Recommended by John Busser

  • The Alexander
    14 Mar. 2024
    A very slow burning, creepy as hell account of the history of a haunted hotel, brought to you from 2 different viewpoints; the curious Patricia with her binoculars observing like something out of Rear Window, and the seen-too-much Tate, with a hankering for alcohol brought on by bad memories. Then there are the victims(?) Silent members telling a story of there own. Greg Mandryk brings each to life in unsettling fashion. There's a lot to see here and I'll be damned if I wasn't more curious at the end than I was at the beginning. I want to know more.
  • The Disembodied Head of Joseph Lourde
    14 Mar. 2024
    When is a monologue with an inanimate object NOT a monologue? When the inanimate object talks back. Our writer friend in the play, Philip has a "pep talk" of sorts with the bust of his literary muse, and it is comedic gold. I got to see an hilarious reading of this at Cleveland Public Theatre's Dark Room and let me tell you, as fun a read as this is, it's even better when you get some actors bringing Greg Mandryk's script to life. That the bust gets the last word in is the perfect topper to this fun fest.
  • Escalator to the Gallows (a monologue)
    9 Mar. 2024
    Boy, does Fedora come with strings attached. Not a noose, but those strings are just as choking to Erland as a noose would be. The self-centered girl of both of their dreams speaks to Erland and the audience in such a marvelously oblivious way, that you can't help but be amused and irritated at the same time. A basic "It's not you, but it's really you!" speech that should have everyone within earshot hoping Erland would get down off that chair and place Fedora up on it. Dark humor at it's finest. Thank you Scott Sickles, you wonderful bastard.
  • That Last Summer
    9 Mar. 2024
    A heart-breaking look at a what if...? told over the course of a lifetime. That last summer was an anchor point that Perry and Meredith couldn't release themselves from no matter what was thrown in their way. A years-long lifeline neither truly let go of. And here, in their later years, do they hold on to that lifeline together. Chris Soucy knows just how to tug at the emotional core of this relationship and it never feels false or contrived. Tell me you weren't pulling for them to see what the rest of us have from the beginning.
    9 Mar. 2024
    Not a bad way to spend the rest of your death; socializing in a bar with friends, good food and drink and not having to worry about the nine-to-five grind anymore. Brent Alles creates a great setup for the audience and then lets the characters invite David (and them) into this remote bar for some talk about life, death, the afterlife and how accepting the end might be a new beginning. Wonderful dialogue, fun characters and a though-provoking premise. Cool stuff!
  • Published! A Shonen-Inspired Musical
    9 Mar. 2024
    Between the catchy song work and the feel-good narrative, this play pushes all the right buttons for young and old actors alike. There's an enthusiasm here as the characters, the main ones being 8th graders involved in a competition to be published (and therefore taken seriously as writers) that carries over to the audience. You want these kids to succeed. But more than that, you want them to be better human beings. Whether by mending long-broken fences or rising above petty rivalries, we become invested in these future wordsmiths. And the songs are just as uplifting as the story.
  • This Cow and That Trombone
    25 Feb. 2024
    What a wonderful way to show us there is more to life than what others may think we should be doing. Cows and trombones as a delivery vehicle for creative empowerment wasn't on my life lesson bingo card today, but damn, I'm sure glad I decided to add it. Steve Martin always provides more bang for your buck, and the visual of an anthropomorphic herd of cows making music is something I'd love an audience to see. Please produce this play.
    25 Feb. 2024
    I bet Adam Richter enjoys spoilers and opening Christmas presents on Dec 23rd too. AND I'M RIGHT THERE WITH HIM. Getting rid of the setup parts and getting to the meat of a book is something I've often wanted to do. Adam showed me how. Thanks bud.

    And by the way, Rosebud is a sled, and Taylor was on Earth the whole time. You're welcome.
  • The Geometry of You (a monologue)
    25 Feb. 2024
    I'm stunned. Truly stunned. I can't even express how expertly Scott reveals the ultimate goal of this monologue. I thought I knew where this was going, and I absolutely did NOT! Talk about a 180. THIS is how you do that. I don't want to discuss particulars, although I think I could do that for hours. Experience it yourself. This gets my highest recommendation.
  • Fresh Hell
    25 Feb. 2024
    I can't believe how caught up in this I was. Brian Cern got me invested in these parents to the point of actually saying "go go go" under my breath. That's good writing. Then I got to THIS exchange and laughed my ass off...

    DAD: I didn’t even click your button this much when we made the kid.
    MOM: I know.

    That right there made this a classic. I will never drink anything when reading a Brian Cern comedy. I don't want to shoot it out of my nose...