Recommended by Michael C. O'Day

  • Rocket Yourself to the Moon
    12 Jun. 2023
    Biting and hysterical, Lang takes unerring aim at the designs and delusions of late-stage capitalism with a zippy, delirious, demented vaudeville. Medical disclaimers will never be the same.
  • Tryhard
    12 Jun. 2023
    An astonishingly assured piece of work, both bitingly funny and devastating beyond belief. Everett is a master of dialogue, her characters managing to accidentally eviscerate each other to a gasp-inducing degree through the very language of psychological healing and conflict avoidance. (And I mean inducing literal gasps - this play does a number on an audience!) And in her portrayal of young adults shaped by unthinkable trauma, whose lives are further complicated as their coping strategies keep backfiring, she comes pretty damn close to Voice of a Generation territory.
  • Is This All This Is
    17 May. 2023
    Osmundsen has gathered up all our current anxieties about identity - sexual, social, economical, political, neurodiverse - and crafted a family drama that embraces a multitude of topics with ease, and with an almost crystalline purity to its craftsmanship. It makes a brilliant, sneaky point - that the social cues and mores its autistic characters have difficulty with are the very things thwarting its neurotypical characters' chances at fulfillment - without ever resorting to cliche or platitude to do so. Instead, it's a profoundly truthful, visceral, beautiful piece of work.
  • Just Right
    20 Apr. 2023
    What seems at first glance to simply be a cute high concept - it's Goldilocks and Baby Bear! years later! and they swiped right on Tinder! - quickly becomes something much richer, stranger, and even heartbreaking. Lohne finds ever more ingenious ways to explore notions of survivor guilt and the difficulties of forgiveness, both of ourselves and others. Smart, moving, and genuinely adorable.
  • Quiche
    19 Apr. 2023
    Giddy and demented, Monokian has taken all the ways our culture associates "sex" with "death" and transfigured them into a delirious, surreal mix of teenage soap opera, social satire, and serial killer thriller. With zombie cheerleaders and a talking chihuahua, of course.
  • The Eighteenth Quinquennial Endlings Picnic
    6 Mar. 2023
    It should be too unbearable to watch, even to contemplate - our current environmental crisis is bad enough, but to explore it through five sweet, soon-to-be-extinct animals having a sad little picnic?! And yet this magnificent piece is compulsively watchable (compulsively readable, anyway), brimming with revolutionary fervor, smart stagecraft, and unexpected humor. ("Not all frogs play banjo" is the best out-of-left-field laugh line I've seen in a good long while.)
    4 Feb. 2023
    Is there anything more fundamentally Gothic in the American experience - more grotesque, marked by heightened emotion, and haunted by the weight of the past - as high school? Jane Elias makes a smashing case in GIRL IS MINE, armed with the knowledge that a true Gothic heroine (or playwright) can only succeed by embracing the ambiguity and the dark corners of humanity. A disturbing, enigmatic delight.
    21 Nov. 2022
    It starts so simply, so poetically, a bittersweet naturalistic portrait of contemporary small-town life, a sensitive meditation on politics and faith and friendship. And then, because Vince Gatton is a diabolical genius, a series of breathtakingly terrifying surprises erupt, allowing the dark and monstrous fantasies buried deep in our national subconscious to come erupting to the surface. I won't tell you exactly what sort of an apocalypse you can expect, but I can promise you won't be the same when you come out the other side of it. Read this play. Produce this play. NOW.
  • The Rise and Fall of Miles and Milo
    20 Nov. 2022
    I was fortunate enough to see this play, one of the most brutally funny pieces I've ever seen, in its original NYFringe production. Looking at the script again, I see that time has blunted none of its satire. Indeed, its themes - the dangers of letting extreme wealth influence our culture, the seductive allure of selling out, the ease of self-delusion, the perils of confusing your art with your identity - are more desperately urgent than ever. Somebody revive this now - while They'll still let you.
  • Outer Banks
    19 Nov. 2022
    Dear lord, the construction of this is gorgeous. Foglia's tale of a woman's inability (or refusal) to process her grief is rooted in such a specific sense of place, with such meticulously realized and relatable characters, that only gradually do you realize it as his tale enters the realm of full-blown Southern Gothic horror. A magnificent piece of work.