:
    Zane Archibald, the central character in playwright C.J. Ehrlich’s loopy “Zane to Gate 69,” imagines himself to be a “suave, sexy superspy.”
    He is not.
    Instead, he is a colossal screw-up — so colossal, in fact, that his misbehaviors have a huge negative impact on the future. (Think “the living will envy the dead” impact.)
    (Full review: http://blog.mysanantonio.com/weekender/2016/01/review-overtimes-zane-to-gate-69-is-daffy-fun/)

  • MIT A FIDDLE IN THE MIDDLE
    TIME: Summer, 1936.
    SETTING: On a grassy dirt road outside the little market town of Kaziemerz, Poland, a crew sets up to start filming a new comedy, Yidl mitn Fidl. The extras are confused, the actress' manager’s demanding, the weather's threatening, and the director's tearing his hair out. He’s counting on his star, Molly Picon, that 4'11" dynamo of energy, talent and cheer,...
    TIME: Summer, 1936.
    SETTING: On a grassy dirt road outside the little market town of Kaziemerz, Poland, a crew sets up to start filming a new comedy, Yidl mitn Fidl. The extras are confused, the actress' manager’s demanding, the weather's threatening, and the director's tearing his hair out. He’s counting on his star, Molly Picon, that 4'11" dynamo of energy, talent and cheer, the "queen of Yiddish theatre" to pull it together. "Yiddle with his Fiddle" -- a classic cross-dressing, mistaken gender, romantic, on-the-road comedy, with songs -- will become the most successful Yiddish film in history. Nobody in Kaziemerz will ever see it.
  • THE LILAC TICKET, a 10-min romantic dramedy
    At the medical group, Sam and Barb confront two secrets that threaten their 50-year marriage: one happening now, in the waiting room, and the other, a long-buried secret. Published in The Best American Short Plays of 2014-15; Heideman Award finalist.
  • 2 + 1 = MURDER, a 10-min noir comedy
    Blaze Pascal has to solve this case - by the numbers!

    50% murder mystery, 50% tribute to Math 101, and 10% groaner puns, 2+1 = MURDER has all the usual noir suspects: the jaded cop ready to retire; the eager rookie; the femme fatale, and Blaze Pascal, private eye.

    Our story is set in a dark alley -- no set required.

    --“A delight!” - Noah Fredericks, Spokane Radio Theatre
  • NOIR IN SECOND CLASS, a short, mysterious comedy
    Sometimes this couple think they're in two different movies.
  • CO-WORKERS, or Holy Bomb, Batman!
    A job interviewee is losing ground as she and her prospective boss, Batman, dangle over certain death. Is it the gaps in her resume? Or just... her? Stay tuned for the next thrilling installment.
  • SHREW MAN vs. SHREWMAN, a superhero comedy
    -“Borders on the insane” - Terry Shea, Motif Magazine, Providence RI
    The last, the rarest, the ONLY banned "Shrewman" comic has finally resurfaced. Now everyone wants to get their claws on it!

    This play has everything: geeks, sneaks, shrews, news, Teamsters, armed robbery, a flying pool table, Governor Dewey on the wireless, wanna-be superheroes and the other kind (real). Also...
    -“Borders on the insane” - Terry Shea, Motif Magazine, Providence RI
    The last, the rarest, the ONLY banned "Shrewman" comic has finally resurfaced. Now everyone wants to get their claws on it!

    This play has everything: geeks, sneaks, shrews, news, Teamsters, armed robbery, a flying pool table, Governor Dewey on the wireless, wanna-be superheroes and the other kind (real). Also a lot of musk. Because musk happens.

    -Samuel French OOB Festival, 2014
  • THE RED AND GREEN ROOM: No Exit, meet the Mario Bros.
    Three actors trapped in the Green Room chafe and fume and simmer on the edge of madness, while the star hogs all the stage time. No Exit, meet the Mario Brothers.
  • BLACK HOLE ENTERPRISES, a 10m dark comedy
    How can you stay cheerful when your job is to make social media miserable?
  • ALL'S FAIR IN LOVE AND SCIENCE, a 10-min comedy
    Two dads discover it's a high-stakes game, the elementary school science fair.
  • WAITING FOR HUGOT
    A frustrated screenwriter ineptly stalks a minor celebrity, trying to get his ticket out of nowhere. But fate, and his wife, have other travel plans.
  • TUESDAYS IN THE PARK WITH RIVER APPLE, an all-female comedy about trying to do it all, with kids
    Abby’s new to the city and to full-time motherhood. Who knew joining a playgroup could be so hard? Play nice, ladies!
    Five vibrant, multi-ethnic female roles.


    Winner, Fringe of Marin 2014: Best Play, Best Actor, Best Ensemble awards.
  • HOMESPUN WEBS: Imagining Louise Bourgeois, a one-act
    Newly-divorced Madeline's getting shakier by the minute as she drinks her way through her first night in her shabby, noisy apartment. Help arrives in the spectral form of renowned “giant spider” artist Louise Bourgeois.
  • STANDING ROOM ONLY
    After glimpsing what love could be, Charlene's having the worst day of her life, and refuses to make room for another commuter. Until he pushes his way past her comfort zone.

    An upbeat but heartfelt story of an older woman who learns some new tricks from a versatile young actor.
  • NON-REFUNDABLE, a 10-min LGBT comedy
    Two lesbian teachers from Bible Belt Kentucky, tired of pretending to be “just friends who work together," run off for what promises to be a romantic bargain tour of the former Soviet Block. But when a foreign power invades their hotel room, they learn a lesson about hiding away. [Heideman Award finalist.]
  • ROOM CIRCUS, an LGBT comedy-farce
    Jake's about to ditch Margot in the bridal suite, when Margot's ex, Sienna, shows up a special order of room service.

    Fasten your seat belts -- it's going to be a bumpy honeymoon.

    A 1930s screwball comedy in miniature with an LGBT twist, ROOM CIRCUS is a fast-paced romp, with love served on a silver platter and Ralph Bellamy wielding a cell phone. Partial nudity is welcome.
  • FLASH DATES
    Carly's in a hurry: who has time for speed dating, with thousands of potential partners out there to meet and reject? Are why are so many of them in the theatre lobby? Thanks, Flash Dates!

    FLASH DATE is a fast, fun, ten-minute play that breaks the fourth wall, and even gets the stage crew involved.
  • WHOM DEATH DOTH SEEE-K, a comedy about sex, death, and shoes
    Sexy model Yulia’s lusting for pricey pumps. Stef dares her to charm the sales clerk into a quickie discount. Shoe-gasm anyone? Then a mysterious stranger appears, knowing way too much about Yulia’s shopping history.

    This dark comedy about shopping, sin, and debauchery will have you quaking in your stilettos and cleaning out your closets!
  • WE DON'T CARE ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS AT ALL, a holiday comedy
    Two couples, thrown together by their children's quickie wedding, soft-pedal their conflicting holiday traditions.
  • SNOW DOWN AT THE NORTH POLE, a holiday comedy
    It's the Christmas crunch at Santa's workshop. An efficiency expert hovers, a blizzard may shut the whole thing down, Lefty the Elf is talking strike, and we're running low on Chanukah socks. If only we could count on an old-fashioned Christmas miracle! Caroling optional.