Recommended by Vince Gatton

  • Santa’s Scarlet Letter
    20 Jan. 2023
    You may walk into this expecting a light holiday romp: the title is fun, and the character's name (Cynthia) maybe sets you up for a riff on Cindy Lou Who -- another young girl who had a memorable encounter with Santa Claus. But this is no Dr. Seuss parody; DC Cathro has a weirder, sadder, messier story to tell, one about love and doubt and regret, about the thrill and the misgivings of being pursued, and the murky confusion young people can experience around weighing societal taboos and our own instincts. A haunting, sorrowful winner.
  • H*tler's Tasters
    19 Jan. 2023
    Wildly funny, kinetic, and absolutely harrowing, Hitler's Tasters is a sharp shock of a play that will stick with you. I saw it last year Off-Broadway and it has certainly stuck with me: it continues to resonate with its themes about complicity, complacency, passionate devotion that curdles into something else, and society's treatment - then and now - of young women as disposable. On top of all that, it's also an astoundingly good showcase for young actresses. Colleges, and even high schools -- get on this. Entertaining and powerful stuff.
  • A Humble Path [a monologue]
    17 Jan. 2023
    Well, this is terrifying…and very moving. But what strikes me as the real triumph of this piece is neither the pathos nor the horror - it’s Steve Martin’s understanding that what makes good drama is showing characters make *choices*. What brought Abe to this point is fascinating and compelling, but it’s the choices Abe is making here, now, in front of us, that make A Humble Path the riveting and satisfying play that it is. A shocking and shockingly moral piece of work.
  • Bereavement Leave
    17 Jan. 2023
    Wow, wow, wow. It starts out a very funny, very black absurdist dystopian office satire — for which I am absolutely the target audience. What I didn’t expect, and what elevates this play to something truly extraordinary, is how it deepens and expands emotionally as it goes, turning these office drones who don’t even have names into heartbreaking characters with depth and poignancy and power. That it achieves this without ever betraying its rules or losing its absurdist way is a testament to Prillaman’s immense skill. Bereavement Leave is a harsh and humane marvel.
  • Car Games
    15 Jan. 2023
    “It’s the journey, not the destination” is true of this play to some extent, but the destination hangs over and informs everything about this journey nonetheless. Anne and Roger are at odds from the outset, but the pleasure of DC Cathro’s excellent road trip play lies in the ebb and flow between them, the revealed histories, hurts, and kindnesses that develop along the way. Hard, humorous, and tender, Car Games is a trip well worth taking.
  • The Girl Who Could Talk to Birds
    15 Jan. 2023
    I absolutely guffawed at this delightfully fractured fairy tale. Nora and her bird friend Ralphio attempt to approach the boy she secretly loves, and things go…oh, you’ll see. And you’ll guffaw, too, I’m gonna bet. The animal kingdom knows what’s what, is all I’m sayin’. They know. What’s what.
  • The Pros and Cons of Feeding Stray Cats
    13 Jan. 2023
    I can’t remember the last time reading a play made me make so much noise: sitting there minding my business, I laughed, I shouted, and reader: I sobbed. It’s no secret that I’m a huge Christian St. Croix fan, and this play serves up all the reasons why: dialogue that snaps and sings, characters who burrow into your heart, stagecraft that ignites your imagination, and a story that puts you through some things. (Producable as hell, too, with a cast of two and running under an hour.) Get on this, world. Please. Get on this.
  • to fall in love with anyone...
    12 Jan. 2023
    This winning romantic dramedy succeeds by being so resolutely salty: like a 21st-century Beatrice and Benedick, our main characters enter every conversation with tongues keenly sharpened, plotting against each other in revenge for past wrongs. But Jordan Elizabeth Henry then pulls a neat trick — rather than leaning into fireworks and gamesmanship, she builds scenes of easy, natural, keen-edged dialogue across this friend group that display sharp wits, yes, but also deeply caring hearts. The sweetness creeps up on you here amid the salt, making it all the more effective at earning its just-right ending. A pleasure.
  • Nurture
    12 Jan. 2023
    I don't know what's wrong with Johnna Adams' brain, or with mine. All I know is that NURTURE is dark and twisted, hellaciously sad and screamingly funny, deeply perverse and endlessly quotable...and that I loved it. To fans of early Christopher Durang, but who wished it were all somehow *more* deranged: this is the play for you.
  • Loved
    12 Jan. 2023
    An unspeakably sorrowful and beautifully written teenage RASHOMON, with three characters telling their three different truths of a tragic central event, their voices as distinct and unforgettable as their differing accounts. John Mabey’s play is a chilling and bleak beauty, a tear that freezes before it can fall.